Essential Cinema: Precode Treasures

THE SMILING LIEUTENANT

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch

USA, 1931, 1h 33min, 35mm

Essential Cinema  Precode Treasures

AFS Cinema

6406 N I-35 Suite 3100 Austin, TX 78752

Showtimes

Thu, Aug 23

A frankly sexual musical from master Ernst Lubitsch. Casanova Maurice Chevalier is torn between sexy bandleader Claudette Colbert and dowdy princess Miriam Hopkins. All of the leads are at the top of their game and the amount of charm on-screen rivals any other film ever made. As is usual with Lubitsch, the sex narrative is always underneath it all, and it drives the characters to do ridiculous, and hilarious, things. The climactic musical number is about underwear, if that tells you anything about where this film’s heart is.

About this series

Scholar Dr. Caroline Frick joins us for a celebration of Hollywood films from the period of Hollywood history now known as the pre-code era. During this time, the studios had not yet made arrangements to self-censor their films for moral purity. As you might imagine, these movies are much wilder and more fun than the ones that followed a few years later, after the censorship code had been enacted. The first screening of each film will be followed by an audience discussion.

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