Thursday, April 19, 2012

Movies 101 – Trouble in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise – 83 min – UR

This film is a romantic comedy between two Lily (Miriam Hopkins) and Gaston (Herbert Marshall). They find love in Venice after discovering that each is a master of the thiefly arts. The happy bandits go to Paris to apply their arts when they find a plump pigeon running a perfume factory. The two criminals go to work for Madame Mariette Colet (Kay Francis) with plans of stealing a fortune from her safe. The con is almost compete but someone from their past recognizes Gaston. The plan needs to be pushed up and the Gaston is now having feelings for her. Lily feels the relationship changing and beats Gaston to the prize. He realizes that he can’t make a life with Mariette and he heads off into the sunset with his partner in crime.

This move was a great combination between humor and romance with a bit of heist movie mixed in. This is a film that was shot before the enforcement of the Hays Code. There are elements that are suggestive in nature and in its time was considers not suitable for public viewing. My, have times changed. Today this film would be ok for public television. It has some sexual innuendo but never really crosses that line. I think that for the time it was following the intention of the production code but not the spirit.

The film had an interesting pace to the edits and to the story telling. I never felt like I was seeing any wasted scenes or thrown together shots. Everything was meticulous in setting and content. Sometimes a film that has such a clean feel, it sometimes feels overly scripted or disingenuous. This one did not suffer from that at all.

My take way:

I was so involved with the story I did not look at the movie with as critical an eye I usually do. What will stick with me is the performance of Edward Everett Horton. I first saw him in Pocket full of Miracles when he stole the show as the butler. This self-education of film history is going to take me through a lot of films some I will like, some I will not feel anything for, some I might even hate. But I appreciate all films for making us feel something. My plan was to look at these movie to learn something, with this one, I learned I like it.

I watched this movie on DVD from Netflix.

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