Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Forgotten Movies, TROUBLE IN PARADISE
Ernest Lubitsch made TROUBLE IN PARADISE in 1932 and it's nearly impossible to over-emphasize what a great movie this is. There is not a hair nor a line of out place. Marcel waves-- that's the word for the thirties hair styles, I think. Tried to think of it all day on Saturday when we saw this on a huge screen at the Detroit Film Theater.
What a treat.
Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins play two jewel thieves who chance on each other in Venice and are delighted at their shared profession. They are proud of it and their pride in being the best at their craft elevates everything that comes along.
Down the road they come upon Kay Francis, the heiress to a purse company. The two join forces to swindle her but trouble in paradise ensues.
This is so witty, charming, clever, and fun, I can't think where Hollywood has gone so wrong in 80 years. Lubitsch was able to take the tricks he learned in advancing a story in the silent days with the ability to now include banter, wit and sophistication. This is a pre-code film and that makes it even better.
I know we have actors good enough to bring this off today because none of these actors are anything special. I know we have writers who could do justice to a film like this. So I have to say that it's Hollywood itself that settles too easily now for teen romances that don't have a witty line or a clever plot to offer. Such a shame.
See this if you can. Lovely. And on a big screen it holds my interest so much more than on the small one.
Todd Mason will have more links later this morning.