Hey! There’s Lubitsch in My Borzage! One-of-a-Kind Collaboration Desire in 35mm at the Portage

The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.

Wednesday, January 16 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Frank Borzage • 1936
During Ernst Lubitsch’s ill-fated tenure as production chief at Paramount, he supervised some sixty pictures, but signed only one: Desire, a continental romantic comedy of the highest order. Gary Cooper stars as a breezily laconic American auto designer whose Spanish vacation is ruined when Marlene Dietrich decides to flirt, steal his car, and promptly drive it over a cliff. She’s an expert jewel thief who plans only to use Cooper as mule for smuggling a necklace across the border but winds up falling for the dope, who is, after all, both a good mechanic and an endearingly not-good singer. (If Lubitsch’s objective was partly to bring the Dietrich persona back down to Earth after the back-to-back box office failures of The Scarlet Empress and The Devil is a Woman, then he couldn’t have chosen a more demonstrative turnabout than her giddy anticipation of becoming a Detroit housewife.) What begins as a stridently Lubitschian exchange of cynical repartee soon melts into a world of sincere, carnal immediacy only possible through the unabashed romanticism of Frank Borzage. (KW)
96 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal
Serial: Captain Marvel: “The Guillotine” (John English & William Witney, 1941) – 35mm – 16 min

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