Trouble in Paradise (1932)

81 mins | Romantic comedy | 21 October 1932

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HISTORY

Playwright Aladar Laszlo's was credited onscreen as László Aladár. The original working title for this film, The Honest Finder , was changed to Thieves and Lovers in early Jul 1932; however, on 24 Sep 1932, FD reported that The Honest Finder would be released as The Golden Widow and listed Trouble in Paradise as a tentative title. In an early script found in the Paramount Script Collection at the AMPAS Library, Kay Francis' character was called "Marianne," which several reviews call her. According to the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office was concerned about the film's portrayal of Venice and of the police, the Italian Carabinieri, especially in lieu of the controversy surrounding the characterization of the Italian Carabinieri in This Is the Night (see above). An inter-office memo from late Jul 1932 from Hays Office representative John V. Wilson to Lamar Trotti, Assistant Director of the Studio Relations Office of the AMPP, states: "...it might be worth while to suggest that some more colorful and romantic scenes of Venice be added to soothe offense that might be taken because of a feeling that a rather deliberate slur [is intended] by keeping the camera and the audience mind focused so much on the garbage that it takes on almost symbolistic significance. This may sound far-fetched, but Venice has always been the symbol of romance and this is a radical departure. The scenes surrounding the discovery of the robbery of Francis [i.e., François] indicate a possibility that the police may be portrayed in the ... More Less

Playwright Aladar Laszlo's was credited onscreen as László Aladár. The original working title for this film, The Honest Finder , was changed to Thieves and Lovers in early Jul 1932; however, on 24 Sep 1932, FD reported that The Honest Finder would be released as The Golden Widow and listed Trouble in Paradise as a tentative title. In an early script found in the Paramount Script Collection at the AMPAS Library, Kay Francis' character was called "Marianne," which several reviews call her. According to the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office was concerned about the film's portrayal of Venice and of the police, the Italian Carabinieri, especially in lieu of the controversy surrounding the characterization of the Italian Carabinieri in This Is the Night (see above). An inter-office memo from late Jul 1932 from Hays Office representative John V. Wilson to Lamar Trotti, Assistant Director of the Studio Relations Office of the AMPP, states: "...it might be worth while to suggest that some more colorful and romantic scenes of Venice be added to soothe offense that might be taken because of a feeling that a rather deliberate slur [is intended] by keeping the camera and the audience mind focused so much on the garbage that it takes on almost symbolistic significance. This may sound far-fetched, but Venice has always been the symbol of romance and this is a radical departure. The scenes surrounding the discovery of the robbery of Francis [i.e., François] indicate a possibility that the police may be portrayed in the so-called musical comedy manner [excitable, arm-waving and jabbering], thus repeating the offense created in This Is the Night . It would help a lot if they would be sure to use the uniform of the Venice municipal police and not of the Italian Carabineer [sic]." On 21 Jul 1932, Jason S. Joy, Director of Studio Relations, AMPP, expressed his concerns to Paramount executive Harold Hurley: "Venice is a symbol of romance to the Italians and its attractiveness in that regard is part of the thrifty tourist-entertaining spirit of the people. Of course, it is a very amusing touch but have in mind the Italian point of view which is far from being a silent one....Of course we realize the light Lubitsch touch is rather the all-governing factor insofar as domestic censorship is concerned." An inter-office memo dated 10 Oct 1932 points out that foreign censorship problems were particularly dangerous for this film because of the wide foreign distribution that was usually given to Lubitsch films. The memo described the film as "perhaps the most sparkling and entertaining of Lubitsch's comedies since the advent of talkies." A handful of lines were called objectionable in Jul 1932 Office memos, including: "Oh to hell with it" and "I like to take my fun and leave it," spoken by the Major. When the film was viewed on 8 Oct 1932, the Hays Office also objected to a silent shot of C. Aubrey Smith seeming to mouth [the words] "son of a bitch." The film was not approved for re-issue in Sep 1935, by which time the official Production Code was in full-swing. In Jul 1943, Paramount re-submitted the script to Trouble in Paradise to the MPPDA for recommended changes, planning to make a new musical version of the film, but was denied permission. Modern sources credit Hans Dreier with set design. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14-Oct-32
---
Film Daily
9 Jul 32
p. 5.
Film Daily
24 Sep 32
p. 4.
Film Daily
10 Nov 32
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 32
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Nov 32
p. 30.
Motion Picture Herald
29 Oct 32
p. 31.
New York Times
9 Nov 32
p. 28.
Variety
15 Nov 32
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Ernst Lubitsch Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Asst cam
COSTUMES
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play A Becsuletes Megtalalo ( The Honest Finder ) by László Aladár (Budapest, Dec 1931).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Trouble in Paradise," music by W. Franke Harling, lyrics by Leo Robin.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Golden Widow
Thieves and Lovers
The Honest Finder
Release Date:
21 October 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Publix Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 October 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3359
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
81
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In Venice, Lily, a pickpocket posing as a countess, meets the internationally famous thief Gaston Monescu, who is posing as a baron. During an elegant dinner at their hotel, Lily politely accuses "the baron" of being a thief, and he, in turn, accuses her of being a pickpocket. He tells her he knows she stole his wallet because she tickled him when she picked his pocket; and she asks him for the time, then reveals his watch. When he, in turn, reveals her garter, she falls instantly in love with him. Posing as a doctor, Gaston robs aristocrat François Fileba, of rooms 253, 5, 7 and 9, but escapes with Lily before he is found out. Nearly a year later, in Paris, Gaston and Lily are still very much in love when, at the opera, Gaston steals a diamond-studded purse from widow Mariette Colet, owner of Paris's reputable perfumerie, Colet and Co. Posing as Monsieur LuValle, a member of the "nouveau poor," Gaston returns the bag and, after receiving a 20,000 franc reward from Mariette, charms her into hiring him as her secretary. Although she is known all over Paris, Mariette believes marriage is a beautiful mistake, and has turned down proposals made by ardent suitors Fileba and the Major, who continually bicker as they compete for Mariette's attention. When Gaston learns that Mariette keeps 100,000 francs in her house safe, he is determined to steal it and embezzle money from the company. Meanwhile, Lily, wearing eye glasses and assuming an officious manner, works as Gaston's assistant under the name Mlle. Votier. She pretends to be devoted to Mariette even though she ... +


In Venice, Lily, a pickpocket posing as a countess, meets the internationally famous thief Gaston Monescu, who is posing as a baron. During an elegant dinner at their hotel, Lily politely accuses "the baron" of being a thief, and he, in turn, accuses her of being a pickpocket. He tells her he knows she stole his wallet because she tickled him when she picked his pocket; and she asks him for the time, then reveals his watch. When he, in turn, reveals her garter, she falls instantly in love with him. Posing as a doctor, Gaston robs aristocrat François Fileba, of rooms 253, 5, 7 and 9, but escapes with Lily before he is found out. Nearly a year later, in Paris, Gaston and Lily are still very much in love when, at the opera, Gaston steals a diamond-studded purse from widow Mariette Colet, owner of Paris's reputable perfumerie, Colet and Co. Posing as Monsieur LuValle, a member of the "nouveau poor," Gaston returns the bag and, after receiving a 20,000 franc reward from Mariette, charms her into hiring him as her secretary. Although she is known all over Paris, Mariette believes marriage is a beautiful mistake, and has turned down proposals made by ardent suitors Fileba and the Major, who continually bicker as they compete for Mariette's attention. When Gaston learns that Mariette keeps 100,000 francs in her house safe, he is determined to steal it and embezzle money from the company. Meanwhile, Lily, wearing eye glasses and assuming an officious manner, works as Gaston's assistant under the name Mlle. Votier. She pretends to be devoted to Mariette even though she is jealous of her attentions toward Gaston, and advises him to stay a crook and not become a gigolo. After a few weeks, Mariette introduces Gaston to her social set, and Fileba, sure he has seen Gaston somewhere before, asks him if he has ever been in Venice, but Gaston denies it. Monsieur Giron, who has been chairman of the board at Colet and Co. for years, then sanctimoniously accuses Gaston of stealing from the company, but Mariette defends him. Fearful that Fileba will expose them, Gaston and Lily must now leave Paris earlier than planned. While Lily packs, Mariette and Gaston make love, and adding to his temptations, she goes out for the evening, promising to return at eleven o'clock for a rendezvous. Fileba finally realizes Gaston was the man who robbed him in Venice and warns Mariette, but she ignores him. Meanwhile, Giron visits Gaston and accuses him of being the thief Monescu, but Gaston gets rid of him by accusing him of pilfering money from Colet and Co. When Lily realizes that Gaston is postponing their departure until morning so that he can meet with Mariette, she angrily addresses him as "Monsieur Colet" and steals the 100,000 francs from the safe, telling Gaston it is cash she wants, not him. Mariette later returns and, after removing her pearl necklace for her rendezvous with Gaston, is about to put them in the safe when Gaston informs her that Giron has embezzled millions from Colet and Co. He then confesses to being Monescu and to stealing the 100,000 francs, but assures her that although he came to rob her, he fell in love with her. Lily interrupts and admits it was she who took the money, then gives Mariette permission to sleep with Gaston, but tells her the 100,000 francs is the price she must pay for him. Admitting that it would be better for business if he stayed with Lily, Gaston says good-bye to Mariette, who sighs that it could have been divine, and agrees to let Gaston take the pearl necklace that Lily wanted. In the departing cab, Gaston reaches into his coat for the pearls to present them to Lily, but she has already taken them, along with the diamond bag. Gaston, in turn, has stolen Lily's 100,000 francs, which he then returns to her, and they kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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