Trouble in Paradise (1933)

May 11, 2019 - 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch with Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall. “A movie that feels both of its time and ahead of all the times that have followed.”

German-born Ernst Lubitsch graced his films with an irresistible European wit and an intangible aura known as “the Lubitsch touch.”  Nowhere is this cosmopolitan sensibility more apparent than here. Trouble in Paradise moved one critic to say,”as close to perfection as anything I have ever seen in the movies.”  Based on a Hungarian play, it is set, appropriately, on the continent.

Venice, 1932.  International jewel thief, Gaston and Lily , a pickpocket, are partners in crime and love.  Seizing opportunity, they are off to Paris to rob Mariette, the elegant owner of a Parisian perfume empire. As luck would have it, she is looking to hire new staff, and Gaston and Lily, masquerading as nobles, land jobs. Their  shady plan goes smoothly but when sparks fly between Gaston and Mariette, the road to riches turns rocky. Larcenous lovers are one thing. Thieves of hearts quite another.

Sparked by sophisticated dialogue, exquisite  visual style, impossibly adult characters and supreme acting, the film was a major hit. its unmistakable sexiness, however, aggravated religious groups, inciting movie censorship that would last for decades. Yet Trouble in Paradise defined a film genre and its sass and inner light would influence future screenwriters and filmakers.. it is thought tohave inspired the recent Grand Budapest Hotel.


“The satire is sharp, the comedy witty and urbane, and the characters so full of life it feels they might just walk off the screen.” Apollo Guide