- Trouble in Paradise review by Steve
The Baron (Herbert Marshall) and the Countess (Miriam Hopkins), have arranged a romantic supper in his swanky hotel in Venice. But soon they rumble each other as fellow con artists. After they have returned the trinkets they have lifted from each others, they move onto Paris as a team and steal a diamond covered handbag from a rich perfumer (Kay Francis).
Marshall finagles a job as the tycoon's secretary and develops romantic feelings for her while embezzling a fortune from the company. But Hopkins wants him for herself. It's a love triangle, except two of the lovers are kleptomaniacs trying to gyp the third and each other.
Marshall is very much at home in Lubitsch's Paris. But it's Hopkins film in a performance that goes a long way to establishing a female archetype of the screwball comedy with her mix of the ditzy, impulsive and volatile.
The dialogue is charming and witty and the farce is adorable. But it's a comedy of manners which also refers to Trotsky and the wages of the poor. Unexpected and imaginative at every twist it is the last word on the sophisticated comedy which was Lubitsch's milieu: set in the romantic destinations of Europe, a place of irony, charade and repartee. And scandal.
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