Tag Archives: Elissa Landi

James Whale – By Candlelight (1933)

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After directing three of Universal’s finest horror films, James Whale shifted gears with the elegant romantic comedy By Candlelight. Though quite miscast, Paul Lukas successfully conveys the role of Josef, ultra-dutiful valet to the libidinous Count Von Bommer (Nils Asther). Falling in love with Marie (Elissa Landi), whom he assumes to be a countess, Josef poses – quite convincingly – as his rakish master. The catch: Marie is herself a poseur, a mere maidservant to Count and Countess Von Rischenheim (Lawrence Grant, Dorothy Revier). Based on a play by Siegfried Geyer, By Candlelight is chock full of delightfully double-entendre pre-Code dialogue and dextrous directorial touches. Read More »

Raoul Walsh – The Yellow Ticket (1931)

Marya, a Russian Jewish girl (Elissa Landi) is forced into a life of prostitution in Czarist Russia – a scandal to the naïve muckraking British journalist (Laurence Olivier). They both eventually find their lives endangered when she reveals to him tales of social crimes rampant in her country. The lecherous Baron (Lionel Barrymore), popping pills for “extra potency,” is also head of the secret police, and he is determined to seperate them. Read More »