Trouble in Paradise

TROUBLE IN PARADISE. 1932

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Trouble in ParadiseA lady pickpocket (Miriam Hopkins) & a thief (Herbert Marshall) form an alliance to scam a widow out of her jewels, in a film that makes criminals out to be happy-go-lucky characters who deserve to get away with crime.

After the establishment of the Motion Picture Code, it would no longer be possible to have as romantic figures such amoral hedonists who have a jolly time at love & crime without threat of retribution. Trouble in Paradise had no such restrictions.

This is a joy to watch even just as an example of what a film could get away with pre-Code. Of course "what it gets away with" is nothing compared to today, but for anyone interested in film history, it is kind of amazing how randy & amoral the film gets.

There is a langorous quality to the acting that doesn't quite become boring, & sometimes a feeling of a very dated romantic comedy, but it somehow never trips on itself even after all these decades.

Here & there Trouble in Paradise reminded me on some level of The Thin Man films, which used "drunknenness is a classy good thing" in lieu of "criminality is a classy good thing," but still Nick & Nora have a bit of Gaston & Lily in them. I was fascinated by these characters whose choices in life, which though often strange choices were always believable in context.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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