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Trouble in Paradise - Criterion Collection
Trouble in Paradise - Criterion Collection
Actors: Hooper Atchley, Tyler Brooke, Kay Francis, Robert Greig, Miriam Hopkins
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2003     1hr 22min

When thief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) meets his true love in pick-pocket Lily (Miriam Hopkins), they embark on a scam to rob lovely perfume company executive Mariette Colet (Kay Francis). But when Gaston becomes ro...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Hooper Atchley, Tyler Brooke, Kay Francis, Robert Greig, Miriam Hopkins
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Classic Comedies, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/07/2003
Original Release Date: 10/21/1932
Theatrical Release Date: 10/21/1932
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 22min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 25
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Paramount's Paradise
Fernando Silva | Santiago de Chile. | 11/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Trouble in Paradise"... I had read sooooo much about this classic Lubitsch comedy, that I was afraid I would be disappointed upon watching, at last, this long awaited film, as it has happened to me many times before,..... well, I wasn't , it lived up to my expectations, A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y.We, ordinary people from this era, are not used to such delightful, delicate, sophisticated, witty and subtle screenplays & motion pictures. This film's pacing is perfect, the acting deft, the fun and enjoyment non-stop, Travis Banton's costumes are fabulous, the art-déco settings and the décors are top of the tops, and finally, the cast, an A++.Herbert Marshall has never been so "bewildered" on the screen (so different from those dull characters he played, for example, in such films as those two landamark Bette Davis' melodramas of the early forties, "The Letter" and "The Little Foxes") as suave and elegant thief Gaston Monescu. Kay Francis (Mariette Colet) has never been so attractive, elegant, as a woman daringly, shamelessly, passionately and madly in love with debonair Marshall, and last but not least, Miriam Hopkins (Lily) was never so charming and beguilingly captivating, as Marshall's partner in crime and love. I will say no more -no spoilers here-, that's all you need to know before watching it.Edward Everett Horton, Charlie Ruggles (as Francis' two feuding suitors) and C. Aubrey Smith (as the chairman to the board of directors of Francis' company), add expert supporting playing.Beautifully photographed in black & white, one can easily understand why this motion picture is included in the top ten list of the best american films of all time, as the grandest example of the famed Lubitsch touch. By the way, I must say that the ending really caught me by surprise, a treat!"
A comic masterpiece of the highest rank
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 05/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"At the time I am reviewing this, TROUBLE IN PARADISE has merely been announced on DVD. No date has been announced. Nevertheless, I am extremely excited about this, because this film is one of my favorite films of all time. Without any question, this is one of the most dreadfully neglected masterpieces in the history of cinema. Hopefully the DVD version will do this film complete justice.TROUBLE IN PARADISE is one of Lubitsch's very greatest films. Of all the great directors in the history of film, Hitchcock and Lubitsch worked more successfully within the Hollywood system than any others. As a director, Lubitsch was flawless. His mastery of all film techniques was simply unmatched, and could string together a series of shots that can take a viewers breath away. The film is filled with such moments. I think of a scene in which the highly sophisticated Kay Francis character and Miriam Hopkins subservient character are sitting beside each other in Francis's bedroom, where Francis is eating her breakfast. Both have intensely furtive expressions on their faces, Hopkins because she is a thief and is tempted to steal the jewelry that is near the bed, and Francis because she wants crudely to dunk her doughnut into her coffee without Hopkins noticing. It is a stunning juxtaposition.And even better moment occurs a bit later in the movie. Herbert Marshall has embraced and kissed Kay Francis. The camera instantly jumps from a straight on shot of the two, to a mirror which reflects both of them. As they begin talking, the camera then jumps to yet another mirror. Then, as Francis provocatively explains that they will have the rest of their lives to express their passion to one another, the camera jumps yet again, to a shot of their embracing shadows . . . falling across a bed. The whole sequence is breathtaking in its virtuosity, and no finer example exists of what would become known as "the Lubitsch touch." Unfortunately, two years later the Hays office would have forced the censoring of such a suggestive shot, which is tragic. Indeed, in 1935 when the movie came up for re-issue, the Hays office would not approve its release, claiming that the movie was too suggestive. Nearly everything is perfect about this film. The script is sparkling. The art direction is amazing. And the cast is beyond reproach. Herbert Marshall is perfect as the thief Monescu. Despite having only one leg (which he lost in WW I--he managed to keep his loss secret for many years through use of a prosthesis), he graced a bevy of great films in the thirties and forties. Miriam Hopkins is superb as the female thief of the film. And Kay Francis is tremendous as the intended victim of the two thieves. The three leads alone could have carried the film, but the supporting cast is just stunning. The only two films that I enjoyed Charlie Ruggles in as much as this one are the Lubitsch musical ONE HOUR WITH YOU and Howard Hawks's masterpiece BRINGING UP BABY. He has so many marvelous moments, my favorite being, perhaps, when he is arranging the place cards for a dinner party he is throwing, trying to move his romantic rival as far as possible from the object of his affection. Edward Everett Horton manages his usual superb turn. (Ironically, both Ruggles and Horton would do voiceovers on THE ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE SHOW, Horton doing, of course, the narration "Fractured Fairy Tales" and Ruggles doing the voice for Aesop.) C. Aubrey Smith for once does not portray a British general or colonel, but still manages some marvelous scenes with Marshall. And Robert Grieg, who plays Francis's butler, was a great character actor who graced a vast number of great films in the thirties and forties, but who rarely attracted much direct attention. He is hysterical in this film as he mumblingly disapproves of the nonsense going on around him.This is a "must-see" film. Movies simply do not come any better than this one, and there are very few comedies that can match it in wit, sophistication, and elegance."
A Comic Masterpiece
D. Phillips | CA USA | 01/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is very little I can add to the other reviewer's' praise of this film. Suffice it to say that in it's lighter than air way, Trouble in Paradise manages to achieve something close to perfection. Each image, each line, each line reading seems perfectly timed and delivered creating one of the most exquisite films ever made. A slippery, surprising and astonishingly beautiful piece of film making. It's reputation is not undeserved.Any quibbles I have with this disk has nothing to do with the film itself but with the presentation. The film is very old (1932) and some aging and artifacts are to be expected. However, the justly famous opening sequence is so dark and the details so muted as to be barely discernible. Every time the camera floats outside and into the dark during the first part of the film--detail is lost. The good news is that all of the indoor scenes are bright and sharp and possess good contrast. Criterion has obviously done some extensive cleaning and work on the film because other than the night scenes (too bad about Miriam Hopkin's entrance in a gondola) the film looks great Also the sound while maintaining a slight hiss throughout is free of any pops or crackles and is very clear. I have seen cleaner sharper prints of this film than the one that Criterion apparently got from Universal (Universal was responsible for the slightly soft and faded print of The Scarlet Empress that Crtierion released as well). Other than this complaint the print is generally fine with only minor scratches present primarily at some of the dissolves and edits.The disc includes several great extras that are worth perusing for even casual fans of Lubitsch. Scott Eyman a Lubitsch biographer provides a nice commentary featuring lots of behind the scenes information, biographical info, the place of Trouble in Paradise in comparison with Lutbitsch's other films and its influence on other film comedies of the period as well as some interpretation of some of the film and its famous sequences. In addition to this, Criterion has managed to include a forty minute silent film by Lubitsch--"The Merry Jail" that shows a different style but includes some of the elements that would make Trouble in Paradise such a gem. There is also an introduction by film historian/director Peter Bogdanovich that provides his insight into the significance of the film. A very nice feature that runs about ten minutes. There is also a radio program featuring Lubitsch with a group of Hollywood luminaries, fascinating but one longs for visuals of this event, and the standard Criterion essay included with the chapter menu insert. Finally there are some written tributes to Lubitsch from some of his contemporaries, as well as current film makers and critics. This is a text only feature but sometimes features the comments in the writer's own handwriting.Overall, I'd have to recommend this disk wholeheartedly. Criterion deserves huge praise just for making this masterpiece available for the home viewer and they also manage to include wonderful extras that support the film beautifully. The presentation is a little flawed but it is more than adequate to appreciate the treasure on display."
Mykal Banta | Boynton Beach, FL USA | 08/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is hard to say what exactly went wrong in the movie industry. Perhaps it was when adults decided to rent videos instead of actually going to the movies, and the studios looked around to discover the vast majority of their paying customers were under the age of twenty. Movie making is a business, after all. What could a money-strapped studio do but remake Fast Times at Ridgemont High about a million times, sliding a bit lower with each version? The ashes that remain today with regard to screen comedy are fart jokes, self proclaimed "booty meisters" mugging like demented monkeys at the site of a woman's ass, and situational concepts that make it painfully clear that the moguls are fully aware that they are selling this crap to the brain dead.

Then again, perhaps Ernst Lubitsh's Trouble in Paradise was a phantasm all along; some beautiful coincidence - like seeing a falling star out of the corner of your eye at midnight on your birthday. Whatever. To say that they don't make them like that anymore doesn't quite capture it. They must have passed legislation at some point outlawing this kind of sophistication and intelligence. I won't bore you quoting passages or praising individual performances. Suffice to say that this movie won't make you belly laugh once, but I guarantee that you will have a knowing smile on your face from beginning to end.

If you really want to be reminded of the kind of smarts you're capable of, buy this movie.

Ah, the "Lubitsh touch!" --Mykal Banta