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Trouble in Paradise

Despite the Lubitsch artistry, much of which is technically apparent, it's not good cinema in toto. For one thing, it's predicated on a totally meretricious premise. Herbert Marshall is the gentleman crook. Miriam Hopkins is a light-fingered lady. Kay Francis is a rich young widow who owns the largest parfumerie in Paris. She's decidedly on the make for Marshall, and his appointment as her 'secretary' inspires beaucoup gossip.

Cast:
Miriam Hopkins Kay Francis Herbert Marshall Charles Ruggles Edward Everett Horton C. Aubrey Smith

Despite the Lubitsch artistry, much of which is technically apparent, it’s not good cinema in toto. For one thing, it’s predicated on a totally meretricious premise. Herbert Marshall is the gentleman crook. Miriam Hopkins is a light-fingered lady. Kay Francis is a rich young widow who owns the largest parfumerie in Paris. She’s decidedly on the make for Marshall, and his appointment as her ‘secretary’ inspires beaucoup gossip.

Rest becomes a proposition of cheating cheaters as the well-mannered rogue exposes C. Aubrey Smith, the parfumerie’s general manager, at the same time climaxing into a triangle among the two attractive femmes and Marshall.

The dialog is bright [from the play The Honest Finder by Laszlo Aladar] and the Lubitsch montage is per usually tres artistique, but somehow the whole thing misses.

There’s some good trouping by all concerned, plus the intriguing Continental atmosphere of the Grand Hotel on the Grand Canal, Venice, plus ultra-modern social deportment in smart Parisian society.

Trouble in Paradise

Production: Paramount. Director Ernst Lubitsch; Producer Ernst Lubitsch; Screenplay Samson Raphaelson, Grover Jones; Camera Victor Milner; Music W. Franke Harling

Crew: (B&W) Available on DVD. Extract of a review from 1932. Running time: 81 MIN.

With: Miriam Hopkins Kay Francis Herbert Marshall Charles Ruggles Edward Everett Horton C. Aubrey Smith

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