High class European thief Gaston Monescu meets his soul mate Lily, a pickpocket masquerading as a countess. The two join forces and come under the employ of Mme. Colet, the beautiful owner of the Colet perfume company. Gaston works as Mme. Colet's personal secretary under the alias Monsieur La Valle. Rumors start to fly as 'M. La Valle' steals Mme. Colet away from her other suitors. When the secret of his true identity catches up to him, Gaston is caught between the two beautiful women.Written by
Gary Jackson <email@example.com>
In the opening credits the words 'Trouble in' appear and then a bed before the word 'paradise,' subliminally indicating that sex is at least part of the film's plot. It was done so subtly for the time that censors didn't notice it until the film's attempted re-release in 1935. See more »
In the first minutes, two nobles dressed to the teeth--the Second Earl of Bastrop and Lady Higgenbottom, let's say--exchange brittle, achingly witty repartee. It's all rather droll until Lady H. picks up the telephone to inform her staff at home that she'll be late for dinner. The director, Ernst Lubitsch, cuts to the other side of the conversation--and we see a fat landlady in a hovel crawling with cats looking baffled at the receiver and saying, "Whaddaya sayin'?" At that moment, you know that Lubitsch and his ideal-mate screenwriter, Samson Raphaelson, are playing a pretty sophisticated game--and in the nearly seventy years since this movie, comedy directors from Billy Wilder to George Cukor to Woody Allen have been playing catch-up.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE remains the most perfect of all sound comedies--it makes you feel as if you had consumed some celestial compound of champagne and helium. The surprise of the movie today is not the pleasure of its Lubitschian elegance, but the fact that the movie is screamingly funny at every turn--Lubitsch's smart bombs never miss their mark. And for all the applications of his "touch" we're grateful for, Lubitsch never again made anything so flawless--in these less-than-ninety minutes, he and Raphaelson turned dialogue comedy into Mozartean music.
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