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Forbidden Paradise (1924) DVD

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Forbidden Paradise (1924)


 Ernst Lubitsch


 Lajos Biró (play), Agnes Christine Johnston, Hanns Kräly, Melchior Lengyel


 Pola Negri, Adolphe Menjou, Rod La Rocque, Pauline Starke, Fred Malatesta, Nick De Ruiz
Star Pola Negri and director Ernst Lubitsch, who created an international sensation with the German superproduction DuBarry, Woman of Passion, were reunited in the frothy Hollywood comedy/drama Forbidden Paradise. Negri is cast as Catherine, the Czarina of an unnamed but very Russian-looking country. Rescued from revolutionaries by dashing Captain Alexis Czerny (Rod LaRocque), Catherine "repays" the Captain in the boudoir. Czerny falls madly in love with the Czarina, only to discover that he is the latest in a long line of royal consorts. Angrily, he joins the rebellion, vowing to topple the monarchy (but promising that Catherine will remain unharmed). When the revolution fails, Czerny is sentenced to death, but Catherine rescinds the order and allows him a happily-ever-after with his true love, lady-in-waiting Anna (Pauline Starke). Adolphe Menjou, a favorite of Lubitsch's, has all the film's best scenes as a rakish chancellor. Based on a play by Lajos Biro and Melchoir Lengyel, Forbidden Paradise was remade in 1945 as A Royal Scandal, with Tallulah Bankhead as Catherine; the 1945 film was produced by Ernst Lubitsch, who fell ill during shooting and was forced to relinquish the directorial responsibilities to Otto Preminger.

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