Widgets Magazine
At the Stanford: Lubitsch rom-coms hit the sweet spot
Herbert Marshall steals Miriam Hopkins' garter in Ernst Lubitsch's "Trouble in Paradise."

At the Stanford: Lubitsch rom-coms hit the sweet spot

Looking for Family Weekend plans? You couldn’t do better than watching the two Ernst Lubitsch masterpieces currently playing at the Stanford Theatre: “Trouble in Paradise” (1932) and “One Hour With You” (1932).

“Trouble in Paradise” plays tonight and tomorrow night, Feb. 23 and Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. “One Hour With You” plays the same nights, at 6 p.m. and 9:05 p.m.

If you’ve never seen a Lubitsch film, you must start with “Trouble in Paradise.” It is a sparkling romantic comedy about the attempts of a thieving couple (Miriam Hopkins, Herbert Marshall) to pilfer the jewels of a slender perfume mogul (Kay Francis). For their plan to work, mastermind Miriam pushes Herbert into Kay’s arms. But the sitch gets awk when Herb falls for Kay – much to Miriam’s annoyance.

And the sexy times continue with “One Hour With You,” Lubitsch’s musical remake of his 1924 silent film “The Marriage Circle.” The plot circles around a doctor (Maurice Chevalier) who engages in some wacky, adulterous shenanigans between his wife (Jeanette MacDonald) and her girlfriend (Genevieve Tobin).

Sexy, delicate and free, Lubitsch’s comedies and musicals demonstrate that the key to living a more perfect life is through the demolition of hierarchies, soul-searching empathy and understanding people beyond one’s own sphere of experience. What brings the “Trouble in Paradise” folks together is the act of making love and art; Lubitsch shows both as the same thing. And what keeps “One Hour With You” from being a cynical paeon to adultery is its commitment to a satirical, fantastical movie-world more absurd than our own. Lubitsch both mocks and pays tribute to that tricky trap we call romantic love.

In addition to the Lubitschs, two British films show over the weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26: the 1961 thriller “Murder She Said” (4:10 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) and the 1954 comedy “Belles of St. Trinian’s” (5:50 p.m. and 9:10 p.m.).


Contact Carlos Valladares at cvall96 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Carlos Valladares

Carlos Valladares' 18 is double-majoring in Film and American Studies. He loves the Beatles and jazz, dogs and dance. Were he stranded on a desert island, he'd be sure to take some food—and also, copies of "A Hard Day's Night," "The Young Girls of Rochefort," "Nashville," "Killer of Sheep," and anything by Studio Ghibli. You can follow his film writings at http://letterboxd.com/cvall96/. He was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles.