b. 28 January 1892, Berlin, Germany, d. 30 November 1947, Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, USA. A celebrated film director who took Hollywood by storm after moving to America in 1923. His reputation was based on a series of sophisticated comedies, first with silents, and then with talkies such as Trouble In Paradise (1932). In the early 30s, he did grace several immensely successful Paramount musicals - all of which starred Maurice Chevalier - with his highly individual, innovative and delightfully risqué ‘Lusbitsch touch’. These were The Love Parade, Paramount On Parade (co-directed), Monte Carlo, The Smiling Lieutenant, One Hour With You, and The Merry Widow (1934). For a time during the 30s Lubitsch was the director of production at Paramount, and he continued work as a director on a variety of films into the 40s. The sole musical among them was 20th Century-Fox’s That Lady In Ermine, starring Betty Grable, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr., and Cesar Romero. Sadly, it had to be completed by Otto Preminger after Lubitsch’s death from a heart attack in 1947. A year earlier he had received a special Academy Award for ‘his distinguished contributions to the art of the motion picture’.
Share this page