It’s the birthday of my favorite director today. TCM, I believe, is screening a bunch of his films, but I no longer have it since it didn’t play films according to my picky taste. They’re showing mostly his talkies, and, of course, not the silents that he made with Pola Negri.

He shall be 124 today! Ernst was born in Berlin and grew up with a Jewish family. His father wanted him to be a tailor like him, but Ernst didn’t want to. You can see in one of his early films how he failed at that job.

He first acted in his films, but then took to directing and started taking it seriously. One of his first films he directed was Die Augen der Mumie Ma, that starred Pola Negri. They had worked together in Reinhardt’s stage production of Sumurun. During those times near the end of WWI, he made films that seemed to serve as an escape for the German people who were distressed about their country horribly affected by the war. By 1922, he went to America to work as a director thanks to Madame Dubarry, which also got Pola Negri the offer to come to America.

It was good that he came because he would have easily been persecuted by the Nazis in later times.

America stirs my blood-it is young; so sympathetic; so happy.

In America he was fully recognized for his talent and established himself as a famous director. His films were known for having the “Lubitsch touch”, as one can recognize whenever watching any of his films.

The first Lubitsch I ever saw was The Wildcat and I thought it very unique, but in a good way. It incited laughter and an occasional, “HA-HA-HA! What the hell?”

My favorite films that he directed are mainly his silents, but his talking films deserve just as much praise. Who can ever forget Ninotchka, Trouble in Paradise, or Shop Around the Corner?

He was a distinct individual, who formed his own style, and had a cheerful sense of humor.

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Pola Negri and Ernst Lubitsch at San Moritz, Switzerland, on the set of The Wildcat.

This man is a big inspiration for me. Thanks to him I want a career in Film. Thank you, Mr. Lubitsch.