Hollywood Director (03:13)
Ernst Lubitsch brings sophistication and wit to American cinema. He has what some describe as the "Lubitsch touch"; see clips of some of his films.
Lubitsch's Background (02:50)
Lubitsch is born into a Jewish family in Berlin. He enjoys drama, meets Victor Arnold, and auditions with Max Reinhardt. Lubitsch directs German films before coming to Hollywood and signing a six film deal with Warner Brothers.
Early Hollywood Films (06:42)
Lubitsch directs ten silent films before his first talkie "The Love Parade." He is the first director of musicals to use songs to enhance the narrative. He directs "Monte Carlo," and "The Smiling Lieutenant."
"Trouble in Paradise" (06:29)
Lubitsch releases the romantic comedy in 1932; it is the first film labeled with the "Lubitsch touch." He directs the 1933 film "Design for Living," denying viewers a happy ending.
"The Merry Widow" (03:29)
Films must be certified by the Production Code Association beginning in 1934. Lubitsch's musical comedy displays his confidence in filming large dance scenes and begins the troupe of MGM musicals.
Romantic Comedies (11:39)
Lubitsch releases "Bluebeard's Eighth Wife" in 1938. He directs Greta Garbo in "Ninotchka," and James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan in "The Shop Around the Corner." He releases "That Uncertain Feeling" in 1941
"To Be or Not To Be" (06:34)
Lubitsch's 1942 dark comedy starring Carole Lombard and Jack Benny becomes one of his greatest films. He directs the 1943 film "Heaven Can Wait"; Lubitsch does not make moral judgements on his characters.
Lubitsch's Final Films (04:31)
Lubitsch directs "A Royal Scandal," with the promise of Otto Preminger's help if necessary. "That Lady in Ermine" is his final film credit; he dies during production. Experts reflect on Lubitsch's legacy.
Credits: Ernst Lubitsch (00:38)
Credits: Ernst Lubitsch
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