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Ernst Lubitsch's 1932 crime comedy "Trouble In Paradise" (with Herbert Marshall, Kay Francis, and Miriam Hopkins) is one of the greatest film comedies ever made anywhere, arguably the greatest. Yet not only has it never been on DVD; it's never even been available on VHS! Its only incarnation on home video was in a long-deleted laserdisc Lubitsch boxed set.

Since this is a pre-1948 Paramount movie, the rights are owned by MCA/Universal. This is perhaps the best movie that no one can see, and a DVD release is desperately needed.

MCA/Universal also holds the rights to another Lubitsch masterpiece, Design For Living with Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Hopkins, and--guess what--this has never been on VHS either! This may not be quite as much in demand as Trouble but it also deserves a DVD release.

Lubitsch is my favorite movie director, so it's a damned shame that almost none of his movies are available in the DVD format. Why doesn't Warners release DVDs of The Merry Widow, The Shop Around the Corner, Ninotchka, and To Be Or Not To Be? (I once found a DVD of The Merry Widow that was sold in Hong Kong, but it's never been available in America in that format.)

Trouble in Paradise has a few problems which has delayed it's entrance into the DVD and Video markets. The orginal film reel was all but destroyed because of how early films were stored. There is not enough good footage to create an analog or digital transfer. Since the film was made before the Pre-Code era, before censoring and ratings, the film rights have been turned over to The Roan Group. Roan Group is a company famous for bringing films to DVD from reels that are in terrible shape. There is no release date for the film. It's basically a "if it survives, we'll release it" situation now.

The others you've mentioned are all slated for DVD release by mid 2002.
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Damn, every time I start to get worked up in righteous indignation against studios for not releasing something, it turns out a) There's a logical reason they're not releasing it, or b) They'll release it if we wait patiently. How's a fella to do an anti-studio jihad under these conditions? :>

Still, some restored prints of "Trouble In Paradise" have made the rounds recently-- there was a quite good-looking restored 35mm print (restored by the UCLA Film Archive) at a film festival I went to last year. Of course, the existence of a good print doesn't necessarily mean a movie's in good shape for digital transfer, but hopefully Roan will be able to find something. Thanks for the info (again).

I remember seeing this on April Fools day back in the late 70's on a program called The Big Show, which aired on weekends I think. They always showed great classics. Has this movie ever made it to DVD or is it shown on TV? If so I never have been able to catch it.
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Put me in your pocket...
Originally Posted by 7thson

Has this movie ever made it to DVD or is it shown on TV? If so I never have been able to catch it.
I just saw this on DVD 7thson. I absolutely loved it's...definately a new/classic favorite. I have never heard of it before and picked it up an on whim, and boy am I glad I did. I was going to write something for the 'Forgotten Gems' thread, but since it's already here, I won't.

7thson...there's also great intoduction by Peter Bogdanovich as one of the extras on the DVD.

Originally Posted by 7thson
Has this movie ever made it to DVD or is it shown on TV? If so I never have been able to catch it.

Yes, it was released in R1 in January of 2003 by the fine folks at Criterion. In addition to the introduction by Bogdanovich that Aniko mentioned the other special features are an audio commentary track with Lubitsch scholar and biographer Scott Eyman (who's book is Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise), Lubitsch's complete silent film Das Fidele Gefängnis - The Merry Jail (1917) and a 1940 Screen Guild Theater radio program featuring Lubitsch, Claudette Colbert, Basil Rathbone and Jack Benny.

Some of Lubitsch's very best films are now available on R1 DVD, including Ninotchka (1939), To Be or Not To Be (1942), Heaven Can Wait (1943), The Shop Around the Corner (1940), That Uncertain Feeling (1941), Design for Living (1933) and Eternal Love (1929).
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra