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Monday, April 18, 2011

Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

Paris when it fizzles is more like it. Set in Paris, a hard drinking screenwriter (William Holden) finds himself without a written screenplay two days before the deadline when the script is due. He hires a secretary (Audrey Hepburn) and with her inspiration concocts a romantic heist film which borrows heavily from long standing film cliches. Directed by Richard Quine (BELL BOOK AND CANDLE), who normally has quite the light touch when it comes to stylish romantic comedies, this is a pretty dismal "comedy". Holden and Hepburn are up for it but the material is dead on arrival and any whimsy the film may have had evaporated somewhere between the written page and the execution and what we get is flat. Proof positive that not even the Star power of Hepburn can save a dud. The film is an uninspired remake of Julien Duvivier's HOLIDAY FOR HENRIETTA. Givenchy did Hepburn's clothes but he even, amusingly, gets a screen credit for her perfume. With Tony Curtis (who somehow manages to be consistently amusing), Marlene Dietrich, Noel Coward, Mel Ferrer and Gregoire Aslan.

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