Paris Holiday


1h 40m 1958

Brief Synopsis

American comedian Bob Hunter, on a luxury liner to France with French counterpart Fernandel, takes an interest in blonde diplomat Ann McCall while pursued by an even shapelier blonde, the mysterious Zara, who seems to be after something in Bob's possession. But he's only going to France to obtain rights to a new play...so what are Zara and her sinister boss after? The pursuit, amorous and larcenous, continues in Paris and escalates into a full-fledged comedy thriller.

Film Details

Also Known As
Trouble in Paris
Release Date
Mar 1958
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 28 Mar 1958
Production Company
Tolda Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
France and United States
Location
Gambais,France; Paris,France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Popular American stage, movie and television personality Bob Hunter boards the Ile-de-France cruise ship in New York, bound for France. Upon sailing, Bob is miffed to meet his French competition, famed comedian Fernydel, who dismisses Bob as a hack. Bob is attracted to elegant Ann McCall, a government worker at the American embassy in Paris, but Ann is cool to his overtures, knowing of his playboy reputation. Unknown to Bob, a French criminal organization suspects him of carrying an incriminating manuscript and assigns their agent, the stunning Zara Brown, to find it. Zara searches Bob's stateroom in his absence, but is nearly caught when Bob returns early. Spotting Zara through the keyhole and seeing her exit Bob's room later, Fernydel revises his opinion of Bob and strikes up a friendship with him. Fernydel breaks the ice between Ann and Bob during the cruise, but when Ann sees Zara leaving Bob's room after another unsuccessful search for the manuscript, she feels betrayed. In Paris, Bob immediately contacts Serge Vitry, a writer with a new script that Bob wishes to purchase. Bob visits Serge at his palatial residence, but the author explains that his new script is not for sale as he has changed his comedic style and written a true-life drama which he intends to produce himself. When Bob pleads for the opportunity at least to read the script, Serge admits that one of the five copies has just been translated into English by his co-worker Arthur Higgins and gives Bob his address. Upon returning to the hotel, Bob is dismayed to find his luggage being moved out of his room at the request of the foreign office. A representative of the Bureau of Affairs questions Bob, then finds that the entertainer's landing papers contain discrepancies and orders him to leave France. Bob telephones Ann at the embassy for assistance, but upon leaving his room is nearly trapped in a broken elevator with cut cables. When Bob meets Ann and Fernydel at Maxim's restaurant, Bob momentarily suspects Fernydel of causing the trouble in order to get Serge's script for himself. After escorting Ann home later, Bob is trapped in a taxicab without a driver and after careening through the streets near Montmartre, the car crashes into a café and Bob is arrested. The next morning Ann and Fernydel arrive at the jail to tell Bob that he is being held as a suspect in Serge's murder. Bob is released when American ambassador Snowden takes charge of his case and with French government official Dupont, explains to Bob that after the war a counterfeit ring nearly wrecked the economy. After the ring stopped passing the bad money, several of its members were in powerful enough positions to infiltrate the government. Serge discovered many of their identities, then used the information in his script and was murdered for it, as was his translator, Arthur. Four of Serge's scripts have been discovered but the criminals believe Bob has the last one. Snowden and Dupont ask Bob to serve as bait to flush them out, but Bob agrees only when Snowden points out that Ann's life is also in danger. That evening Ann and Fernydel drive Bob back to his hotel, but are followed. Running out of gas, the trio decides to hide in a closed carnival, but are trailed by several men before escaping in the tunnel of love. The next day Bob receives a call from a man identifying himself as a government agent, who informs Bob that his services are no longer needed and that arrangements for his flight out of Paris have been made. In the hotel lobby, Bob meets Zara, who offers to drive him to the airport, but takes him instead to the Bernais Mental Asylum, where Bob unknowingly commits himself. Meanwhile, Ann questions Arthur's assistant who reveals he mailed a package to Arthur's brother Murdock that could contain a manuscript. Worried about his friend, Fernydel follows Bob to the asylum where he attempts to sneak him out disguised as a laundry woman and later a priest. Learning of Bob's fate, Ann arrives at the asylum but tells Bob he must sit through a sanity hearing. Murdock Higgins comes to the trial at Ann's request and informs her that he has hidden the manuscript inside a military cannon at a cemetery. Despite Fernydel's attempt to testify on Bob's behalf, the trial goes badly. At the recess Zara arrives to tell Ann that should Bob be freed, he will be killed by her group. Ann then lies during her testimony and, as a result, Bob is sentenced to confinement. As Bob is being led away, Fernydel flies a helicopter in to rescue him, and Bob hangs on to a dangling ladder to make the frantic escape. Chased by the criminals' speeding cars, the novice pilot nearly crashes several times until Fernydel and Bob spot Ann driving to the cemetery followed by several of the gang. Alerted to Bob's escape, police riding bicycles pursue the helicopter to the cemetery where Ann is attacked by the criminals after retrieving the manuscript. Fernydel and Bob then swoop down to carry Ann away as the police arrest her attackers. Days later at a parade given in honor of Bob, Fernydel and Ann, they unknowingly ride along with a high French government official who is the head of the crime ring.

Film Details

Also Known As
Trouble in Paris
Release Date
Mar 1958
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 28 Mar 1958
Production Company
Tolda Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
France and United States
Location
Gambais,France; Paris,France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Quotes

I ought to buy a lot here. This could catch on.
- Robert Leslie Hunter
He is a cool cat.
- Fernydel

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was Trouble in Paris. A February 1957 Daily Variety news item indicated that Bob Hope was to produce the film under his Hope Records production company and that Hope's attorney, Edmund Beloin (incorrectly listed as "Edward Beloin" in the article) would write the script. The opening title card lists Hope and Fernandel, in that order, then on the next screen, the names are repeated, but in reverse order. The individual credit cards for Anita Ekberg and Martha Hyer also include the names of Hope and Fernandel, with the order of their credits reversed on each card. The title of the film comes very near the end of the opening credits, making all of the crew "above the title" with only Hope (credited as Mr. Robert Hope) and director Gerd Oswald below the title. Hope is also listed as Robert Hope in the story credit.
       Reviews listed Hope's character as "Robert Leslie Hunter," although he is called "Bob Hunter" throughout the film. Hope's birthname is Robert Leslie Towne. Paris Holiday was the only film in which writer-director Preston Sturges acted, although he made a cameo appearance in Paramount's 1940 film, Christmas in July (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40) and appeared as himself in Paramount's 1943 release, Star Spangled Rhythm (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). Paris Holiday was shot on location in France, in Paris and, according to a May 16, 1957 Hollywood Reporter item, in Gambais. Hollywood Reporter adds the following to the cast: Francis J. Scheid, Don Brenton and James Swarbrick, but their appearance in the film has not been determined. Modern sources add Marcel Péret, Roger Tréville, Irene Tunc, Jean Verner and Paul Violette to the cast.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring April 1958

Technirama

Released in United States Spring April 1958