Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


SO THIS IS PARIS (1955). Director: Richard Quine.

In this "French" version of On the Town three American sailors wind up in Paree and have various, generally romantic, mis-adventures. Joe Maxwell (Tony Curtis) is the love 'em and leave 'em type; Al Howard (Gene Nelson) is shyer and more sensitive; and Davy Jones (Paul Gilbert) is the amiable cook and clown. Joe thinks he's got it made with an intriguing chanteuse, but he gets home early while Al and Davy show up later all smeared with lipstick. The women they meet include Jane (Gloria DeHaven), who pretends to be a French girl named Collette for her nightclub act; Suzanne (Corinne Calvet), a beautiful heiress who runs through men the way Joe runs through women; and Yvonne (Mara Corday), a pretty cashier in the nightclub who has a big family to support. It's interesting to see Corday, who starred in The Giant Claw, Tarantula, and The Black Scorpion, appear in a film where she isn't nearly eaten, but she isn't given nearly enough to do. She fares better than Allison [Attack of the 50 Foot Woman] Hayes, however, who seems to be in the background of a pool scene but whose dialogue scenes were apparently cut. On the Town [at least the original Broadway version] had songs composed by Leonard Bernstein; So This is Paris has the team of Moody and Sherrill, whose songs are hit or miss, mostly miss, although one number briefly crooned by DeHaven isn't bad. The performances are fine, with Paul Gilbert being especially noteworthy, and Gene Nelson's athletic dancing is a definite bonus. Curtis sings and dances and doesn't embarrass himself. The talented Gilbert didn't have too many TV or film credits but he may have been more at home in the theater; he later wound up in Women of the Prehistoric Planet.

Verdict: Surprisingly entertaining and not without its charms. ***.

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