Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog

Trouble in Paradise

Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on June 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM


Ernst Lubitsch


IDEA:  A suave thief, posing as a baron, falls in love with a winsome pickpocket, posing as a countess. Together they plan to swindle money from a wealthy company executive - that is, until the thief falls for her.

BLURB:  Thievery has rarely been such an erotic come-on; sexual implications and not-so-thinly veiled libidinous impulses have rarely been rendered with such tasty, teasing impishness; and certainly, the risqué has rarely been so clandestinely exposed, so wildly, naughtily bubbling under the surface of stiff civility. And all of this, mind you, conjured up in the early 1930s. While the Production Code may not have been put into force yet, there were still obviously limits to what could and could not be shown on screen at the time. Using those limits to his absolute advantage, Lubitsch wove in some of the most creatively mischievous innuendo to be seen in Golden Age Hollywood, and the bulk of that roguishness still sparkles today. And thanks to the debonair charms of Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins, and Kay Francis, not to mention the truly hilarious Charles Ruggles and Edward Everett Horton as two rival suitors, this airy lark has managed to retain its bite all these years later.

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