March 28-April 1, 2013, at the Aero Theatre
One of the most beloved directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947) started out as an actor in Berlin before moving behind the camera. Working with stars like Pola Negri and Emil Jannings, Lubitsch rose to the top of the German film industry with costume dramas like MADAME DUBARRY. But Lubitsch also made successful comedies in Germany, and when the director moved to America in 1922, lighter fare became his primary focus.
Humor can unmask the varied faces people present to the world, and no filmmaker ever used it more deftly than Ernst Lubitsch. From the thieves who mingle with high society in the pre-Code gem TROUBLE IN PARADISE to the stern Russian who learns to laugh in NINOTCHKA to the coworkers conducting an epistolary romance in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER or the Nazi spies of TO BE OR NOT TO BE, double lives provided twice the laughs in the hands of the great director. The sophistication, wit and affectionate acknowledgment of human nature infusing these films came to be known as “the Lubitsch touch.”
Join us for our salute to the films of Ernst Lubitsch, including HEAVEN CAN WAIT, DESIGN FOR LIVING and THE MERRY WIDOW.
Series compiled by Gwen Deglise and Grant Moninger. Program notes by John Hagelston.