Trouble in Paradise Screen 8 articles

Trouble in Paradise

1932

Trouble in Paradise Poster
  • Stealing is magical in Trouble In Paradise. Sleight of hand is more titillating than Don Juanery. (Don’t hook, darling: crook.) Prostitution is too easy, too boring—about as boring as marriage. And marriage needs to stay saucy, or who needs it? Here’s the power and thrill of pre-Code Hollywood, propelled into elegant, inventive, intelligent orbit within the luminous world of Ernst Lubitsch.

  • The distillate of Lubitsch’s cinema of insinuation and evanescence, façades and objects (a ringing phone unanswered before a locked door, intertwined shadows thrown on a silk mattress) in crystalline fusions of style and significance. The Earrings of Madame de..., To Catch a Thief andThe Pink Panther flow from here, then the characters become Resnais’ phantoms in Last Year at Marienbad.

  • Trouble in Paradise, Lubitsch’s most perfect if not his most typical film, has all the qualities of art deco. Yet in addition to its sleek and swooning style, its elegant mischief, there is a hint of melancholy, of reserved but aching regret.

  • Though hardly a political director, Lubitsch includes one scene in which a disheveled Communist berates Madame Colet for her exorbitance, which acts, in addition to Gaston and Lily's low social class, as an acknowledgment of the financial depression that was then affecting the Western world. Such inclusions don't detract from one's enjoyment of the luxury and frivolity for which Lubitsch is primarily known, but instead act as a metaphor for moviegoing itself...

  • Sophisticated, witty, and unexpectedly moving, Lubtisch’s American romantic comedies defined what it meant for a movie to have style. And though The Shop Around The Corner and Ninotchka make strong contenders for Lubitsch’s best work in the genre, we’ll go with the sparkling, Art Deco Trouble In Paradise, perhaps the most Lubitsch-esque of all Lubitsch movies.

  • ++

    Sight & Sound: Adrian Martin
    March 03, 2017 | April 2017 Issue (p. 112)

    The final scene runs for scarcely 45 seconds. It is a simple framing of two actors – Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall – sitting in an obviously artificial car prop, with a back-projected bit of filmed traffic. Only one shot, and only one excited word over the musical score, uttered by Hopkins just before the closing fade-out: "Gaston!" So simple – and yet many of the techniques that made Lubitsch such a masterful director of comedy coalesce in this exhilarating ending.

  • There is order and morality in Lubitsch’s immorality, as in the 1932 Trouble in Paradise, one of his finest achievements. . . . The movie achieves the rare feat of making both women seem entirely worthy of the hero’s affections.

  • With a screenplay by his frequent collaborator Samson Raphaelson, he attained an unsurpassable perfection with Trouble in Paradise in 1932 (“For pure style, I have done nothing better or as good,” he later acknowledged), a game of deceptions and surprises weaving intricate patterns on the themes of theft and seduction and complicity. No Lubitsch film more fully realizes his wish to make a film like a piece of music, in this instance a sonata of Mozartean grace.

More Links