Trouble in Paradise


1h 21m 1932
Trouble in Paradise

Brief Synopsis

A love triangle ignites trouble between two jewel thieves and their intended victim.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Golden Widow, The Honest Finder, Thieves and Lovers
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Crime
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 21, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play A Becsuletes Megtalalo ( The Honest Finder ) by László Aladár (Budapest, Dec 1931).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

In Venice, Lily, a pickpocket posing as a countess, meets the internationally famous thief Gaston Monescu, who is posing as a baron. During an elegant dinner at their hotel, Lily politely accuses "the baron" of being a thief, and he, in turn, accuses her of being a pickpocket. He tells her he knows she stole his wallet because she tickled him when she picked his pocket; and she asks him for the time, then reveals his watch. When he, in turn, reveals her garter, she falls instantly in love with him. Posing as a doctor, Gaston robs aristocrat François Fileba, of rooms 253, 5, 7 and 9, but escapes with Lily before he is found out. Nearly a year later, in Paris, Gaston and Lily are still very much in love when, at the opera, Gaston steals a diamond-studded purse from widow Mariette Colet, owner of Paris's reputable perfumerie, Colet and Co. Posing as Monsieur LuValle, a member of the "nouveau poor," Gaston returns the bag and, after receiving a 20,000 franc reward from Mariette, charms her into hiring him as her secretary. Although she is known all over Paris, Mariette believes marriage is a beautiful mistake, and has turned down proposals made by ardent suitors Fileba and the Major, who continually bicker as they compete for Mariette's attention. When Gaston learns that Mariette keeps 100,000 francs in her house safe, he is determined to steal it and embezzle money from the company. Meanwhile, Lily, wearing eye glasses and assuming an officious manner, works as Gaston's assistant under the name Mlle. Votier. She pretends to be devoted to Mariette even though she is jealous of her attentions toward Gaston, and advises him to stay a crook and not become a gigolo. After a few weeks, Mariette introduces Gaston to her social set, and Fileba, sure he has seen Gaston somewhere before, asks him if he has ever been in Venice, but Gaston denies it. Monsieur Giron, who has been chairman of the board at Colet and Co. for years, then sanctimoniously accuses Gaston of stealing from the company, but Mariette defends him. Fearful that Fileba will expose them, Gaston and Lily must now leave Paris earlier than planned. While Lily packs, Mariette and Gaston make love, and adding to his temptations, she goes out for the evening, promising to return at eleven o'clock for a rendezvous. Fileba finally realizes Gaston was the man who robbed him in Venice and warns Mariette, but she ignores him. Meanwhile, Giron visits Gaston and accuses him of being the thief Monescu, but Gaston gets rid of him by accusing him of pilfering money from Colet and Co. When Lily realizes that Gaston is postponing their departure until morning so that he can meet with Mariette, she angrily addresses him as "Monsieur Colet" and steals the 100,000 francs from the safe, telling Gaston it is cash she wants, not him. Mariette later returns and, after removing her pearl necklace for her rendezvous with Gaston, is about to put them in the safe when Gaston informs her that Giron has embezzled millions from Colet and Co. He then confesses to being Monescu and to stealing the 100,000 francs, but assures her that although he came to rob her, he fell in love with her. Lily interrupts and admits it was she who took the money, then gives Mariette permission to sleep with Gaston, but tells her the 100,000 francs is the price she must pay for him. Admitting that it would be better for business if he stayed with Lily, Gaston says good-bye to Mariette, who sighs that it could have been divine, and agrees to let Gaston take the pearl necklace that Lily wanted. In the departing cab, Gaston reaches into his coat for the pearls to present them to Lily, but she has already taken them, along with the diamond bag. Gaston, in turn, has stolen Lily's 100,000 francs, which he then returns to her, and they kiss.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Golden Widow, The Honest Finder, Thieves and Lovers
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Crime
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 21, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play A Becsuletes Megtalalo ( The Honest Finder ) by László Aladár (Budapest, Dec 1931).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Articles

Trouble in Paradise


One of the pure gems of 1930s cinema, Trouble in Paradise (1932) was described around the time of its release as being "like caviar, only tastier." Although Ernst Lubitsch's earlier musicals with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald displayed a characteristic continental flair and sophistication, Trouble in Paradise was really what started people talking about "the Lubitsch touch." For many film critics and movie historians, this meant a combination of things; the director's distinctive style which, in the case of comedies and farces, treated even the most scandalous manners and behavior in a light, humorous manner; his pushing the limits of what was deemed sexually risquΘ for the period; Lubitsch's sparkling, sometimes cynical wit, and his cinematic fluency. Trouble in Paradise delivered it in spades, causing critic Dwight McDonald in 1933 to comment on its "endless" list of virtues and deem it "as close to perfection as anything I have ever seen in the movies." Certainly, Lubitsch himself shared that high opinion, writing shortly before his death in 1947, "As for pure style, I think I have done nothing better or as good." Maybe it would be best simply to take the word of Miriam Hopkins, who said working with Lubitsch was like attending a great drama school, calling him "the master craftsman that people learned comedy and everything from."

In Trouble in Paradise, Miriam Hopkins plays a professional thief on the loose in Europe who, while posing as a countess, comes upon another master crook, Herbert Marshall, himself posing as a baron. They rendezvous with the intention of stealing from each other, and in a hilarious scene of one-upmanship (she takes his wallet, he steals her watch, etc.), they fall madly and instantly in love and lust. Fleeing Venice (where Marshall has fleeced a wealthy Frenchman by pretending to be a doctor called to examine his tonsils), they end up in Paris and set their sights on a rich widow, Madame Colet (Kay Francis). Soon they're in her employ, but as they're closing in for the kill, Marshall finds himself falling in love with his prey. Will he give up his wicked ways and remain with the glamorous Francis or return to Hopkins and the carefree life of thievery? This being Lubitsch, it's not hard to figure out.

There's certainly no shortage of wit in the screenplay, which Lubitsch adapted (he didn't receive screen credit) with his frequent collaborator Samson Raphaelson. (A third writer, Grover Jones, was credited, but by most accounts, all he did was sit in the same room, drink, and tell personal anecdotes.) The story was based, like so many of his films, on a play of Hungarian origin. However, the play was jettisoned early in the process (at the director╒s suggestion, Raphaelson never even bothered to read it), and Lubitsch modeled his central character on the famous Hungarian swindler and thief Georges Manolescu, whose 1907 memoirs were turned into at least two silent films. What the play and memoirs gave him were a central situation and romantic characters, which he used to create his own unique concoction. (In the 15 films he made during the remaining 15 years of his career, Lubitsch produced only one original script - To Be or Not to Be, 1942.)

But the sophisticated humor of Trouble in Paradise is not just a matter of sparkling, witty dialogue, cleverly plotted situations and sexual gamesmanship. Here, the comedy is brilliantly visual too. An entire love-triangle scene of seduction/resistance/suspicion/betrayal/conquest is played out with nothing more on screen than a series of clocks. Likewise, sex is cued by shadows cast onto a bed and by the opening and closing of doors (and the mystery of who will enter or exit from which one) in a way that goes beyond the antics of French farce. There is the aforementioned escalating foreplay of theft, played out again at the end of the movie, and conversations observed from behind glass that are no less understood for being unheard. As James Harvey observes in Romantic Comedy in Hollywood from Lubitsch to Sturges (Da Capo, 1998), "It's less that the people on the screen illustrate comic and surprising ways of seeing things than that we ourselves do. Lubitsch makes us more conscious than ever of how we understand, of how we get the point of a joke, the sort of things we know without having to be told."

In addition to Raphaelson, other collaborators brought a great deal to the final look and feel of Trouble in Paradise. The stunning art deco sets of Hans Dreier, head of the Paramount art department, are used not just as surface polish or background glamour, but to define the world of the characters and their drive to possess beauty and luxury. Studio costume designer Travis Banton, who worked so closely with Marlene Dietrich on her classic look from this period, made the most of Hopkins' and Francis' glamour and terrific ability to wear great clothes. And as he would later in such films as Ninotchka (1939) and To Be or Not to Be, Lubitsch pulled together a supporting cast of such peerless comic character actors as Edward Everett Horton and Charlie Ruggles. He got from his three principal players probably the best performances of their careers, including the often overly formal Marshall and the frequently suffering clotheshorse Francis. In this film, the latter's charming lisp (like Elmer Fudd, she had a problem saying rs) perfectly meshed for once with her character's nationality. Trouble in Paradise also proves Hopkins was a much better actress and screen presence than she was generally given credit for. Nevertheless, she was already up to her legendary screen-stealing tricks. Determined to upstage Francis in their major scene together, Hopkins kept turning her chair on the set until what was to have been a profile shot ended up revealing her full face. The furious Francis complained to Lubitsch, and he took care of the problem by nailing Hopkins's chair to the floor for future takes.

Producer/Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Screenplay: Samson Raphaelson, Grover Jones, from the play The Honest Finder by Aladar Laszlo
Cinematography: Victor Milner
Art Direction: Hans Dreier
Original Music: W. Franke Harling
Cast: Miriam Hopkins (Lily Vautier), Herbert Marshall (Gaston Monescu/LaValle), Kay Francis (Mariette Colet), Charlie Ruggles (The Major), Edward Everett Horton (Francois Filiba), C. Aubrey Smith (Adolph Giron).
BW-83m.

by Rob Nixon

Trouble In Paradise

Trouble in Paradise

One of the pure gems of 1930s cinema, Trouble in Paradise (1932) was described around the time of its release as being "like caviar, only tastier." Although Ernst Lubitsch's earlier musicals with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald displayed a characteristic continental flair and sophistication, Trouble in Paradise was really what started people talking about "the Lubitsch touch." For many film critics and movie historians, this meant a combination of things; the director's distinctive style which, in the case of comedies and farces, treated even the most scandalous manners and behavior in a light, humorous manner; his pushing the limits of what was deemed sexually risquΘ for the period; Lubitsch's sparkling, sometimes cynical wit, and his cinematic fluency. Trouble in Paradise delivered it in spades, causing critic Dwight McDonald in 1933 to comment on its "endless" list of virtues and deem it "as close to perfection as anything I have ever seen in the movies." Certainly, Lubitsch himself shared that high opinion, writing shortly before his death in 1947, "As for pure style, I think I have done nothing better or as good." Maybe it would be best simply to take the word of Miriam Hopkins, who said working with Lubitsch was like attending a great drama school, calling him "the master craftsman that people learned comedy and everything from." In Trouble in Paradise, Miriam Hopkins plays a professional thief on the loose in Europe who, while posing as a countess, comes upon another master crook, Herbert Marshall, himself posing as a baron. They rendezvous with the intention of stealing from each other, and in a hilarious scene of one-upmanship (she takes his wallet, he steals her watch, etc.), they fall madly and instantly in love and lust. Fleeing Venice (where Marshall has fleeced a wealthy Frenchman by pretending to be a doctor called to examine his tonsils), they end up in Paris and set their sights on a rich widow, Madame Colet (Kay Francis). Soon they're in her employ, but as they're closing in for the kill, Marshall finds himself falling in love with his prey. Will he give up his wicked ways and remain with the glamorous Francis or return to Hopkins and the carefree life of thievery? This being Lubitsch, it's not hard to figure out. There's certainly no shortage of wit in the screenplay, which Lubitsch adapted (he didn't receive screen credit) with his frequent collaborator Samson Raphaelson. (A third writer, Grover Jones, was credited, but by most accounts, all he did was sit in the same room, drink, and tell personal anecdotes.) The story was based, like so many of his films, on a play of Hungarian origin. However, the play was jettisoned early in the process (at the director╒s suggestion, Raphaelson never even bothered to read it), and Lubitsch modeled his central character on the famous Hungarian swindler and thief Georges Manolescu, whose 1907 memoirs were turned into at least two silent films. What the play and memoirs gave him were a central situation and romantic characters, which he used to create his own unique concoction. (In the 15 films he made during the remaining 15 years of his career, Lubitsch produced only one original script - To Be or Not to Be, 1942.) But the sophisticated humor of Trouble in Paradise is not just a matter of sparkling, witty dialogue, cleverly plotted situations and sexual gamesmanship. Here, the comedy is brilliantly visual too. An entire love-triangle scene of seduction/resistance/suspicion/betrayal/conquest is played out with nothing more on screen than a series of clocks. Likewise, sex is cued by shadows cast onto a bed and by the opening and closing of doors (and the mystery of who will enter or exit from which one) in a way that goes beyond the antics of French farce. There is the aforementioned escalating foreplay of theft, played out again at the end of the movie, and conversations observed from behind glass that are no less understood for being unheard. As James Harvey observes in Romantic Comedy in Hollywood from Lubitsch to Sturges (Da Capo, 1998), "It's less that the people on the screen illustrate comic and surprising ways of seeing things than that we ourselves do. Lubitsch makes us more conscious than ever of how we understand, of how we get the point of a joke, the sort of things we know without having to be told." In addition to Raphaelson, other collaborators brought a great deal to the final look and feel of Trouble in Paradise. The stunning art deco sets of Hans Dreier, head of the Paramount art department, are used not just as surface polish or background glamour, but to define the world of the characters and their drive to possess beauty and luxury. Studio costume designer Travis Banton, who worked so closely with Marlene Dietrich on her classic look from this period, made the most of Hopkins' and Francis' glamour and terrific ability to wear great clothes. And as he would later in such films as Ninotchka (1939) and To Be or Not to Be, Lubitsch pulled together a supporting cast of such peerless comic character actors as Edward Everett Horton and Charlie Ruggles. He got from his three principal players probably the best performances of their careers, including the often overly formal Marshall and the frequently suffering clotheshorse Francis. In this film, the latter's charming lisp (like Elmer Fudd, she had a problem saying rs) perfectly meshed for once with her character's nationality. Trouble in Paradise also proves Hopkins was a much better actress and screen presence than she was generally given credit for. Nevertheless, she was already up to her legendary screen-stealing tricks. Determined to upstage Francis in their major scene together, Hopkins kept turning her chair on the set until what was to have been a profile shot ended up revealing her full face. The furious Francis complained to Lubitsch, and he took care of the problem by nailing Hopkins's chair to the floor for future takes. Producer/Director: Ernst Lubitsch Screenplay: Samson Raphaelson, Grover Jones, from the play The Honest Finder by Aladar Laszlo Cinematography: Victor Milner Art Direction: Hans Dreier Original Music: W. Franke Harling Cast: Miriam Hopkins (Lily Vautier), Herbert Marshall (Gaston Monescu/LaValle), Kay Francis (Mariette Colet), Charlie Ruggles (The Major), Edward Everett Horton (Francois Filiba), C. Aubrey Smith (Adolph Giron). BW-83m. by Rob Nixon

Trouble in Paradise - TROUBLE IN PARADISE


One of the pure gems of 1930s cinema, Trouble in Paradise (1932) was described around the time of its release as being "like caviar, only tastier." Although Ernst Lubitsch's earlier musicals with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald displayed a characteristic continental flair and sophistication, Trouble in Paradise - now on DVD from The Criterion Collection - was really what started people talking about "the Lubitsch touch." For many film critics and movie historians, this meant a combination of things; the director's distinctive style which, in the case of comedies and farces, treated even the most scandalous manners and behavior in a light, humorous manner; his pushing the limits of what was deemed sexually risque or the period; Lubitsch's sparkling, sometimes cynical wit, and his cinematic fluency.

Trouble in Paradise delivered it in spades, causing critic Dwight McDonald in 1933 to comment on its "endless" list of virtues and deem it "as close to perfection as anything I have ever seen in the movies." Certainly, Lubitsch himself shared that high opinion, writing shortly before his death in 1947, "As for pure style, I think I have done nothing better or as good." Maybe it would be best simply to take the word of Miriam Hopkins, who said working with Lubitsch was like attending a great drama school, calling him "the master craftsman that people learned comedy and everything from."

In Trouble in Paradise, Miriam Hopkins plays a professional thief on the loose in Europe who, while posing as a countess, comes upon another master crook, Herbert Marshall, himself posing as a baron. They rendezvous with the intention of stealing from each other, and in a hilarious scene of one-upmanship (she takes his wallet, he steals her watch, etc.), they fall madly and instantly in love and lust. Fleeing Venice (where Marshall has fleeced a wealthy Frenchman by pretending to be a doctor called to examine his tonsils), they end up in Paris and set their sights on a rich widow, Madame Colet (Kay Francis). Soon they're in her employ, but as they're closing in for the kill, Marshall finds himself falling in love with his prey. Will he give up his wicked ways and remain with the glamorous Francis or return to Hopkins and the carefree life of thievery? This being Lubitsch, it's not hard to figure out.

There's certainly no shortage of wit in the screenplay, which Lubitsch adapted (he didn't receive screen credit) with his frequent collaborator Samson Raphaelson. (A third writer, Grover Jones, was credited, but by most accounts, all he did was sit in the same room, drink, and tell personal anecdotes.) The story was based, like so many of his films, on a play of Hungarian origin. However, the play was jettisoned early in the process (at the director's suggestion, Raphaelson never even bothered to read it), and Lubitsch modeled his central character on the famous Hungarian swindler and thief Georges Manolescu, whose 1907 memoirs were turned into at least two silent films. What the play and memoirs gave him were a central situation and romantic characters, which he used to create his own unique concoction. (In the 15 films he made during the remaining 15 years of his career, Lubitsch produced only one original script - To Be or Not to Be, 1942.)

But the sophisticated humor of Trouble in Paradise is not just a matter of sparkling, witty dialogue, cleverly plotted situations and sexual gamesmanship. Here, the comedy is brilliantly visual too. An entire love-triangle scene of seduction/resistance/suspicion/betrayal/conquest is played out with nothing more on screen than a series of clocks. Likewise, sex is cued by shadows cast onto a bed and by the opening and closing of doors (and the mystery of who will enter or exit from which one) in a way that goes beyond the antics of French farce. There is the aforementioned escalating foreplay of theft, played out again at the end of the movie, and conversations observed from behind glass that are no less understood for being unheard. As James Harvey observes in Romantic Comedy in Hollywood from Lubitsch to Sturges (Da Capo, 1998), "It's less that the people on the screen illustrate comic and surprising ways of seeing things than that we ourselves do. Lubitsch makes us more conscious than ever of how we understand, of how we get the point of a joke, the sort of things we know without having to be told."

In addition to Raphaelson, other collaborators brought a great deal to the final look and feel of Trouble in Paradise. The stunning art deco sets of Hans Dreier, head of the Paramount art department, are used not just as surface polish or background glamour, but to define the world of the characters and their drive to possess beauty and luxury. Studio costume designer Travis Banton, who worked so closely with Marlene Dietrich on her classic look from this period, made the most of Hopkins' and Francis' glamour and terrific ability to wear great clothes. And as he would later in such films as Ninotchka (1939) and To Be or Not to Be, Lubitsch pulled together a supporting cast of such peerless comic character actors as Edward Everett Horton and Charlie Ruggles. He got from his three principal players probably the best performances of their careers, including the often overly formal Marshall and the frequently suffering clotheshorse Francis. In this film, the latter's charming lisp (like Elmer Fudd, she had a problem saying rs) perfectly meshed for once with her character's nationality. Trouble in Paradise also proves Hopkins was a much better actress and screen presence than she was generally given credit for. Nevertheless, she was already up to her legendary screen-stealing tricks. Determined to upstage Francis in their major scene together, Hopkins kept turning her chair on the set until what was to have been a profile shot ended up revealing her full face. The furious Francis complained to Lubitsch, and he took care of the problem by nailing Hopkins' chair to the floor for future takes.

The Criterion DVD of Trouble in Paradise sports a new digital transfer, with restored image and sound, an audio commentary by Lubitsch biographer Scott Eyman (author of Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise) and a new video introduction by director Peter Bogdanovich. The DVD also includes Lubitsch's silent 1917 film, The Merry Jail, starring Emil Jannings and featuring a new music score for this release. There are also written tributes to Lubitsch from Billy Wilder, Roger Ebert and others and the addition of a 1940 "Screen Guild Theatre" radio program with Lubitsch, Jack Benny and Claudette Colbert.

For more information about the DVD special edition of Trouble in Paradise, visit The Criterion Collection web site. To order Trouble in Paradise, visit TCM Shopping.

by Rob Nixon

Trouble in Paradise - TROUBLE IN PARADISE

One of the pure gems of 1930s cinema, Trouble in Paradise (1932) was described around the time of its release as being "like caviar, only tastier." Although Ernst Lubitsch's earlier musicals with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald displayed a characteristic continental flair and sophistication, Trouble in Paradise - now on DVD from The Criterion Collection - was really what started people talking about "the Lubitsch touch." For many film critics and movie historians, this meant a combination of things; the director's distinctive style which, in the case of comedies and farces, treated even the most scandalous manners and behavior in a light, humorous manner; his pushing the limits of what was deemed sexually risque or the period; Lubitsch's sparkling, sometimes cynical wit, and his cinematic fluency. Trouble in Paradise delivered it in spades, causing critic Dwight McDonald in 1933 to comment on its "endless" list of virtues and deem it "as close to perfection as anything I have ever seen in the movies." Certainly, Lubitsch himself shared that high opinion, writing shortly before his death in 1947, "As for pure style, I think I have done nothing better or as good." Maybe it would be best simply to take the word of Miriam Hopkins, who said working with Lubitsch was like attending a great drama school, calling him "the master craftsman that people learned comedy and everything from." In Trouble in Paradise, Miriam Hopkins plays a professional thief on the loose in Europe who, while posing as a countess, comes upon another master crook, Herbert Marshall, himself posing as a baron. They rendezvous with the intention of stealing from each other, and in a hilarious scene of one-upmanship (she takes his wallet, he steals her watch, etc.), they fall madly and instantly in love and lust. Fleeing Venice (where Marshall has fleeced a wealthy Frenchman by pretending to be a doctor called to examine his tonsils), they end up in Paris and set their sights on a rich widow, Madame Colet (Kay Francis). Soon they're in her employ, but as they're closing in for the kill, Marshall finds himself falling in love with his prey. Will he give up his wicked ways and remain with the glamorous Francis or return to Hopkins and the carefree life of thievery? This being Lubitsch, it's not hard to figure out. There's certainly no shortage of wit in the screenplay, which Lubitsch adapted (he didn't receive screen credit) with his frequent collaborator Samson Raphaelson. (A third writer, Grover Jones, was credited, but by most accounts, all he did was sit in the same room, drink, and tell personal anecdotes.) The story was based, like so many of his films, on a play of Hungarian origin. However, the play was jettisoned early in the process (at the director's suggestion, Raphaelson never even bothered to read it), and Lubitsch modeled his central character on the famous Hungarian swindler and thief Georges Manolescu, whose 1907 memoirs were turned into at least two silent films. What the play and memoirs gave him were a central situation and romantic characters, which he used to create his own unique concoction. (In the 15 films he made during the remaining 15 years of his career, Lubitsch produced only one original script - To Be or Not to Be, 1942.) But the sophisticated humor of Trouble in Paradise is not just a matter of sparkling, witty dialogue, cleverly plotted situations and sexual gamesmanship. Here, the comedy is brilliantly visual too. An entire love-triangle scene of seduction/resistance/suspicion/betrayal/conquest is played out with nothing more on screen than a series of clocks. Likewise, sex is cued by shadows cast onto a bed and by the opening and closing of doors (and the mystery of who will enter or exit from which one) in a way that goes beyond the antics of French farce. There is the aforementioned escalating foreplay of theft, played out again at the end of the movie, and conversations observed from behind glass that are no less understood for being unheard. As James Harvey observes in Romantic Comedy in Hollywood from Lubitsch to Sturges (Da Capo, 1998), "It's less that the people on the screen illustrate comic and surprising ways of seeing things than that we ourselves do. Lubitsch makes us more conscious than ever of how we understand, of how we get the point of a joke, the sort of things we know without having to be told." In addition to Raphaelson, other collaborators brought a great deal to the final look and feel of Trouble in Paradise. The stunning art deco sets of Hans Dreier, head of the Paramount art department, are used not just as surface polish or background glamour, but to define the world of the characters and their drive to possess beauty and luxury. Studio costume designer Travis Banton, who worked so closely with Marlene Dietrich on her classic look from this period, made the most of Hopkins' and Francis' glamour and terrific ability to wear great clothes. And as he would later in such films as Ninotchka (1939) and To Be or Not to Be, Lubitsch pulled together a supporting cast of such peerless comic character actors as Edward Everett Horton and Charlie Ruggles. He got from his three principal players probably the best performances of their careers, including the often overly formal Marshall and the frequently suffering clotheshorse Francis. In this film, the latter's charming lisp (like Elmer Fudd, she had a problem saying rs) perfectly meshed for once with her character's nationality. Trouble in Paradise also proves Hopkins was a much better actress and screen presence than she was generally given credit for. Nevertheless, she was already up to her legendary screen-stealing tricks. Determined to upstage Francis in their major scene together, Hopkins kept turning her chair on the set until what was to have been a profile shot ended up revealing her full face. The furious Francis complained to Lubitsch, and he took care of the problem by nailing Hopkins' chair to the floor for future takes. The Criterion DVD of Trouble in Paradise sports a new digital transfer, with restored image and sound, an audio commentary by Lubitsch biographer Scott Eyman (author of Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise) and a new video introduction by director Peter Bogdanovich. The DVD also includes Lubitsch's silent 1917 film, The Merry Jail, starring Emil Jannings and featuring a new music score for this release. There are also written tributes to Lubitsch from Billy Wilder, Roger Ebert and others and the addition of a 1940 "Screen Guild Theatre" radio program with Lubitsch, Jack Benny and Claudette Colbert. For more information about the DVD special edition of Trouble in Paradise, visit The Criterion Collection web site. To order Trouble in Paradise, visit TCM Shopping. by Rob Nixon

Quotes

It must be the most marvelous supper. We may not eat it, but it must be marvelous.
- Gaston Monescu
You know, when I first saw you, I thought you were an American.
- Lily Vautier
Thank you.
- Gaston Monescu
Someone from another world, so entirely different. Oh, one gets so tired of one's own class--princes and counts and dukes and kings! Everybody talking shop. Always trying to sell you jewelry. Then I heard your name and found out you were just one of us.
- Lily Vautier
Disappointed?
- Gaston Monescu
No, proud. Very proud.
- Lily Vautier
I have a confession to make to you: Baron, you are a crook. You robbed the gentleman in 253, 5, 7 and 9. May I have the salt?
- Lily Vautier
Please!
- Gaston Monescu
Thank you.
- Lily Vautier
The pepper too?
- Gaston Monescu
Oh, no, thank you.
- Lily Vautier
You're very welcome. Countess, believe me, before you left this room, I would have told you everything. And let me say this, with love in my heart: Countess, you are a thief. The wallet of the gentleman in 253, 5, 7 and 9 is in your possession. I knew it very well when you took it out of my pocket. In fact, you tickled me. But your embrace was so sweet.
- Gaston Monescu
Do you remember the man who walked into the Bank of Constantinople, and walked out with the Bank of Constantinople?
- Gaston Monescu
I love you. I loved you the minute I saw you. I'm mad about you, my little shoplifter... my sweet little pickpocket... my darling.
- Gaston Monescu

Trivia

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.

Notes

Playwright Aladar Laszlo's was credited onscreen as László Aladár. The original working title for this film, The Honest Finder, was changed to Thieves and Lovers in early July 1932; however, on September 24, 1932, Film Daily reported that The Honest Finder would be released as The Golden Widow and listed Trouble in Paradise as a tentative title. In an early script found in the Paramount Script Collection at the AMPAS Library, Kay Francis' character was called "Marianne," which several reviews call her. According to the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office was concerned about the film's portrayal of Venice and of the police, the Italian Carabinieri, especially in lieu of the controversy surrounding the characterization of the Italian Carabinieri in This Is the Night. An inter-office memo from late July 1932 from Hays Office representative John V. Wilson to Lamar Trotti, Assistant Director of the Studio Relations Office of the AMPP, states: "...it might be worth while to suggest that some more colorful and romantic scenes of Venice be added to soothe offense that might be taken because of a feeling that a rather deliberate slur [is intended] by keeping the camera and the audience mind focused so much on the garbage that it takes on almost symbolistic significance. This May sound far-fetched, but Venice has always been the symbol of romance and this is a radical departure. The scenes surrounding the discovery of the robbery of Francis [i.e., François] indicate a possibility that the police May be portrayed in the so-called musical comedy manner [excitable, arm-waving and jabbering], thus repeating the offense created in This Is the Night. It would help a lot if they would be sure to use the uniform of the Venice municipal police and not of the Italian Carabineer [sic]." On July 21, 1932, Jason S. Joy, Director of Studio Relations, AMPP, expressed his concerns to Paramount executive Harold Hurley: "Venice is a symbol of romance to the Italians and its attractiveness in that regard is part of the thrifty tourist-entertaining spirit of the people. Of course, it is a very amusing touch but have in mind the Italian point of view which is far from being a silent one....Of course we realize the light Lubitsch touch is rather the all-governing factor insofar as domestic censorship is concerned." An inter-office memo dated October 10, 1932 points out that foreign censorship problems were particularly dangerous for this film because of the wide foreign distribution that was usually given to Lubitsch films. The memo described the film as "perhaps the most sparkling and entertaining of Lubitsch's comedies since the advent of talkies." A handful of lines were called objectionable in July 1932 Office memos, including: "Oh to hell with it" and "I like to take my fun and leave it," spoken by the Major. When the film was viewed on October 8, 1932, the Hays Office also objected to a silent shot of C. Aubrey Smith seeming to mouth [the words] "son of a bitch." The film was not approved for re-issue in September 1935, by which time the official Production Code was in full-swing. In July 1943, Paramount re-submitted the script to Trouble in Paradise to the MPPDA for recommended changes, planning to make a new musical version of the film, but was denied permission. Modern sources credit Hans Dreier with set design.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1932

Released in United States 1973

Released in United States 1994

Released in United States May 2001

Released in United States 1973 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Great American Films) November 15 - December 16, 1973.)

Shown at Cannes International Film Festival (Retrospective) May 9-20, 2001.

Released in United States 1932

Released in United States May 2001 (Shown at Cannes International Film Festival (Retrospective) May 9-20, 2001.)

Selected in 1991 for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

Released in United States 1994 (Shown at AFI/ Los Angeles International Film Festival (All Night Movie Marathon: "Comedies of Elegance") June 23 - July 7, 1994.)