Trouble in Paradise (1932)

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By Scott Ross

Ernst Lubitsch and the screenwriter Samson Raphaelson made other movies together, but this is the top — the Coliseum, the Louvre Museum, the purple light of a summer night in Spain. The only thing is lacks is a Cole Porter song.

Maybe the single most deft and sophisticated sex comedy ever made, it’s a virtual compendium of the things Lubitsch did best, and could do better than anyone else. Once you’ve seen it, you have a yardstick against which to measure romantic high comedy.

Starring Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall as the libidinous Riviera thieves, Kay Francis as the mark who almost comes between them and, in a sparkling supporting cast, the great Charlie Ruggles — dithering as usual — and Edward Everett Horton as his fussiest.

Text copyright 2013 by Scott Ross

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