Classic Film Guide

Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch (The Love Parade (1929)), with an adaptation by Grover Jones (Lady and Gent (1932)) and a screenplay by Samson Raphaelson that were based on a play by Aladar Laszlo, this essential romantic comedy was added to the National Film Registry in 1991. It stars Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall as thieves who are ‘two peas in a pod’ and romantic soul mates who meet while trying to con others, and each other; Lily and La Valle, respectively. The notorious La Valle then finds employment as Gaston Monescu, becoming a live-in assistant to Madame Mariette Colet, played by Kay Francis. He courts Mme. Colet as he cons her, and later involves Lily in his scheme, though his partner in crime is unsure of his real attraction to the wealthy woman, who’s also being romantically pursued by others from within her same class, like the Major (Charles Ruggles) and François Filiba (Edward Everett Horton), who are also very protective of her. C. Aubrey Smith plays Adolph J. Giron and Robert Greig plays Colet’s butler Jacques. A marvelous comedy and film which demonstrates (as well as any) the ‘Lubitsch’ touch, the director’s unique style that includes its Art Direction, Cinematography, and overall feel. Luis Alberni and Leonid Kinskey are among those who appear uncredited.

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