24 November 2012 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

(Ernst Lubitsch, 1932, Eureka, PG)


Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947) was an established character actor with Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theater in Germany before he was 21 and started working in the cinema in 1913. He was one of the world's most accomplished directors when, in 1923, he was lured to Hollywood, a decade before Hitler drove most of Germany's leading film-makers into exile. Visual wit, a sophisticated worldly view of mankind's follies and fashionable urban settings in continental cities were the hallmarks of his work, and Trouble in Paradise, one of his greatest films, is widely considered to be flawless.

Suave society thief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) and beautiful pickpocket Lily (Miriam Hopkins), both posing as aristocrats, meet while stealing from the rich guests of a Venetian hotel, join forces, and target Madame Colet (Kay Francis), the attractive young widow of a French millionaire. But things get truly complicated when Gaston develops a real affection for the heiress. »

- Philip French

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