Heaven Can Wait

It's been over two years since we've heard from Ernst Lubistch, despite his being one of the most influential directors in Hollywood. Back then we had the pre-Code Trouble in Paradise and its ridiculously risque writing, but 1942's Heaven Can Wait isn't quite so overtly sexual, in fact despite the plot stemming from the main character's insistence to Satan himself that he is an evil philanderer, we never really see him even approaching cheating on his wife.

It's almost relaxing to have a mid-century Hollywood comedy after a long, long run of films that want to say something, but maybe we're wrong about Lubitsch and Heaven Can Wait. What if this really is a political film? What if we can read a political message into anything?

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Trouble in Paradise

We have our first encounter with the legendary Ernst Lubitsch this week, with his 1932 film Trouble in Paradise. Released before the code was in effect, Trouble in Paradise has all the moral-rotting adult themes, innuendos, and victorious criminals the Motion Picture Production Code sought to protect us from. It also has, quite probably, my favorite opening establishing shot of Venice in any film ever.