Writer-director Frank Gilroy has come up with a highly personalized tale of a rough around-the-edges Yank screenwriter’s relationship with a worldly chauffeur and a bauteous British aristocrat. Gilroy’s developed the triad in subtle, believable, intelligent and often humorous fashion making Once in Paris a super film.
Shot entirely in Paris, with a French crew, the pic gets maximum mileage from its three principals: Wayne Rogers, Gayle Hunnicutt, and Jack Lenoir.
Michael Moore (Rogers) is a scenarist travelling to Paris for the first time to salvage a film script. He is met at the airport and immediately informed that the chauffeur (Lenoir) is a bad egg (he has served time for manslaughter) and will be replaced tout de suite.
The driver stays, of course, and develops a strong friendship with the writer. The writer eventually has an affair with the British aristocrat (Hunnicutt) in Paris on business – she just happens to occupy the hotel suite adjoining the scripter’s.