Zaza


1h 10m 1939

Brief Synopsis

Zaza is a spicy Parisian cabaret performer who falls in love with wealthy rogue Dufresne. Quitting show biz to be with Dufresne for all time, Zaza is taken aback to discover that he's already married...

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 13, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 5 Jan 1939
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Zaza by Pierre François Samuel Berton and Charles Simon, as adapted by David Belasco (New York, 9 Jan 1899).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

Monsieur Dufresne, a debonair traveler from Paris, meets the singer Zaza at a train station in the provincial town in which she has come to perform. Enchanted by her beauty, Dufresne returns to the theater night after night, without ever attempting to meet her. Wildly curious about her mysterious admirer, Zaza badgers the songwriter Bussy to bring his friend Dufresne backstage. Dufresne is strangely reluctant to meet the object of his desire, however, and when he finally does come to her dressing room, he is amused by her obvious attempts to ensnare him. Zaza's charms eventually win out, and Dufresne misses his return train to Paris and spends the night with his enchantress. Falling deeply in love, Zaza abandons her career and her partner, Cascart, for the pursuit of her romance. Meanwhile, Cascart accidentally discovers that Dufresne has a wife in Paris and, concerned for Zaza's well being, informs her of her lover's secret life. Furious, Zaza determines to confront the other woman and banish her from Dufresne's life. She goes to Paris where, while waiting to speak to her rival, Zaza meets Dufresne's little daughter Toto and comes to realize that Dufresne really loves his wife and daughter. Leaving Paris without ever revealing Dufresne's duplicity to his wife, Zaza confronts her lover with the truth when he pays her a visit the next night, and he walks out of her life. Zaza then pours her energy into the stage and, three years later, has become a star of the Follies. On opening night, Dufresne comes to see her perform, but Zaza sings a song of parting, forcing him to realize that theirs is a forbidden love. Dufresne leaves the theater, never to see her again.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 13, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 5 Jan 1939
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Zaza by Pierre François Samuel Berton and Charles Simon, as adapted by David Belasco (New York, 9 Jan 1899).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The play Zaza was adapted by David Belasco from the French play Zaza by Pierre Berton and Charles Simon, produced in Paris in 1898. Belasco previewed his play in Washington, D.C. on December 26, 1898. News items in Hollywood Reporter and New York Times report that Isa Miranda was cast in the title role but replaced after three days of shooting by Claudette Colbert. New York Times notes that although ill health was given as the official explanation for Miranda's replacement, the real reason was that she was miscast and temperamental. Hollywood Reporter states that she suffered a nervous breakdown. In an early draft of Screen Achievements Bulletin, Jules Furthman was credited with "substantial contribution to screenplay," but his name was later removed. According to the MPAA/PCA files at the AMPAS Library, the PCA ordered substantial cuts in the Can-Can scenes because the dancing and costumes were too suggestive. The play served as a basis for two other Paramount films under the banner of Famous Players. In 1915, Edwin S. Porter and Hugh Ford directed Pauline Frederick and Julian L'Estrange in Zaza (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.5184). In 1923, Allan Dwan directed Gloria Swanson in the starring role (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.6004). According to 1960 news item in Hollywood Reporter, Carlo Ponti was planning a remake of the film starring Sophia Loren, but it was never made.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1939

Released in United States 1939