Cast & Crew
[The following plot summary is based on the English-language version of this film, Playboy of Paris ; character names refer to that version.] Yvonne, daughter of Philibert, a Paris café owner, is in love with dreamy, blundering Albert, a waiter, though he pays little attention to her. Philibert plans to marry his daughter to a wealthy Parisian, but upon learning that Albert is to come into a large inheritance, he conspires to place him under a longterm contract, confident that he willingly will pay a forfeit to break it. Albert, however, elects to remain a waiter by day and devote his nights to a gay social life with Mlle. Bérengère, a gold digger; he drops dishes and insults patrons, but Philibert will not discharge him. Angrily, Yvonne follows him to a rendezvous with Bérengère at a restaurant and denounces him as a waiter, precipitating a fight between the two girls. Albert defends Yvonne against another gentleman and is challenged to a duel--but the man refuses to fight a waiter. Insulted, Albert slaps him, but Yvonne faints from fright, and all ends happily as Albert realizes his love for her.
This was the French-language version of the 1930 film, Playboy of Paris, which was directed by Ludwig Berger and starred Maurice Chevalier and Frances Dee. Both versions were produced at Paramount's Hollywood studios. While Variety lists the running time as 64 minutes, this is probably incorrect, as Film Daily lists 83 minutes and the running time calculated from footage given in NYSA records is 87 minutes. The French version did not open in Paris until May 8, 1931. Variety commented about the French version, "It is so much better than the original English version and Chevalier's work in it is so much superior to that in any of his American films in English....He is more at ease in his own language, acts with more abandon, does the same Chevalier tricks with a more Chevalierish air. His best American appearances result as imitations of the real Maurice." Variety noted that the French version contained several songs that were not in the English-language version. Chevalier, who attended the New York premiere, and actress Yvonne Vallée were married at the time of this film. According to modern sources, this was the only film Vallée made in the U.S. In 1919, a comedy based on the same source was made in France starring Max Linder and directed by Raymond Bernard, the son of the playwright. According to modern sources, Chevalier, desiring to remake the Linder film, encouraged Paramount to purchase the property.