Much of the book revolves around the definition of the "Lubitsch Touch", and how Lubitsch's style developed over the years. As a matter of technique, the Lubitsch Touch meant going from the general to the particular, suddenly condensing into one swift, deft moment the crystallization of a scene or even the entire theme. A perfect example occurs when Maurice Chevalier in The Smiling Lieutenant tries to amuse the prim princess by playing checkers, and, being bored by it as she is, suddenly throws the checkerboard on the bed—to continue "playing" there. The Lubitsch Touch was a kind of innuendo, wherein the most risque scenes were handled with such aplomb that the censors were kept perpetually at bay.
The tough thing about reading the book, though, is that almost all of Lubitsch's movies are nearly impossible to find. Ninotchka, Shop Around the Corner, and To Be or Not to Be turn up fairly frequently on Turner Classics, but other films are harder to find.Criterion has a wonderful collection of four of his musicals, and there are a few collections of his silent films. Turner Classic Movies showcased Lubitsch's films in December of 2012, and one can only hope that they will do so soon again.
eBook Lubitsch Touch