Tag: Ernst Lubitsch

July 31, 2015 / / Main Slate Archive


Ernst Lubitsch is the master of elegance. His direction is so seamless, his characters so witty and his plots so finely tuned. Under the veneer of sophisticated glamor, Lubitsch was able to smuggle in risqué, progressive characters under the nose of the formidable Hays Production Code. TROUBLE IN PARADISE, NINOTCHKA, TO BE OR NOT TO BE, DESIGN FOR LIVING and THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (among others) feel so modern and not just because they feature some clever sex comedy. His comedies are precise, sharply written and cast to perfection. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER is probably the most accessible and enduring, because its story is one that transcends generations.

July 28, 2015 / / Main Slate Archive


If one takes pleasure in the delectable delights of language, silence, music, design, photography, and the way all these elements are put together to create that wonderful art known as the motion picture, then a case can be made for TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1932) being the pinnacle of the form. Add the thrills of sophisticated subversion and perfect chemistry among the performers, and there can be no doubt that Ernst Lubitsch’s sparkling concoction is that rarest of achievements: a masterpiece that still feels modern and continues to entertain and inspire audiences more than eighty years after its creation, despite being pulled from circulation once Hollywood’s self-imposed code of censorship kicked in, in the mid-1930s, and not seen again until the late sixties.