Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Lubitsch/Laszlo Watch

But you can't say this: I've seen two productions in the last week in lines hatched by Hungarians named Laszlo. And they both have Ernst Lubitsch in their DNA.

One, the Ernst Lubitsch movie, Trouble in Paradise, derives from a play by the Laszlo Aldadar, The Honest Finder. The other, She Loves Me, a musical on stage at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, dervies from another playwright--this one Miklós László. Miklós, in addition to all those acute accents, gets his own Wiki page; no such luck for Aladar.

She Loves Me is perhaps the latest in a whole string of knockoffs, notably Lubitsch's 1940 Shop Around the Corner and the Hanks/Pfeiffer Ryan(!)You've Got Mail. Paradise also has gone through a number of reincarnations.

I leave it for graduate students to chart all the points of convergence and comparison.

No comments: