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directed by Ernst Lubitsch
USA 1932

 

When thief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) meets his true love in pickpocket Lily (Miriam Hopkins), they embark on a scam to rob lovely perfume company executive Mariette Colet (Kay Francis). But when Gaston becomes romantically entangled with Mme. Colet, their larcenous ruse is jeopardized and Gaston is forced to choose between two beautiful women. Legendary director Ernst Lubitsch’s masterful touch is in full flower in Trouble in Paradise, a pinnacle of the sophisticated romantic comedy, loaded with sparkling dialogue, witty innuendo, and elegant comic invention.

***

This pre-code film is so wonderful. I wish I could articulate all of its charms. Perhaps Ernst Lubitsch's greatest film - and reportedly his own personal favorite of his entire extensively lauded oeuvre. One area that I don't hear too much mention of, and one that I was particularly enamored with, was the exquisite decor and object d'art pieces that filled a lot of scenes - many of which were flirting in the art nouveau and deco classification - gorgeous stuff that really added to the 'feel' of the film. This can stack up against any modern attempt at sophisticated romantic comedy although the sublime 'Lubitsch Touch' makes any comparisons totally unfair. A must-see film!

Posters

Theatrical Release: 21 October 1932 (USA)

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DVD Comparison:

Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gary Tooze and Eric Cotenas for the Screen Caps!

(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Criterion Collection Spine # 170

Region 0 - NTSC

Eureka Video
Region 2 - NTSC
Runtime 1:22:36 1:22:18
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.1 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Criterion Collection

 

Bitrate:

 

Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles English, none English SDH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Lubitsch biographer Scott Eyman (Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise)
• Introduction by director Peter Bogdanovich (4:3; 10:43)
• Ernst Lubitsch’s 1917 short film DAS FIDELE GEFANGNIS (4:3; 47:48)
• 1940 Screen Guild Theater radio program featuring Ernst Lubitsch, Jack Benny, Claudette Colbert, and
• Basil Rathbone
• Tributes to Lubitsch, written by Billy Wilder, Leonard Maltin, Cameron Crowe, Roger Ebert, and
• others
• Liner notes essays the first on sexual deconstruction of the film by critic Armond White and the
• second on Lubitsch's German films by Enno Patalas

DVD Release Date: 7 January 2003
Amaray

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Kent Jones and Dan Sallitt on TROUBLE IN PARADISE (16:9; 39:44)
• Liner Notes Booklet

 

DVD Release Date: November 12th, 2012
Amaray

Chapters 7

 

Comments

Eureka's HD-mastered dual-layer, progressive NTSC "Masters of Cinema" transfer is not a massive upgrade over Criterion's 2003 transfer, but it is sharper and reveals slivers of additional picture information on the sides. There are occasional white spots and scratches, but the image is very clean (although the film is a masterpiece, I doubt it received the same kind of restoration that Universal did for their Paramount Hitchcock acquisitions). The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio is in very good condition, and optional English subtitles are included (but only for the English dialogue; the few instances of Spanish, German, and Italian are neither transcribed or translated).

Clearly, Criterion's disc has the edge in extras with an audio commentary by Lubitsch scholar Scott Eyman, a radio dramatization of the source play, a German silent short from Lubitsch, and additional context in the form of a booklet. Eureka does offer a very loose discussion about Lubtitsch and the film between film critics Kent Jones and Dan Sallitt which could have used some prompting or scripting. Eureka's own booklet - mentioned in the press release - was not included for review.

ABOUT THE CRITERION VERSION: The image quality is most definitely in the weaker half of Criterion's extensive library, but it should be noted that the elements that Universal (Paramount acquisitions held by Universal/MCA) have sold off, are not in pristine condition. But I watched this on a tube and it looked marvelous, but as you can see by the captures it is not excessively sharp or detailed.

The value of this DVD, aside from the masterpiece film, are in the area of the extra features. The entire Lubitsch short (from the silent era) called The Happy Jail is included and looks quite good although it is not progressively transferred. Both the Bogdanovich introduction and the Eyman commentary are excellent and it is capped off my the gushing Lubitsch tributes. This is too good not to own folks - a valuable part of my collection - we strongly recommend.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
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Screen Captures

(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
Subtitle sample

 


(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Eureka

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Criterion
Menu: Eureka

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Criterion Collection

Region 0 - NTSC

Eureka Video
Region 2 - NTSC

 

 




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