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"rate both hands on stage"

Posted by Kashima on August 07, 2005

I found this phrase "rate both hands on stage" in a biographical TV film about James Dean, in which Jimmy says to Louis Jourdan, the famous French actor, "Louis, you're improving. You rate both hands on stage", after the opening night of a play titled 'The Immoralist'. After saying this, Jimmy claps his hands twice. I detect a slight sarcasm in the way he applauds, but I'm not so sure, because Louis doesn't seem to take it hard.
Can this phrase mean:
Your acting on stage is worth 10 dollars, i.e. so splendid.
Your acting on stage is worth an applause.
Is this phrase a slang with some sexual connotation? In this play which is adapted from Gide's novel (though its synopsis seems to be quite differnt from the original), Louis plays a role of a man who marries a woman in order to overcome his homosexuality, but is tempted by a handsome Arabic houseboy played by Jimmy. Jimmy himself is described to be a bi-sexual in this film, so he could be so sensitive about the role Louis is playing that he might make such a remark.
I am really lost with this phrase and would be thankful if anyone could help me with its meaning.
Thank you.

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