Trouble in Paradise [1932]

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Kay Francis, Miriam Hopkins, Edward Everett Horton, Herbert Marshall, Charles Ruggles
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Romance
Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 82 minutes

Trouble in Paradise is the supreme example of "the Lubitsch touch," that mastery of comic timing, diamond-cutter precision, and Continental sophistication that made Ernst Lubitsch a household name and the real star of every movie he directed. A pair of prodigiously talented, utterly charming scoundrels (Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins) become personal assistants to an aristocratic Parisian widow (Kay Francis). Their target is her fortune, but she's such an elegant lady, and so agreeably smitten with her new right-hand man, that he's tempted to pursue a secondary objective. Marshall, Hopkins, and Francis aren't remembered as major stars, but in this enchanted moment they are sublime. Likewise the peerlessly pixilated Edward Everett Horton and Charlie Ruggles as the widow's stuffed-shirt suitors. Trouble in Paradise is one of the best comedies ever made. There's not a line, word, or pause that doesn't belong exactly where it is, when it is, as it is. --Richard T. Jameson

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