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April in Paris
Release year: 1952
Director: David Butler
Screenwriter: Jack Rose, Melville Shavelson
Starring: Doris Day, Ray Bolger, Claude Dauphin, Eve Miller, George Givot, Paul Harvey, Herbert Farjeon
A mistake means chorus girl Ethel ‘Dynamite’ Jackson (Day) is invited to Paris to represent America at an art exposition. S. Winthrop Putnam (Bolger), the bureaucrat who made the mistake, sees the future of his career depending on whether or not the art exposition is successful. But as he gets to know Ethel, he starts to see other values in the girl, only problem is, he is engaged to marry the daughter of his boss.
When watching a movie with the golden-haired Day (Pillow Talk, 1959) you will mostly be rewarded with a bit of sunshine in your life. April in Paris is very much one of Day’s feel-good movies and also one of her more humorous ones. This is mainly due to the excellence of Dauphin’s (Barbarella, 1968) character Philippe, who throughout the movie appears in joyful manners, the highlight being a short, but very entertaining version of the song ‘April in Paris’. Day is her usual cheerful self, brightening up every scene she is in and Bolger (Wizard of Oz, 1939) seems a rather odd choice of partner for her, but somehow it works. A further mix-up on the boat trip to Paris, sees Bolger and Day hilariously fighting against an apparent bad luck, leaving you alternate between laughing and shaking your head. For the story is rather silly and with the very abrupt ending giving the impression they suddenly remembered the movie needed to end at some time, the quality is somewhat inconsistent. But with Day’s voice and the incredible charming Dauphin, you really don’t care. This is sugar-coated entertaining.
The movie was made early in the career of Doris Day, who have later told in her autobiography, that this is one of only two times she encountered tension on a Warner Bros movie (the other being Young at Heart, 1954). The tension came from Ray Bolger and director David Butler clashing as Butler accused Bolger of trying to steal scenes from Day.
The song ‘April in Pars’ was composed for the Broadway musical Walk a Little Faster in 1932. It has been performed by many artists among others Frank Sinatra, Billie Holliday and Louis Armstrong.
Ray Bolger is mostly remembered for playing the Scarecrow on the 1939 edition of Wizard of Oz.
Picture copyrights: Warner Home Video