Trouble in Paradise

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(1932, directed by Ernst Lubitsch)

- inducted 2015 –

"It’s not every day an old, black-and-white comedy from the 1930s gets me all aroused. But that’s what happens every time I watch Trouble in Paradise, one of the funniest – and sexiest – farces I’ve encountered in my movie-viewing lifetime.

"Another light-footed, amusingly amoral flick from that farce maestro Ernst Lubitsch, the movie seems like standard, convoluted screwball fare: a sophisticated con man (Herbert Marshall) and his pickpocketing main squeeze (Miriam Hopkins) seek to swindle a wealthy perfume manufacturer (Kay Francis) by working for her as her personal secretaries. Of course, this eventually turns into a love triangle, as Francis’s cosmetics mogul immediately gets smitten with Marshall’s grifting gentleman.

"If this movie does leave you as hot and bothered as it left me, there’s good reason for that: it was made before enforcement of the Production Code, which meant that this pre-Code rarity could go all out with the adult themes. Even though it seems tame by today’s standards (it was considered so scandalous, it was not reissued until 1968), the movie still exhibits a frisky, come-hither carnality (especially between Francis and Marshall, who was rumored to have had affairs with both Francis and Hopkins) that is damn-near-impossible to find in today’s rom-coms.

"Trouble in Paradise is more than a classic comedy -- it’s a date movie that will most likely incite some action between you and your significant other afterwards."

~ Craig D. Lindsey

Principal cast: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall, Charles Ruggles, Edward Everett Horton, C. Aubrey Smith, Robert Greig, Leonid Kinskey, George Humbert
Screenplay by: Samson Raphaelson
Adaptation by: Grover Jones
Based on the play The Honest Finder by Laszlo Aladar
Produced by: Ernst Lubitsch
Photographed by: Victor Milner
Art direction by: Hans Dreier (uncredited)
Costume design by: Travis Barton (gowns), Eugene Joseff (costume jeweler; uncredited)
Music by: W. Franke Harling (uncredited)
Sound by: M.M. Paggi (uncredited)

USA
Duration: 83 minutes
Languages: English, Italian, Russian, Spanish, German
Filmed in black and white
Sound mix: Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Cinematographic process: Spherical
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Printed film format: 35mm

Produced and released in USA by Paramount Publix Corporation
Premiered in USA on 21 October 1932

Awards and honors:
- National Film Registry selection, 1991
- Selected as one of Roger Ebert’s “Great Movies,” 11 October 1998
- National Board of Review, 1932: Top 10 Films of the Year