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The Director's Idea by Ken Dancyger

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Chapter 13

Ernst Lubitsch: The Life Force of Romance

Introduction

Ernst Lubitsch began his career in Germany during the silent era. In Germany, he was known for his historical epics. When he was invited to Hollywood in 1924 by Charlie Chaplin, he established himself there in the sound period as the leading director of romantic comedy. For Lubitsch, romance was complex, and he explored all its layers— idealism, desire, sexuality, pleasure, love. He did not avoid dealing with jealousy and its by-product, rage. In films such as “To Be or Not To Be” (1942), “Ninotchka” (1939), “The Shop Around the Corner” (1940), “Angel” (1937), “Design for Living” (1933), and “Trouble in Paradise” (1932), Lubitsch celebrated the life force of romance—his director’s ...

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