Paris When It Sizzles 1964 (1964) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: The sprightly young assistant of a Hollywood screenwriter helps him over his writer's block by acting out his fantasies of possible plots. Runtime: 110 mins Release Date: 08 Apr 1964
A delightful dig at Hollywood without the claws. Very funny, undemanding entertainment at its best. I suppose that today such films would be called spoofs might be a UK term? , but this has humour , innuendo and clever references to the actors themselves and the films they have been in. One to watch again and again to catch them all.
Mid-60's Comedy/Satire About Hollywood (by FloatingOpera7)
Paris When It Sizzles 1964 : Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Tony Curtis, Mel Ferrer, Marline Dietrich,Gregoire Aslan, Michel Thomas, Raymond Bussieres, Christian Duvaleix, Noel Coward, Dominique Boschero, Evi Marandi. Director Richard Quine...Screenplay George Axelrod, Julien Duvivier, Henry Jeanson.Little did Director Richard Quine know that his 1964 comedy "Paris When It Sizzles" would actually pave the way for later, more developed and expressive comedies satirizing the world of Hollywood, namely screen writing. For instance, 2002's "Adaptation" starring Nicholas <more>
Cage and Meryl Streep was a cleverly constructed satire on screen writing. William Holden, in his fifties, a compulsive alcohol drinker, past his prime and in the declining phase of his career portrays the protagonist. He is Richard Benson, a soave screenwriter for a Hollywood studio, living in Paris and supposedly working on a screenplay for a film that must be made in a short amount of time. Desperate for help, he hires a typist, Gabrielle Simpson Audrey Hepburn . The two of them combine their creative talents to write a successful, mainstream action thriller "The Girl Who Stole The Eiffel Tower" , put themselves in the roles of the lead characters and in the process, fall in love with each other. The whole film, the script owing to the genius of George Axelrod, is itself a living screenplay that we get to see come to life. Reality and fantasy are mixed up and before long, we are caught up in the adventure in much the same way one would in those old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. Rick and Gaby are each other's antagonist at first, both of them involved in a dangerous game of good guys versus bad guys, something about protecting a powerful secret from the wrong hands or the wrong politics. But before long, Rick and Gaby fall in love and after many plot twists, the film concludes in the most conventional manner for a film - the bad boy is redeemed through a girl's love but he dies because his dangerous lifestyle has caught up with him. Audrey Hepburn turns on her charm as usual. Always beautifully dressed, still a beautiful woman despite being older, intelligent, charismatic and a fine actress. This role was quite the stray from the previous "serious" roles she had undertaken at the start of the 60's - Holly Golightly in "Breakfast At Tiffany's" and Eliza Dolittle in "My Fair Lady", coincidentally both films are alluded to in this movie. As Gabrielle/Gaby, Audrey is clearly having fun and not doing anything truly challenging. There is genuine chemistry between Holden and Hepburn, this owing to the fact that they had been involved during the filming of "Sabrina" in the mid-50's. Hepburn decided Holden was not husband material and dumped him. Ten years later, they reunite to portray lovers in this film, and it works. They even look great together. This is a well-written, lively comedy that is unfortunately very old-fashioned by today's standards for comedy. At the time of its release, it was fresh and new stuff, so that all the little touches like Frank Sinatra's voice for the song "The Girl Who Stole The Eiffel Tower", the sudden cameos by Tony Curtis and Marlene Dietrich and the witty remarks by everyone i.e. "You can't talk, you're only Policeman No. 2" and the words "Kiss..The End..Fade Out", were all new to audiences at the time. This is a fun comedy that satirizes Hollywood films and still maintains its dignity and charm. A must see for fans of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden.
Delightful plot, I love Audrey Hepburn! (by marksm)
I was surprised recently when seeing this film with family and friends to find that none of them enjoyed or appreciated it - to them it was hard to follow and seemed to have no point. I agree that this is a movie which could seem confusing to the casual viewer. The parallel plots that unravel bit by bit are definitely not what we are most used to seeing now in the days of action-packed thrillers where the excitement never stops. However, the sophisticated movie-lover will appreciate the refreshing creativity with which the plots are handled, and will recognise that the two stories are really <more>
one in idea and development. This is the most enjoyable romantic comedy I have had the pleasure to see in a long while! There is something to be said for old movies. Also -- I can't get enough of AUDREY HEPBURN!!
I wish that I could remember the very first time I ever tasted chocolate, or felt a cool breeze, or laughed at a funny joke. I can't, sadly, but if I had to wager, I'd bet that any of those three events felt very similar to my first watching of "Paris.. When It Sizzles." Watching this movie feels like falling in love; sweet and joyful and slightly decadent all at once. It's often given a bad rap, and I can't for the life of me understand why. It's a beautiful, lighthearted romantic comedy, and the chemistry between the incomparable Audrey Hepburn and William <more>
Holden is undeniable. I'll admit, "Paris.." is no "Sabrina," another dare I say perfect Hepburn/Holden film, but I still feel it deserves a nod as a true classic and as a highlight of the careers of both of its stars. Tony Curtis's cameo is pure comedy, delightful as they come. Make your own decision and see this one for yourself, especially if you are an Audrey fanatic like I am. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
This movie isn't everyone's cup of tea. Hepburn called it her least favorite film. Audiences shunned it. At the time of writing, IMDb gives it a measly 6.0 rating. Nevertheless, it is one of my all-time favorite movies.The problem with this film is that it isn't what everyone seems to be expecting it to be: a mindless romantic comedy. Quite on the contrary: this is a work that I can only compare with "Adaptation". It is a story about how stories actually get written: non-linearly, spasmodically, through much self-doubt and simultaneously excessive narcissistic, really <more>
introspection. Although, to be fair, in Hollywood the practice has mostly been to call in a whole bunch of writers to fix up the messes left by writers of earlier drafts, so this is least true of how Hollywood movie scripts get written, but it is true just about everywhere else. Like "Adaptation", this is a movie that takes the plunge into the mind of the writer as he creates a miniature, constantly shifting and bubbling world for us to visit, only to find a second world inside that first, and probably more where that came from. I don't think that you can appreciate it without having written something yourself, but if you have, then you know the feeling: life mimicking art, mimicking life, mimicking art. Personally, for me, the greatest cameo in this movie isn't the appearance of Tony Curtis or Frank Sinatra, but the fact that in mid-shooting William Holden had to be checked into a rehab clinic. How's that for life and art? Again, like in "Adaptation", the story makes no sense, and, in fact, cannot make any sense. Its what the movie is about. To let us watch and keep our sanity, humor is used abundantly. It is well written wit and quite funny, but it isn't what this movie is about, and taking it to be what the movie is about is perhaps what led to its being so underrated."Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" says the Wizard of Oz, and as far as box office success goes, he's right. Audiences don't like it when the magician shows how the trick is performed. This movie is a prime example. Another is Schwarzenegger's "Last Action Hero". If you like romantic comedies, you should probably avoid this movie. If you want to see a smart film about the madness of writing, this is a soft introduction to the topic.
The first conscious deconstruction of American movie clichés (by benoit-3)
I remember seeing the trailer for this 1964 film and thinking, like millions of other people, that this would be the natural follow-up to "Charade": same Audrey Hepburn coupled with an older eatablished male star, same Paris setting, same romantic music... It turned out that the audience watching this on the suburban main street cinema in St-Lambert, Quebec, were for the most part dumbfounded. Here was a film about a scriptwriter writing a script and altering the story as he went along in order to fulfill a mercenary obligation to create the most fulfilling, popcorn-selling <more>
entertainment possible, spoofing every movie convention in the process, out-Stanley-Donen-ing Donen's "Charade", which was itself an attempt to out-Hitchcock Hitchcock's films. It was brainy, satirical, cynical and the first obvious deconstruction of what makes movies tick. Being a remake of a French 1952 film by Julien Duvivier scripted by cinema pioneer Henri Jeanson called "La Fête à Henriette" made it even more derivative. Being scripted by George Axelrod of "Manchurian Candidate" fame made it challenging. Unfortunately, trying to salvage the film itself with the oldest movie cliché of them all - the redemptive power of love - made the happy ending definitely tongue-in-cheek and a tad less than sincere. But then there was so much to fill the viewer's time between the outrageous premise and the outrageous ending, it can be said that the thoughtful film-fan did get more than his money's worth. One of my favourite scenes is near the end, when the hero punches the heroine's boyfriend in public, which triggers a series of imitative violent acts in the impressionable public - including two Parisian kids starting a fight. What better illustration of the power of American movie violence to modify its audience's behaviour? So, which is it, silly entertainment or thoughtful thesis about the power of the narrative and of its many accepted conventions? Whatever you think of this film, it is at least partly responsible for the creation of the sixties pull-all-the stops, over-the top satirical-and-socially-conscious school of absurdist comedy which ran the gamut from "Laugh-In" and "The Monkees" on TV to manic but oh-so-hip-for-the-times movies like "Don't Make Waves", "Lord Love A Duck", "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling so Sad", "Candy" and "The Magic Christian".P.S.: It would be very nice if "La Fête à Henriette" was made available on DVD for comparison purposes. But, like many great French films, it is only available for pillaging, referencing or as the basis for an American remake, but definitely not for viewing.
This is a film that only screenwriters and budding screenwriters will get. You have to have more than a passing interest in the process of writing a screenplay to enjoy the witty satire, wry comedy and not have a lot of the in jokes fly over your head. In that regard the film is brilliant and contains one of William Holden's best performances. Audrey Hepburn too is perfectly cast in the role of his secretary/ultimate partner and is a performance that stands right up there alongside her more celebrated roles in "Charade" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's". One of those <more>
films that seems too smart for a general audience. I have watched it over the years too with family and friends only to have them get left behind by the plot and start saying how stupid they thought the picture was. Maybe the best movie about the madness of screen writing ever made. Period.
I had stayed away from this film because so many people had said negative things about it. The reviews are often scathing and refer to it as 'lame'. When I finally got to see it, I realised that most people do not get the satire and the witty send-up of screen writing and movies. William Holden gives a memorable performance as the script writer and Audrey Hepburn positively sizzles as the typist proving that she could hold her own against any leading man. I loved the in-jokes Mel Ferrer in an uncredited cameo, Marlene Dietrich and Christian Dior, Noel Coward camping it up, Tony <more>
Curtis sending himself up etc, etc . This film is memorable because it sends up movies, and the process of making movies. It has countless movie references from "Funny Face" to "Casablanca" and for anyone who considers themselves a movie-buff, this is a must. For the average movie goer, this film may seem fragmented and slow but once you are in on the joke, it is pure movie magic. Audrey, we miss you!
Other than that, Paris WHEN IT SIZZLES is a treat from start to finish and I still can't wonder how it was, or what was about it, that critics hated back when it was released in 1964. It certainly delivers more in the way of comedy and romance, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden play parts that were within their styles and are paired rather well, and the whole movie is an escapist delight. Sure, it pokes fun at the French New Wave of the time -- where nothing happens -- but then, looking at this movie, this is exactly what it is. Maybe this is what critics couldn't stand: that an <more>
American movie was trying to fill in the shoes of Goddard or Varda or Demy. Perhaps, had it been lit a specific way, or showcased to really bring out the ethereal in Hepburn not that this was hard, she was ethereal to begin with and transcend the little piece into a barrage of visual splendor that, as in the style of Demy, could spring into music at any time. However, this is a simpler movie but even then it's a darned good one. It's just that it's become forgotten over time as something a little embarrassing. I still can't see what the fuss is when all I see is a lightweight comedy. Can that be bad?