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.