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For her first effort, L'Epervier, directed by her husband's famous cousin Marcel L'Herbier, and gowned by her husband, she studied acting with a famous Belgian actress, Eve Francis, the former wife of director Louis Delluc and a favorite of Paul Claudel. L'Epervier's plot was common but the cast was interesting. The story relates the adventures of an aristocrat, Count George de Dasetta, played by Charles Boyer, and his wife Marina (Natalie Paley), two crooked gamblers who live a luxurious life until she leaves him for a young diplomat, Rene de Tierrache (actor Pierre Richard-Willm). Then, informed of his suicide attempts, the unfaithful wife returns to her husband. Filmed on location in Parisian studios of Joinville, Biarritz and Rome, L'Epervier was the mirror of Natalie's life though few could have noticed at that time. If it was not one of the big movies of the year, it was a personal victory for a woman whose life had seemed so empty. "A star is rising, lit up by a flame of promises," and "a ray of sunlight on a snowy landscape," were some of elegant descriptions inspired by her screen presence, including, "She looks like an Andersen character, one of those inscrutable fairy tale characters with an angel face."