Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In ... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Edward Everett Horton
The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton
Amateur plumber Cluny Brown gets sent off by her uncle to work as a servant at an English country estate. While there, she becomes friendly with Adam Belinski, a charming Czech refugee. She... See full summary »
Paramount paid $8,500 for Melchior Lengyel's play. The film length was gradually cut from 2916.94m (11 reels) to 2478.33m (nine reels) after pre-release showings in New York City and six California cities from 25 July 1937 to 13 September 1937. See more »
Lubitsch is recognized as one of the great directors of the 30s, and yet this wonderful film is not on any of the usual critical lists of notable films. Perhaps it was too modern for its time. It is perhaps Dietrich's best English performance (though even here she could be a bit more subtle), but the real star is the director, shining in the shots he composes and performances he coaxes from his actors. Lubitsch is a master of subtlety, and when he places important moments off-screen, it is in such a way as to heighten their impact. Since the censorship code is in effect, the sexual elements are cleverly concealed. For example, Halton and Barker discover that in Paris they both visited the same... seamstress. The naive Hays Office must have thought that was the joke, but the real joke is on them for it is clear--at least today--that the two did not visit her to get their sewing done. The sophistication of the film is unusual for its time.
Pages could be written about this film. Suffice it to say that if you like 30s film at all, see this. In certain moments, it feels perfect. Probably one of the top 25 of the decade.
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