HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Trouble in Paradise Thief Of Hearts
Year: 1932
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall, Charles Ruggles, Edward Everett Horton, C. Aubrey Smith, Robert Greig, Leonid Kinskey, George Humbert
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: A man lies unconscious in his room in this swanky Venice hotel room as two ladies of the night knock on his door to no avail. Nobody has seen the other man escape over the balcony, and as the victim, Fran├žois Filiba (Edward Everett Horton) comes around he's in no state to identify him. He chatters away to the excitable Italian staff as upstairs in a nearby room to his a suave character calling himself Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) is setting about his dinner, after specific instructions to the waiter for things to be exactly right. But once the waiter leaves, a woman bursts in claiming to be a Countess who has been accosted on the way here: she is actually the poor thief and con artist Lily (Miriam Hopkins), which is a coincidence because Gaston is one too...

Director Ernst Lubitsch named Trouble in Paradise as his favourite of all his work and many of his fans would agree, as it encapsulated his style of romantic comedy, all that sophistication and allusion that flattered the captivated audience they were seeing more than the non-aficionados were as far as the innuendo and subtleties went. This was the tale of two thieves who appear to be made for each other - they practically fall into one another's arms the second they realise their shared, dishonest profession, and we are in no doubt they are at it like knives the whole time they are preparing for the main course of the movie which involves a complicated confidence trick on perfume millionaire Mariette Colet, played by Kay Fwan - sorry, Kay Francis.

In contrast to the two criminals, she has so much money she doesn't know what to do with it, so you could imagine the Depression-era audiences were not exactly on her side when the plan commences. All Gaston has to do is implement his immense charm as a supposed gentleman and persuade Mariette that he knows the best way to arrange her diary, and he does, before long acting as her private secretary with Lily acting as his private secretary (Lily doesn't have one of her own, however). As this goes on the considerably less well-to-do lady thief grows ever more jealous that her man has been dazzled by his new boss's lifestyle, so much so that he'd give up life flitting from con to con with Lily to stay with Mariette, who has undeniable charms of her own.

Therefore a three-way romance develops, one which saw this film disappear for decades when the censorious Production Code was introduced just over a year after its release. The sexual situations, while nothing to frighten anybody these days, were seen as rather too much for the public to take which seems ridiculous now: there's a considerable romantic charge to the two relationships Lubitsch depicts, but the dialogue can come across as rather mannered in this era of more direct communication, which not only is a source of regret to plenty of this film's fans, but also why it has endured as an example of the sort of movie they really don't make anymore. It may be a comedy, but there was a sincerity to it to ensure everyone leaves the story sadder and wiser.

It's plain to see that Gaston would be ideal for both women in his life as he can move between the classes while remaining outwardly a man of means and urbanity. That class element is important, especially in this decade, as most of those watching this in the cinema were desperately wanting for income, so some may observe it was curious they flocked to movies featuring characters who were blessed with far more money than they could ever dream of. That was the key: the dreams, that one day they could achieve their aspirations as live in luxury as Kay Francis did here, reassured that even she, with all that cash in the bank, could suffer too, though her sufferings were because her suitors were two planks (Horton and Charles Ruggles, perfectly matched love rivals of the clueless variety) and this new new man behaves as if he wants to sweep her off her feet at the first opportunity. Which he does, he admits finally, and that's perhaps why Trouble in Paradise doesn't sparkle as you expect, it's light on its feet over troubled and painful depths.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1572 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: