Love Billy Wilder? Love Ernst Lubitsch!!!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mark Walker, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    664
    Just a brief note since yesturday I got a copy
    of Criterion's new release of Ernst Lubitsch's
    Trouble In Paradise, and I cannot
    believe how fantastic this film is! And, having
    been an admirer of Billy Wilder's films, I am a bit
    embarrassed that I never bothered to check out the films
    of the man he credits with inspiring him.
    Looking at the bonus supplements on the Criterion DVD,
    I just hope that if there are any other clueless Billy
    Wilder fans out there, they need to check out Lubitsch
    on DVD.
    Peter Bogdonavich calls Trouble in Paradise,
    a "lost treasure," and it is sad that more people haven't
    seen this work. (Basing this assumption on what I have
    heard.)
    Other Lubitsch DVDs currently available include
    Warner Bros. release of The Shop Around the Corner,
    which I hadn't paid much attention to, since I figured
    the film that inspired You've Got Mail
    wouldn't be that good. (oops).
    And That Uncertain Feeling which has
    a DVD of questionable quality, but the Roan Group copy
    might be better, if someone could give some advice.
    Also, any of you Lubitsch fans, please let us (and me)
    know what you reccomend on DVD!
    Regards,
    Mark
     
  2. Alex Morrow

    Alex Morrow Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lubitsch is definately "the man" when it comes to cinema. I went to see "To Be or Not To Be" in a small theater with Leonard Maltin during a film festival. I had a great time, even though he commented that since I was too young (21) to know who Jack Benny was or about his popularity.
     
  3. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 1998
    Messages:
    885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Mark, you HAVE to watch The Shop Around the Corner. It's one of the most perfect romantic comedies ever made. Warner's DVD is fantastic too.
     
  4. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Real Name:
    Randy Margolis
    I also loved The Shop Around The Corner - I like You've Got Mail , too :b
     
  5. Rob Ray

    Rob Ray Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    You've already found the best Lubitsch on DVD, but we need to get Universal to release "The Lubitsch Touch" laserdisc box set on DVD and include "If I Had a Million" and "Broken Lullaby" this time.

    "The Marriage Circle," a Lubitsch silent film which he remade as the talkie "One Hour With You" is available, as is his last silent, "Eternal Love," which isn't prime Lubitsch. Roan's "That Uncertain Feeling" has a fairly nice transfer as I recall but it's lesser Lubitsch (much as "Love in the Afternoon" is lesser Wilder, it's still worth a watch).

    Warners has "The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg," one of his best silents, and I'm sure they will get around to "Ninotchka" someday. It's easily found on tape and laserdisc in the meantime.

    But my favorites are the early Paramounts, like "Trouble in Paradise." We need "The Love Parade," "Monte Carlo," "The Smiling Lieutenant," "One Hour With You," "Design for Living" and his drama "Broken Lullaby." Plus, whoever owns "To Be or Not To Be" needs to bring that out. And I Fox needs to release "Heaven Can Wait" and "Cluny Brown." Then we'll be happy.
     
  6. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Shop Around the Corner is my new annual Christmas Eve film - it's utterly sublime and perfectly captures that new kind of excitement and anticipation one has during Christmas when all grown up.
     
  7. Rodney

    Rodney Supporting Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2001
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    279
    Shop around the Corner is a very good film (and I didn't like You've Got Mail).
    More Lubitsch please!
     
  8. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,063
    Likes Received:
    2
    I agree that Lubitsch is great (although I think Wilder is greater [​IMG]).
    My faves of his include To Be or Not To Be, The Shop Around the Corner and Ninotchka.
     
  9. Rodney

    Rodney Supporting Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2001
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    279
    I would love to have To Be Or Not To Be on DVD. Jack Benny is great in it. I TiVo that everytime it comes on. Hilarious!
     
  10. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2000
    Messages:
    2,861
    Likes Received:
    10
     
  11. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    664
    Thanks for the advice and imput!
    I just picked up a copy of The Shop Around the Corner, and will be ordering the Roan Group DVD of
    That Uncertain Feeling.
    I agree regarding To Be Or Not To Be.
    I had seen it because I am an admirer of Carole Lombard's
    and always thought (even as a child) that film was hillarious.
    Does anyone have the German region DVD of that one?
    Mark
     
  12. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    664
    Well, I managed to watch The Shop Around The Corner, and I have to say all you who praise it are correct!
    I did like You've Got Mail, but it just
    seems like it will not have a long "shelf life."
    And The Shop Around The Corner is so
    superior in every way to the loose remake.
    Also, Ninotchka was on TCM last Sunday,
    and I thank those of you who mentioned it, since I would've
    missed it while surfing through the TV guide.
    (I have yet to see what I guess would be a "lesser work"
    for Lubitsch, since the three I've seen are just soooo
    fantastic!)
    Thanks again!
    Mark
     
  13. Jay Gregory

    Jay Gregory Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2000
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    How does the Trouble In Paradise DVD look?
    Both this movie and My Man Godfrey were aired on TCM last evening.
    The difference between the TCM print of the latter, and my Criterion Collection DVD was pretty stunning. Maybe even breathtaking, in the parlance of Criterion copyspeak.
    Can I expect similar satisfaction from the Trouble In Paradise disk?
     
  14. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 1998
    Messages:
    885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Jay, maybe someone else will chime in with a different opinion, but I think Criterion's dvd of Trouble in Paradise looks just "ok". I'm sure they did the best they could with it, but there's a distinct lack of sharpness and detail as if the transfer had been taken from a dupe several generations away from the negative, as is often the case with very old films like this one where original elements may no longer exist.
     
  15. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    By all accounts, one of the problems that Universal had when they took over Paramount's early catalogue is that no original elements were left for them to work with. I can well believe Criterion did the best they could with the best possible elements...which, sadly, weren't up to much.

    Still, I wouldn't do anything other than give it my highest recommendation.
     
  16. Jay Gregory

    Jay Gregory Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2000
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm definitely in the market for a copy, and spent a few hours Wednesday evening looking at local retailers for one to present to my Valentine today.
    Unfortunately, Duluth GA is not a hotbed for much, beyond traffic, and none of the local retailers are apparently stocking that title. So I settled on a Shop Around The Corner/The Philadelphia Story two-fer. Hopefully, that will suffice.
    It's too bad that Criterion was not able to work Godfrey-like magic on ...Paradise. I had forgotten just how bad Godfrey had looked in most presentations before the TCM showing the other night. I was wondering why this thread specifically avoided commenting on how the DVD looks, but the movie is so entertaining that I'm sure I'll love the disk anyway. Thanks for the responses.
     
  17. David Brashear

    David Brashear Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    I saw the wonderful Ninotchka in one of my film classes last week, the print was very nice too. So when is Warner releasing this?
     
  18. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    17
    Over on the Criterion Forum it was indicated that Criterion is working on Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait (a Lubitsch authority is working on a commentary track). Great news. Hopefully Fox will also license out or release Lubitsch's last completed film, Cluny Brown, which has never even been on VHS.
     
  19. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2001
    Messages:
    6,187
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Livonia, MI USA
    Real Name:
    Kenneth McAlinden
    Wilder's straightest homage to Lubitsch is definitely "Love in the Afternoon" right down to his casting of Maurice Chevalier. This was also Wilder's first collaboration with I.A.L. Diamond.

    Regards,
     
  20. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,530
    Likes Received:
    0
     

Share This Page