A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Trouble in Paradise
A con artist posing as a doctor fleeces a high society man in Venice and makes the acquaintance of another con artist posing as a countess trying to fleece him. Naturally they fall in love. Travelling to Paris, they stake out the purse owned by a perfume company heiress and when the purse goes missing, a reward is put up for it. Returning the stolen item collecting the reward, and insinuating themselves into her lives as both secretary and typist, a romantic triangle begins and the man must chose between the heiress and the thief. "Trouble in Paradise" is a delightful and sexy concoction from director Ernst Lubitsch and his screenwriter Samson Raphaelson. Known as a master of sophisticated comedy, Lubitsch is largely forgotten today. However when this film was released in 1932, it was what many considered to be the first talking romantic comedy, and from this film you can see the work of many great successors including Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, and Woody Allen. Working it a pre-code Hollywood, the film is crackling with one-liners and sexual innuendos, as well as innovative filmmaking techniques such as keeping the camera on a clock as we here what happens in the course of an evening. Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins (the con artist), and Kay Francis (the heiress) play their roles with such chemistry and assurance. "Trouble in Paradise" is one of those rare classic films that manages to be both highly influential as well as wildly entertaining.