That Girl from Paris


1h 50m 1937
That Girl from Paris

Brief Synopsis

A French opera star in hiding hooks up with a swing band.

Film Details

Also Known As
Street Girl
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Musical
Release Date
Jan 1, 1937
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 31 Dec 1936
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the short story "Viennese Charmer" by W. Carey Wonderly in Young's Magazine (Mar 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
12 reels

Synopsis

In the middle of her arranged wedding to financier Paul DeVry, Parisian opera star Nicole "Nikki" Martin suddenly rebels and takes off in search of love and adventure in the country. While hitchhiking, Nikki meets handsome American musician Windy McClean and, although he spites her, makes up her mind to follow him back to New York. Without revealing her identity, Nikki stows away on the ship on which Windy and his group, "McClean's Wildcats," are performers and is later discovered in their room by a steward. Nikki is locked up, and Windy, Whammo, Butch and Frank, "McClean's Wildcats," are fired.

Still determined to be with Windy, Nikki escapes the ship in New York and locates the band's apartment a few steps ahead of the immigration officials. Once they turn away the authorities, the men demand that Nikki leave, but she stubbornly refuses until the men start undressing in front of her. At that moment, however, policemen are spotted outside, and afraid that they will be implicated, the quartet hauls the fleeing singer back to the apartment. The next morning, dancer Clair Williams, Windy's girl friend, shows up with a Mr. Hammacher, who offers them a low-paying job performing at his roadhouse. Anxious to depart, Windy and company accept the offer and, with Nikki in tow, leave the city.

At the roadhouse, Nikki stuns the crowds with her singing, but a jealous Clair informs on her and sends the group running once again. To solve Nikki's problem, all of the men volunteer to marry her, then at Whammo's suggestion, they cut cards for her. Whammo cheats and wins but, seeing Windy's genuine love, bows out to his friend. At the impromptu marriage ceremony, however, Nikki finds out about the card cutting and runs back to the waiting arms of Paul DeVry. The group gags and ties Windy and, in the middle of Nikki's second lavish wedding, ambushes her and the minister, who then marries the new couple in the getaway limousine.

Film Details

Also Known As
Street Girl
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Musical
Release Date
Jan 1, 1937
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 31 Dec 1936
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the short story "Viennese Charmer" by W. Carey Wonderly in Young's Magazine (Mar 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
12 reels

Award Nominations

Best Sound

1937

Articles

That Girl From Paris


That Girl from Paris (1936) is a lighthearted musical romp for Lily Pons (1898-1976), the famous, French-born coloratura soprano who starred in four movies during the 1930s and '40s. The others were I Dream Too Much (1935), Hitting a New High (1937) and Carnegie Hall (1947). Once considered RKO's answer to Columbia's Grace Moore, Pons never quite took off in films despite her magnificent voice. But she had an illustrious career at the Metropolitan Opera, where she appeared to acclaim in 280 performances during a 30-year period beginning in 1931.

In That Girl, Pons plays a Parisian opera star who leaves her fiance at the opera and stows away on an ocean liner in search of adventure and romance. She falls in love with the leader of a swing band (Gene Raymond) and eventually becomes his vocalist, though their path to love is complicated by the fact that he has a jealous girlfriend (25-year-old Lucille Ball, one year into her tenure as an RKO contract player).

A highlight of the film is "The Blue Danube," with Pons and the band accommodating each other's styles by switching back and forth from classical singing to jazz. Pons also performs "The Call to Arms," "Seal it With a Kiss" and, from The Barber of Seville, "Una voce poco fa." Jack Oakie sings several songs with the band, and Ball joins him to show off her dancing skills on "Moon Face" and "My Nephew from Nice."

Other film versions of the same story are Street Girl (1929) and Four Jacks and a Jill (1942).

That Girl from Paris brought an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording to RKO's John Aalberg (1897-1984), who enjoyed quite a history with the Oscars®. He was nominated in the same category for Hitting a New High, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), Kitty Foyle (1940), Citizen Kane (1941), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Two Tickets to Broadway (1951) and Susan Slept Here (1954). Another nomination came for Best Sound Effects for Swiss Family Robinson (1940). In 1939, Aalberg won a Technical Achievement Award for "the application of compression to variable area recording in motion picture production." In 1980 he shared a Medal of Commendation with Charles G. Clarke and John G. Frayne "in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences." And in 1983 he won the Academy's Gordon E. Sawyer Award for "technological contributions to the motion picture industry."

Producer: Pandro S. Berman
Director: Leigh Jason
Screenplay: Joseph Fields, P.J. Wolfson, Dorothy Yost, Harold Kussell (uncredited), from story by Jane Murfin, adapted from story "Viennese Charmer" by J. Carey Wonderly.
Cinematography: J. Roy Hunt
Original Music: Arthur Schwartz, W. Franke Harling (uncredited), Nathaniel Shilkret
Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase
Costume Design: Edward Stevenson
Cast: Lily Pons (Nicole "Nikkie" Martin), Jack Oakie (Whammo Lonsdale), Gene Raymond (Windy McLean), Herman Bing ("Hammy" Mammacher), Mischa Auer (Butch), Lucille Ball (Claire Williams).
BW-104m.

by Roger Fristoe
That Girl From Paris

That Girl From Paris

That Girl from Paris (1936) is a lighthearted musical romp for Lily Pons (1898-1976), the famous, French-born coloratura soprano who starred in four movies during the 1930s and '40s. The others were I Dream Too Much (1935), Hitting a New High (1937) and Carnegie Hall (1947). Once considered RKO's answer to Columbia's Grace Moore, Pons never quite took off in films despite her magnificent voice. But she had an illustrious career at the Metropolitan Opera, where she appeared to acclaim in 280 performances during a 30-year period beginning in 1931. In That Girl, Pons plays a Parisian opera star who leaves her fiance at the opera and stows away on an ocean liner in search of adventure and romance. She falls in love with the leader of a swing band (Gene Raymond) and eventually becomes his vocalist, though their path to love is complicated by the fact that he has a jealous girlfriend (25-year-old Lucille Ball, one year into her tenure as an RKO contract player). A highlight of the film is "The Blue Danube," with Pons and the band accommodating each other's styles by switching back and forth from classical singing to jazz. Pons also performs "The Call to Arms," "Seal it With a Kiss" and, from The Barber of Seville, "Una voce poco fa." Jack Oakie sings several songs with the band, and Ball joins him to show off her dancing skills on "Moon Face" and "My Nephew from Nice." Other film versions of the same story are Street Girl (1929) and Four Jacks and a Jill (1942). That Girl from Paris brought an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording to RKO's John Aalberg (1897-1984), who enjoyed quite a history with the Oscars®. He was nominated in the same category for Hitting a New High, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), Kitty Foyle (1940), Citizen Kane (1941), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Two Tickets to Broadway (1951) and Susan Slept Here (1954). Another nomination came for Best Sound Effects for Swiss Family Robinson (1940). In 1939, Aalberg won a Technical Achievement Award for "the application of compression to variable area recording in motion picture production." In 1980 he shared a Medal of Commendation with Charles G. Clarke and John G. Frayne "in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences." And in 1983 he won the Academy's Gordon E. Sawyer Award for "technological contributions to the motion picture industry." Producer: Pandro S. Berman Director: Leigh Jason Screenplay: Joseph Fields, P.J. Wolfson, Dorothy Yost, Harold Kussell (uncredited), from story by Jane Murfin, adapted from story "Viennese Charmer" by J. Carey Wonderly. Cinematography: J. Roy Hunt Original Music: Arthur Schwartz, W. Franke Harling (uncredited), Nathaniel Shilkret Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase Costume Design: Edward Stevenson Cast: Lily Pons (Nicole "Nikkie" Martin), Jack Oakie (Whammo Lonsdale), Gene Raymond (Windy McLean), Herman Bing ("Hammy" Mammacher), Mischa Auer (Butch), Lucille Ball (Claire Williams). BW-104m. by Roger Fristoe

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Street Girl. Sources differ on the film's release date. Motion Picture Herald's release charts give January 22, 1937 as the release date, while RKO studio records list January 1, 1937 as the release. Although Hugh McDowell, Jr. received screen credit for sound recording, John O. Aalberg, the head of RKO's sound department, was nominated for an Academy Award for this film. Modern sources give the following additional cast credits: Pat Hartigan as "Immigration officer," and Michael Mark, Louis Mercier and Richard Carle as bit players. In 1929, Wesley Ruggles directed Betty Compson and John Harron in RKO's first version of W. Carey Wonderly's story called Street Girl (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.5436). Jack Hively directed Anne Shirley, Desi Arnaz and Ray Bolger in a 1941 RKO version of the story, Four Jacks and a Jill.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1936

Released in United States 1936