Friday, May 20, 2016

Family Movie Night: Trouble in Paradise

Title: Trouble in Paradise
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Original Release: 1932
Choice: My Wife's
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
via Wikipedia
Trouble in Paradise is the latest installment in our family's ongoing screwball comedy series.  Lily (Miriam Hopkins) and Gaston Montescu (Herbert Marshall) are professional thieves in Venice who fall in love while trying to scam each other.  They team up and head to Paris where they target Madame Mariette Colet (Kay Francis), a perfume mogul.  Monescu becomes Colet's personal secretary and, of course, she falls in love with him.  Things really get complicated as Monescu develops feelings for her, too.  Meanwhile, Colet's other suitors grow suspicious.

One thing I've been noticing a lot in older films is the use of miniatures, especially in town- and cityscapes.  It makes sense.  The film industry of the 1930s and '40s probably didn't have big helicopter budgets.  Building panoramas was undoubtedly cheaper and easier.  George Lucas gets lots of credit for the use of miniatures in Star Wars but it's good to be reminded that he was hardly the first.

I was also interested to learn of this movie's influence on Wes Anderson's work.  Both Anderson and Ralph Feinnes have both mentioned it as an inspiration for Grand Budapest Hotel, a film that's getting a lot of love in the Mock Squid Soup film society these days. 


  1. I may have to see this one.
    Also, it sounds similar to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

    1. I have never seen that one but I just looked it up. It's based on 1964's Bedtime Story starring Marlon Brando and David Niven.

  2. We loved Grand Budapest Hotel! Now we must check out Trouble in Paradise.

  3. I enjoy older movies and this one looks terrific.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

  4. I haven't seen this one- but it is on my long list of movies to check out. How interesting about the miniatures. It definitely makes sense! Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. In that era, many of the sets were hollow;just building faces able to be changed for each set, like theater. We've sure come a long way haven't we? (thinking lord of the Rings building an entire castle for the movie.)

    1. And yet, I find myself eager to see modern films that do more with less. Maybe the Academy should have an Oscar for films below a certain budget cap.