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How Did Lubitsch Do It?


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Table of Contents

Introduction: "How Did Lubitsch Do It?"
1. "Herr Ernst Lubitsch"
2. "Who Is Ernst Lubitsch?"
3. The "Berlin Style" in Hollywood
4. Tin Cans in a Warehouse?
5. "Give Me a Moment, Please"
6. "In Times Like These . . ."
7. Master of the Ineffable
8. The Aging Master
9. The Door Closes
Epilogue: The Importance of Being Ernst
Acknowledgments and Influences
Notes on Sources

About the Author

Joseph McBride is a film historian and professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University. He is the author of many books, including Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success (1992), Steven Spielberg: A Biography (1997), Searching for John Ford (2001), and What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?: A Portrait of an Independent Career (2006).


McBride subtly and concretely describes the change in cinematic tastes over the course of a century. We who love cinema and Lubitsch should be grateful to have such a book in our lifetime, and it will be the definitive work for years to come.--Molly Haskell, author of From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
Joseph McBride's study of Lubitsch matches the breadth and range of his incomparable work on Welles and Ford. Reading it, it is impossible not to want to see each of the director's greatest films again or for the first time - readers will be driven straight to seek out not only the repertory standards but the silents, the musicals, and the German films. It is especially gratifying to see McBride apply his supple understanding of the intricacies of Lubitsch's sexual politics to the paradoxes lurking for contemporary viewers, exploring how the films play both against and into feminist readings. McBride doesn't shy from such explorations, but never leaps to premature conclusions. The book is an act of devotion matched to the heart of its subject.--Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn
Film historian, Joseph Mcbride's tome How Did Lubitsch Do It? makes a comprehensive and enthusiastic case for [Lubitsch]'s importance.--Ben Dickinson "The New York Times Book Review "
In How Did Lubitsch Do It? Joseph McBride has written a love letter to a filmmaker . . . Mr. McBride's detailed appreciations could serve, ideally, as a viewer's companion to the many layers of Lubitsch's art . . . [He] acknowledges that no written description of Lubitsch's work can fully convey its charm.--Geoffrey O'Brien "Wall Street Journal "
How Did Lubitsch Do It? is one of the most indispensable film books I've ever read, not only a rigorously researched and considered biography and an illuminating analysis of Lubitsch's technique but a broader study of how culture affects filmmaking and vice versa.--Jim Hemphill "Filmmaker Magazine "
Revered film historian Joseph McBride's new book, How Did Lubitsch Do It?, explores this master of modern comedy in scintillating detail.--Nathaniel Bell "LA Weekly "

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