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Miriam Hopkins, Star of the Month, I don't think has been ever so honored.  But the recognition, or its repetition is long overdue.  One of the brightest lights in my movie star firmament, she radiated an earthy unashamed sensuality paired paradoxically with a refinement that came from a patrician upbringing.  We start off this Thursday with a trio of movies she made with Ernst Lubitsch, which are three of her best.  The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) is a  romantic comedy set in the world of the aristocracy and military of early 20th century central Europe, a theme he exploited repeatedly.  Nikolaus (Maurice Chevalier), a Lieutenant, through a misunderstanding, is compelled to marry the dowdy Princess Anna (Hopkins).  But he pines for his pretty Franzi (Claudette Colbert), the violin-playing leader of an all-woman orchestra.  This was her first big movie role, and one would have expected her to be dominated by the other two, but she holds her own against them.  Her vivacity, sparkle, sexiness, and comic timing charm us as Anna charms her 'Niki':

Although Design for Living (1933), a romantic comedy about a menage-á-trois without sex, is a more important movie in terms of cinematic history, my personal favorite of the three is Trouble in Paradise (1932).  It is so delightfully satiric, and irreverent, skewering pomposity, pretentiousness, and phoniyness.  With an opening that has a Venetian garbage gondola piloted by an opera-spouting trash collector, how could it fail?  It's hard to choose one from the many terrific scenes, but here's one between Lily (Hopkins), and her future lover Gaston (Herbert Marshall), two fakers, faking each other:

 

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Miriam Hopkins had a fine career.    She was one of the top Pre-code actresses where her unique persona and sexuality were in full display.

During the 40s she was still her feisty self often playing the counterpart to other leading actresses like Bette Davis.   

After this Hopkins took on character roles and she always made her mark in those.    E.g. The Children's Hour.

Miriam Hopkins — The Movie Database (TMDb)

Classic Movies Digest: Bette vs. Miriam, Bout of the Divas: MeowMiriam Hopkins Biography: Q&A with Author Allan Ellenberger

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Here is the schedule:   (no 24 Hours,   bummer since I wanted to see that one).

(but TCM is showing the other Kay \ Miriam film):

24 Hours (1931) | Film Dialogue

 

7th of january

the smiling lieutenant
trouble in paradise
design for living
dr. jekyll and mr. hyde
men are not gods

14th of january

the old maid
old acquaintance
wise girl
lady with red hair

21st of january

the richest girl in the world
splendor
these three
woman chases man
virginia city

28th of january

the heiress
the children's hour
the chase

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