High class European thief Gaston Monesque 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 Laval. Rumors start to fly as 'M. Laval' 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.
Miriam Hopkins ... Lily
Kay Francis ... Madame Mariette Colet
Herbert Marshall ... Gaston Monescu, alias La Valle
Charles Ruggles ... The Major (as Charlie Ruggles)
Edward Everett Horton ... François Filiba
C. Aubrey Smith ... Adolph J. Giron
Robert Greig ... Jacques, Mariette's Butler
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Codecs: OpenDivX 4 / MP3
Ernst Lubitsch's Trouble in Paradise is a frothy confection, a cinematic souffle that rises triumphantly above the flat, grey look of its early-30s origins. The story of ritzy jewel thieves Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins scheming to bilk French cosmetics heiress Kay Francis out of the bulk of her negotiable possessions, it proceeds with aristocratic aplomb.
Both Marshall and Hopkins could prove tediously brittle and a bit stale in later movies that relaxed into a more casual American style. Here, their mannered elocution and studied stage-business come off elegantly (this is, after all, a comedy of manners). Charlie Ruggles and Edward Everett Horton, a couple of fussbudgets wooing Francis, ably hold up the periphery of the action.
Trouble in Paradise -- a de luxe, Art Deco paradise -- stands as the touchstone of the fabled "Lubitsch touch," that glancing, faintly suggestive command of nuance, such as a pair of shadows falling across a bedspread (no more need be said, or shown). In this comic operetta, even the blithe background music sings out in leitmotifs. Other emigres from middle Europe brought a foreboding Teutonic look and tone to Hollywood, especially to film noir. Lubitsch brough a frolicsome continental note more akin to Mozart and Schubert than to Wagner or Mahler. This is an irrepressible smile of a movie.
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.
Beautiful, spellbinding romantic comedy with a suave jewel thief (Herbert Marshall) falling in love with his intended victim (luminous Kay Francis) much to the displeasure of his girlfriend (Miriam Hopkins). Beautifully shot (the scenes seem to glow), incredible sets and costumes, a very witty script, wonderful performances by everybody, superb direction by Ernst Lubitsch and some fairly racy Pre-Code material. What more can I say? It's perfection. A must-see!
First of all, let me say that this film is as close to perfection as one can get---look at the "throw away gags", the play with words, the wardrobe (Miriam Hopkins stole the show; especially in the Opera scene when she comes out of the "Parlour des femmes" & asks her "Sugar Daddy" for some "francs" to give to the ladies room attendant---that black dress was haute couture at its best!), the gait of the actors, the snappy dialogue. They all look so-o sophisticated & worldly.
* The original play, "A Becsuletes Megtalalo" (The Honest Finder), opened in Budapest in December 1931.
* The movie was not approved for re-issue in 1935 when the Production Code was being rigorously enforced.
* The scenes in which Herbert Marshall is running up and down the stairs at Madame Colet's were done with a double who is only seen from the waist down. Mr. Marshall lost a leg in WWI and although it was almost impossible to notice that he used a prosthesis, he could not perform any action that called for physical agility.
* This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1991.
* "Little" Mary Pickford, the silent film star, liked Ernst Lubitsch's tasteful touches of suggestiveness enough to ask him to direct her in a film that would help her show more maturity on screen. But she did not get along with Lubitsch himself nor did she appreciate 'Rosita,' the film they made together. In later years she usually ranked it with her worst films.
* The most widely known of director Ernst Lubitsch's films. The "Lubitsch touch" as his style was called, emphasized subtlety and elegance, expressive of good taste, and being economical about what does and doesn't need to be shown, relying on the audience to tell the difference
* Cary Grant was also considered to play the leading part, but in 1932 he was still too young for the part. Ernst Lubitsch wanted the touch of experience in the actor face, so he chose the 42-year-old Herbert Marshall and 33-year-old Kay Francis who can supply that look.
* Although Miriam Hopkins got top billing, she's got the least money of the three stars: $1,750/week. Kay Francis got $4,000/week with 6 weeks guarantee and Herbert Marshall got $3,500/week.
* This movie was popular both with critics and with audiences, but was made before the enforcement of the production code. After 1935, it was withdrawn from circulation and was not seen again until 1968. The film was never available on videocassette and only became available on DVD in 2003.