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Your Favorite Movies Set in Paris

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This thread doesn't have anything to do with the real Paris, France, only that city as it is portrayed in movies: wine, women like and songs by Gershwin, Porter and Lerner & Loewe. Songs like "I Love Paris," "Bonjour, Paris!" "C'est Manifique," "The Night They Invented Champagne" and the occasional number by a Chevalier-type (or even Maurice himself!) Not to mention painters, '50s fashions as modeled by Audrey Hepburn and others, grim Soviets and rich capitalists, cynical pianists, and Leslie Caron.


My Favorites:


An American in Paris

Funny Face

Silk Stockings


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"An American in Paris" would be my fave, but "Victor/Victoria" is absolutely delightful! I'm also a fan of the musical "Moulin Rouge" (it is breathtaking "eye candy" that I adore---wish they would have thrown in some "true" older tunes, though; Richard Roxburgh and Jim Broadbent singing "Like a Virgin" isn't the #1 choice on MY hit parade--LOL). I also liked "French Kiss" with Kevin Kline (perhaps I was the only one--LOL). I also have a ton of favorites that don't feature Paris as the main backdrop, per se, but Paris plays a prominent role---Casablance ("We'll always have Paris".....*sigh*) and the wonderful "The Great Race" (Jack Lemmon as "Professor Fate"!! "Push the button, Max!!").

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One of my favorites is "The Devil-Doll" (1936) with the wonderful Lionel Barrymore. He even takes a ride up to the Eiffel Tower. Of course this is by no means a musical since evil lurks most of the time.

It's fun to watch.

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"Paris Blues" has made my list. I just saw it on TCM recently. Wow! What fantastic jazz numbers - with Louis Armstrong visiting the basement club where Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier play - dueling all the musicians with his amazing horn - the ultimate hipster scene! Joanne Woodward romances Paul this time around, and their one night stand develops into a real conversation about modern love. She's a divorced single mother looking for a good time on a two-week vacation; when you see Paul stretched out shirtless on his bed the next morning, you have to agree she's made a good choice. Diahann Carroll and Sidney Poitier though steal the movie with a sexy flirtation and frank discussion of what 1961 life back in the States will be like for them vs. the freedom of Paris. This movie deserves a much wider audience, which only a DVD release would provide.


And who can ignore the insane but irrisistible Paul & Joanne in 1963's "A New Kind of Love"? Woodward finds she can't resist playboy Newman's sly grins and overt sexuality, regardless of his one-night-stand morality. So she turns the tables on him in one of the strangest farces on film, pretending to be a high-priced call girl to peak his interest. The plot works, sex aplenty ensues, and a new kind of love is born. This film holds me partly because it is such a product of its time - with Woodward bemoaning her 'semi-maiden' status; she wants to be sexually active but knows the price is losing her 'nice girl' niche - and all chance at a good man. The feminism spurred by WWII is growing here, awkward but evolving. And since Woodward is also in the fashion industry, the film is great Paris eye-candy! (With Zsa Zsa Gabor playing her high society girl to the hilt!) And any movie with Thelma Ritter in it is okay by me....


Both of these movies embrace the social and artistic abandon Americans find in Paris, both as tourists and longer-term residents. What better escape for movie- goers can there be?

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The way you're talking about Paris Blues & A New kind of Love kind of makes me want to see them, but I just can not tolerated Joanne Woodward. I love Paul Newman so maybe I'm just a little jealous, but I've only seen a few of her films and I don't really care for her. I'm sure she's a lovely woman but I just have a weird aversion to her acting.

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Well, Woodward does have a distinctive style, so I suppose if you don't care for it, these flicks probably won't be as enjoyable. Still, I think they're both worth checking out for the other performances, which are remarkable. Ritter is a particular favorite of mine in "A New Kind of Love" - she's a foil to the worldly, glamorous Gabor - and the rivalry over Ritter's boss is good and snippy. "Paris Blues" is much less Woodward-intensive, with great doses of Poitier's urban smoothness and Newman's casual sex appeal. They're both perfectly cast as cool, brilliant musicians, though if you're a Newman fan, you just cannot afford to miss "A New Kind of Love" - Woodward or not. He's just dripping with "I know exactly how to make women happy" ego and charm. It is NOT going to do much for your jealousy pangs, though; every time I see it, I wonder how many women he can win in one film.

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  • 11 months later...


Paris When it Sizzles

Love in the Afternoon


Funny Face


All of which = Audrey Hepburn as the "Unofficial Hollywood Ambassadress to Paris"



Goodbye, Again

Bonjour, Tristess


Un Homme et Une Femme

Belle du Jour

A New Kind of Love

Can Can

The Tamarind Seed

Le Divorce

Un Coeur en Hiver

Nelly et M. Arnaud


Miss G


P.S. My favorite musical of all time is Gigi.

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The stylish Diva, which showed the new wave Paris of the 1980's. Ah those were the days. Jack Lang was the Minister of Culture and the City was abuzz with the building of Les Grands Projets. Diva (Cynthia Hawkins was based on the great soprano Jessye Norman, who wasn't recording at the time) captured the spirit of Paris during this exciting time.


John Huston's Moulin Rouge, which told the story of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and allowed us to see Paris through the eyes (and lithographs) of this legendary artist. We also got to see ZsaZsa Gabor in her best role...


And the Paris movie that I'd most like to see again is Anatole Litvak's Tovarich, wherein the impoverished nobility of old Russia are in exile in the City of Light.

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Your mention of Tovarich reminds me of another, ARCH OF TRIUMPH. Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman alternate romancing and torturing one another in the City of Light---against the sad background of refugees during WWII. Louis Calhern poignantly portrays an old White Russian who has to work as the doorman at a Russian cafe.

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Miss Goddess,

It's nice to know that others responded to the doomed and oh, so beautifully gloomy Paris of Arch of Triumph(1948). I'm very fond of the White-Russian-in-Parisian-exile theme as personified by Louis Calhern in "Arch" and explored nimbly in the delicious Tovarich(1937). How can we forget the apogee of this interesting sideline of Parisian history explored most entertainingly in the romantic Anastasia (1956), in which Ingrid Bergman once more suffers so exquisitely? Another movie that visits the White Russian crowd in Paris is the forgotten Nelson Eddy-Ilona Massey musical Balalaika (1939), which I found enjoyable. Another highly entertaining American-made take on the high and low life of Paree is The Razor's Edge(1946).


There are even a few actual French movies about French people that I've enjoyed that are set in and around Paris:


Am?lie (2001)

Casque D'Or (1952)

Bleu (1993)

French Cancan (1954)

Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954)

Un Homme et Une Femme (1966)


...just to name a few.

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Oh yes! Anastasia of course, and The Razor's Edge (the film & the novel) is a great favorite of mine. I've never seen Balalika (nor Tovarich) so I will look out for them both, thank you.


Paris is one of my spiritual "homes" so I love movies about/or set in the lovely city of light. I try to visit at least once a year, if not more.


Miss G

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