The Last Time I SawParis is an engrossing romantic drama that tells a good story with fine performances and an overall honesty of dramatic purpose.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, Babylon Revisited was updated and revised as the basis for the potent screenplay. Elizabeth Taylor’s work as the heroine shows a thorough grasp of the character, whhich she makes warm and real. Richard Brooks’ direction also gets a sock response from Van Johnson.
Plot is laid in Paris in the reckless, gay period that followed V-E Day of World War II. There, Johnson meets and marries Taylor and starts a struggling existence as a day-time reporter for a news service and wouldbe author at night. Even the faith of his wife cannot balance the brand of failure he assumes after too many rejection slips and when some supposedly worthless Texas oil property suddenly gushes into wealth he becomes a playboy himself.
Threading through the footage is the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II title song, hauntingly sung by Odette.
The Last Time I Saw Paris
M-G-M. Director Richard Brooks; Producer Jack Cummings; Screenplay Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein; Camera Joseph Ruttenberg; Editor John Dunning; Music Conrad Salinger
(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1954. Running time: 116 MIN.
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