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The working title of this film was Babylon Revisited. F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story, written in 1931, was set among American expatriates living in Paris after the excesses of the 1920s, the "Roaring Twenties," and the devastation of the Depression. The character of "Helen" is referred to, but does not appear in the short story. Although the film was copyrighted in 1954, the entry in the copyright book states "in notice: 1944," possibly due to a typographical error in the cutting continuity submitted.
The rights to Fitzgerald's story originally belonged to independent producer Lester Cowan, who had plans to produce it with his partner, Mary Pickford, according to a December 1946 Hollywood Reporter news item. Cowan sold the rights to Paramount in 1951, and a December 17, 1951 Daily Variety news item reported that Bernard Smith would produce the film and that screenwriters Julius and Philip Epstein would co-direct. The Last Time I Saw Paris marked Philip Epstein's last release; he died in February 1952. In November 1952, Variety reported that William Wyler would direct the film for Paramount, with Gregory Peck as "Charles Wills." M-G-M acquired the film rights from Paramount in 1953.
February and May 1954 Hollywood Reporter news items include Carlos Thompson and Murray Pollack in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location in Paris and Nice. Hollywood Reporter production charts indicate that background filming took place in Paris in late March 1954, although principal photography did not begin until mid-Apr. Jack Martin Smith is listed as art director in the first production chart only. The Last Time I Saw Paris marked the American film debut of British actor Roger Moore (1927-). Moore was under contract to M-G-M, then Warner Bros., in the late 1950s to early 1960s. He then returned to England, where he starred in the popular television series The Saint, which ran from 1963 through 1966 on CBS and from 1967 through 1969 on NBC. Moore went on to star in seven of the James Bond films in the 1970s and 1980s.