Trouble In Paradise (1932) – Ernst Lubitsch

As I turn to the next title in DK Canada’s brilliant, The Movie Book, I realised it was a film I had already seen, To Be or Not To Be, so it was off to the What Else to Watch list, and here were a number of films I had never taken in.

The first Trouble in Paradise stars Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall, and Miriam Hopkins. Marshall is the gentleman thief, Gaston Monescu, who comes across a pickpocket, and his complete equal, Lily (Hopkins).

Deciding to work together, they go to work for Mme. Colet (Francis), the owner of a perfume company. Gaston works as her secretary, and the two begin to fall in love, and the long con he and Lily had planned hits some snags when he realises he’s in love with both women.

The story is fun, and the banter, while not at the level of say, a Howard Hawks film, is delightful, playful, and occasionally layered with a sense of innuendo. Lily and Gaston try to stay focused on the task at hand, but it becomes more and more apparent that Gaston has developing feelings for Colet.

The dialogue plays at being smart and flirty, and it seems that the three leads are having a great time trying to outdo one another.

Meanwhile, there are those around the trio who are close to figuring out who Gaston really is, and what his intentions towards Colet may be, all because of tonsils.

Trouble in Paradise

Things unravel fairly quickly for Lily and then Gaston, as Colet draws them both deeper into her life, and Gaston into her heart.

How will things play out? Will Gaston come clean to Colet? Will Lily let go of Gaston? Will the right couple end up together?

The film is way too short, clocking in at eighty-three minutes, but Marshall is fantastic, making his thief wonderfully restrained and gentlemanly, always playing by the rules, even if he’s on the wrong side of them, because it wouldn’t be right to play the other way.

And while Colet and Gaston are a lot of fun to watch, you definitely hold out hope that the more playful couple, Gaston and Lily, win out in the end. No spoilers, check this one out for yourself.

I will say, I love watching how Lily and Gaston outdo themselves in their thievery, it’s just so joyous that you can’t help but be taken into it, and laugh as one reveal tops another.

This is a delightful little rom-com that gives a glimpse of the society of yesteryear, when even the crooks were nice.

Check this one out, or find something else amazing to watch when you pick up a copy of DK Books’ The Movie Book!!



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