ROSITA
1923, MoMA, 95 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

Mary Pickford was one of the biggest movie stars in the world when she brought Ernst Lubitsch to Hollywood to direct her in this impressive costume romance. Adapted from an 1872 opera, the film is set in Seville, Spain, where the title character (one of Pickford’s first adult roles) is a poor street singer who catches the eye of the king. Rosita has no interest in the lecherous monarch but is in love with Don Diego (George Walsh) - a soldier who has fallen out of favor with the king and been sentenced to death. For this restoration of ROSITA, composer and conductor Gillian B. Anderson worked from a 1923 cue sheet to track down the required pieces of music from collections all over the world and reassemble the film’s original score.


BLUEBEARD’S EIGHTH WIFE
1938, Universal, 85 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

Gary Cooper plays multimillionaire Michael Brandon, who changes wives as if they were underwear (or, in this case, pajama tops) until he marries the daughter (Claudette Colbert) of an impoverished marquis. As lucrative as divorce would be, the young woman is determined to be the final Mrs. Brandon. Director Ernst Lubitsch’s first pairing with the Charles Brackett-Billy Wilder writing team was a match made in heaven.


HEAVEN CAN WAIT
1943, 20th Century Fox, 112 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

No, not the one with Warren Beatty, but the glorious Technicolor fantasy in which newly deceased Don Ameche arrives in Hell and reviews his life to learn if he’s going to remain Down There or not. With Gene Tierney, Charles Coburn, Marjorie Main, Eugene Pallette (did this guy ever take a vacation?), Spring Byington and a marvelous turn by Laird Cregar as a very genial…could it be Satan!?


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