How Did Lubitsch Do It?

Director, producer, writer, and actor Ernst Lubitsch was one of Hollywood’s greatest talents, shining as an director of many sophisticated and progressive films. Gaining prestige as his career continued, Lubitsch’s films such as Trouble in Paradise (1932), Design for Living (1933), Ninotchka (1939), To Be or Not To Be (1942), and so many others were described as having the “Lubitsch touch” due to their elegance, style, and witty plots.

Joseph McBride’s How Did Lubitsch Do It? delves into the storied life and career of Lubitsch, emphasizing his reinvention of the romantic comedy and influence upon the musical. In addition to detailing Lubitsch’s achievements, McBride also discusses Lubitsch’s influence upon other directors as well as his legacy today. Challenging views towards romance and sex, McBride’s prose guides the reader through Lubitsch’s works and examines them in conjunction with an illumination of the Lubitsch touch.

Thoroughly researched, expertly documented, and highly entertaining, McBride’s work is a fine tribute to Lubitsch’s notable career and is an excellent addition to the libraries of classic film fans.


How Did Lubitsch Do It? is available for purchase via Columbia University Press.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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