Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ernst Lubitsch: Design for Living / Sérénade à trois

In Design for Living (aka Sérénade à trois, 1933), Ernst Lubitsch, through the scrim of Ben Hecht's screenplay, rearranges Noel Coward's 1932 stage play of the same title. I haven't seen the stage version, but the film is highly entertaining and even in 2012 remains subversive in the realm of sexual politics. Such creative, unconventional ways of living are rarely depicted, though François Truffaut's Jules et Jim (1962), Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) and the HBO series Big Love (2005-2011) dare to explore similar themes.

Design for Living stars Miriam Hopkins (Gilda), Gary Cooper (George), Fredric March (Tom) and Edward Everett Horton (Max) -- all excellent. Gilda is the strongest character and has the best lines, such as: "It's true we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman." Ha! A true "Bohemian rhapsody."
Today's Rune: Strength.        

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I heard good things about Big Love, though I never saw it.