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on 31 January 2014
An early Lubitsch classic, Trouble in Paradise is one of the wittiest and funniest films to come out of the pre-Code era. Deliciously wicked humour throughout with some great quick-fire one-liners from both the well-played leads (Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins), it always has me giggling to the end. This is Hopkins' 2nd film with Lubitsch and her performance simply sparkles. She has never appeared more beautiful and alluring than she does here, her 8th film in a 40-year career, her character requiring her to play the coquettish yet somehow innocent young girl to a passionate and all too wordly-wise devil-may-care girl from the wrong side of the tracks- this is her film for my money, though ably supported by all the leads.
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on 23 June 2017
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"Trouble in Paradise," (1932), a romance/screwball comedy/crime picture, is one of the greatest pre-World War II, pre- repressive Hays code Hollywood classics. It's a brisk, farcical, sophisticated 83 minute black and white Paramount confection. It's funny, subtle, silly, sexy, with attitude galore, a starry cast, and world-famous talent behind the camera, too. The underlying play, "A Becsuletes Megtalalo" (The Honest Finder), was written by Aladar Laszlo; it opened in Budapest, Hungary, in December 1931. The uber-witty screen play was by the respected Samson Raphaelson; the refugee Ernst Lubitsch,(Design For Living), master of the lighter than air, produced and directed: it is the most widely known of his films. The "Lubitsch touch" as his style was called, emphasized subtlety and elegance, expressive of good taste; it was economical about what to show, relying on the audience to fill in the gaps. Many greatly admired movie reviewers - who actually get paid for their work -- consider this a near-perfect film, and who am I to disagree?

It is largely set in a gorgeous art nouveau Paris, though it opens in Venice. Gaston Monescu, a high-class gentleman thief, has met his soul mate Lily, a lovely femme pickpocket, masquerading as a countess, in Venice. They decide to join forces to con Madame Mariette Colet, a beautiful widowed Parisienne perfume company owner. Gaston takes a job as Mme. Colet's personal secretary under the alias Monsieur Laval. Rumors start to fly as 'M. Laval' steals Mme. Colet away from her more suitable suitors. And when the secret of his actual identity catches up to him, Gaston is caught between the two beautiful women: to stay, to flee...

Monescu was played by Herbert Marshall, (The Little Foxes ,Foreign Correspondent ,The Letter); Lily by Lubitsch favorite Miriam Hopkins, (DESIGN FOR LIVING); and Madame Colet by Kay Francis, (Once Upon A Honeymoon / In Name Only ). Internet sources say the director first considered younger actors, such as Cary Grant, for these roles, but decided he wanted performers whose faces reflected some maturity as they attempted to nimbly navigate all the obstacles to satisfaction that Lubitsch threw in their paths. So he cast the 42-year old Marshall and two no-longer ingénues in his lead parts. Rom/com stalwarts Charles Ruggles as the Major; Edward Everett Horton as Francois Filiba; C. Aubrey Smith as Adolph J. Giron; Robert Greig as Jacques, Mariette's butler and Leonid Kinskey as the communist round out the mittel-Europa-flavored cast. Paris has never looked lovelier; interiors are gleamingly shot and full of Hans Dreier's striking Art Deco designs. The women look their best in gowns by Travis Banton.

Director Lubitsch had fled Nazi Germany for Hollywood; Germany's loss was Hollywood's gain. As noted above, he was particularly praised for "the Lubitsch touch," which involved split second timing, and a bubbling, buoyant erotic wit. In those days before the promulgation of the blue-nose Hays Code, Lubitsch was able to sneak quite a bit of innuendo into his films. This movie was popular both with critics and with audiences, but, after 1935, when the production code began to be enforced, it was withdrawn from circulation. It was not seen again until 1968. The film was never available on videocassette and only became available on DVD in 2003. Oddly enough, or perhaps not so oddly, I have recently seen or re-seen four of Lubitsch's pictures, and all four center around romantic triangles, two of each flavor. This one is sublimely, elegantly sweet and spicy: a Hungarian palacinka to treasure again and again.
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on 29 August 2010
Everything's been said about Lubistch and his special touch. "Trouble in Paradise" was filmed in 1932 and it's perfectly fresh and beautiful today. Sophisticated comedy at its best. It's hard to believe that such a classic is only available in Korea. The print is quite good. Language : English, with Korean and English subtitles.
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on 12 March 2011
I first saw this delightful film about foty years ago, and it is still as entrancing after all these years.

Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins are two thieves who insinuate themselves into the household of wealthy, glamorous widow Kay Francis, with the intention of robbing her. However, complications arise when Marshall and Francis appear to develop an attraction for each other. Also, one of Francis's suitors, (Edward Everett Horton) turns out to be a former victim of Marshall's, and he is in danger of being recognised. But he is loath to leave the house before they have succeeded in robbing Francis - but is it only her money he is after?

This film is a joy, it sparkles with wit and subtle sexual innuendo (something no ham-fisted modern director could ever manage). All the cast give wonderful comic performances, it is sheer delight from beginning to end.
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on 28 March 2004
The most perfect, exquisite, sublime comedy ever made, this film tells the story of two thieves (Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins) who insinuate themselves into the household of wealthy glamorous widow Kay Francis, with the intention of robbing her. However, complications ensue when the suave Marshall falls for lovely Francis, and she for him, much to the fury of Hopkins, not to mention Francis's two disgrunteled suitors, wonderful Edward Everard Horton and equally wonderful Charles Ruggles.Everything about this film is perfect,and the entire cast, from the fiery Hopkins ("I wouldn't fall for another man if he was the biggest crook on earth!")to Robert Greig as the bemused butler muttering over the incomprehensible antics of his employer, are quite wonderful. This film is so marvellous it could easily have been made in Paradise.
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on 7 December 2012
A simply marvelous combination of wit, humour, sexiness, and so much more.
One of the very best of the "screwball" comedies ever made.
Highly, highly recommended!
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on 20 February 2007
Beautifully "sophisticated comedy" is 75 years old and puts virtually all that have gone since in the shade.Two jewel thieves(Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall)travel the world robbing the rich and having a high old time of it until Marshall starts to fall for their newest victim(Kay Francis)Sparkling dialogue and effortless timing make this a shining example of the famed "Lubitsch" touch.
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on 18 June 2016
This is a technical review of four Ernst Lubitsch films on DVD bought from Amazon.co.uk
"Trouble in Paradise" from Eureka (Region 2), "The Shop Around the Corner" Korean Import (All Regions), "To Be or Not to Be" form Universal Studio Canal (Region 2) and "(El Pecado de) Cluny Brown" from Cinecom (All Regions).
I have not seen these DVD's on a large screen, only on a 15.6 laptop screen, so "technical review" means in this case how the movies work on my laptop, concerning picture and sound. I have seen the first two of the films in full lenght, and the last two only five minutes to check if they work. They do. All four movies have (at least for a laptop) fine picture and sound. All four are with original english soundtrack (with some subtitles on 2 and 3). No. 4 is dubbed in spanish, but easily changed to the original english soundtrack. Reviews on Lubitsch can be found elsewhere. He was a great director, and I think that "To Be or Not to Be" and "Cluny Brown" are masterpieces. Arne Sørensen
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on 4 May 2014
I liked the film, I am a big fan of Lubitsch, however I expected more from the film I suppose.
I recently watched The Shop Around the Corner and say that I prefered the later more.
I suppose Herbert Marshall isn't James Stewart. Having said all that in part it has some great laughs and entertainment and that's what you look for in films.
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