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Paris Holiday (1958)

Paris Holiday (1958)

Bob HopeFernandelAnita EkbergMartha Hyer
Gerd Oswald


Paris Holiday (1958) is a French,English movie. Gerd Oswald has directed this movie. Bob Hope,Fernandel,Anita Ekberg,Martha Hyer are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1958. Paris Holiday (1958) is considered one of the best Action,Comedy,Romance movie in India and around the world.

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.


Paris Holiday (1958) Reviews

  • Fraying At the Edges.


    Bob Hope was, without a doubt, at the height of his film comedy popularity from 1939 through 1951. All of his films were pretty successful, and his cowardly, smart-aleck hit the right notes. His best notes were shared with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, but he did well on his own in films like "Where's There's Life", "Monsieur Beaucaire", and "The Princess and the Pirate". The last good films in this series were "My Favorite Spy" and "The Lemon Drop Kid". Then something happens. It is only beginning to be understood, for Hope's death last year sort of opened some hidden or shut doors. One thing that comes out is his (for want of a better term) "schizzoid" point of view regarding film acting. He saw Bing had won a best actor Oscar for "Going My Way" and could not understand why Bing did it and Bob could not. That Bing was better at straight acting than Bob never entered his mind. Hope felt that his writers could find a script for him that opened the door to an Oscar nomination (and, with luck, Oscar selection). If you notice in his best films there are moments when the writers and Hope do struggle to make his character rise to the surface on the plot line. But these moments are always brief - immediately he makes some snippy, "funny" comment that undercuts it. The reason comes out in his "schizoid" point of view. Hope could not stand leaving any dialog without a humorist zinger to cap it off. Imagine Lawrence Olivier as Hamlet or Othello or MacBeth, topping off a soliloquy with an old jest (possibly from "Joe Miller's Joke Book") and you can approximate this problem. The jokes were usually funny, but they deflated the dramatic moments in the films. After 1951 Hope still made movies, but his attention was now increasingly involved with television (radio was passing its peak years as THE home entertainment source). He still hoped to get that one elusive part. And to be fair to Hope his three best performances are in the 1950s after 1951: "The Seven Little Foys", "Beau James", "That Certain Feeling". The latter two are probably the best, with the biography of Mayor Walker actually tapping into his film personae almost perfectly for the dapper, funny, seemingly shallow Mayor. "That Certain Feeling" actually gave him a part where his smart alecky comments were compensated in the plot by his having psychological problems (an inferiority complex) and a rival (a superb George Sanders) to play off against (and in this case with - Sanders gives as good as he gets). Hope never rose above these two films (these three with "Foys"). But Hope was approaching the end of his run of movie success with these three films. There had been signs of this even earlier. When he played opposite Hedy Lamarr in "My Favorite Spy", he met a type he was unused to in leading ladies. Most of his leading ladies were easy going and willing to let him carry the comedy for them (such as Virginia Mayo in "The Princess and the Pirate"). In Dorothy Lamour's case in the "Road" films she let Bob and Bing handle the comedy. With Lamarr he found a Hollywood star who insisted on equal time. When you see the film today it is very funny, and Lamarr never had as openly humorous a role in a film. But most of her footage ended up on the cutting room floor. Lamarr was quite angry about that, and never forgave Hope (and never appeared on any of his television specials, as other leading ladies of his did). In 1955 Hope stumbled again, doing a "Ninotchka" imitation called "The Iron Petticoat". It co-starred Katherine Hepburn. It makes one's eyes blink to see Hepburn's name opposite Hope - most of his leading ladies (even Oscar winners like Joan Fontaine) were not in Hepburn's league. Imagine Oliver Hardy romancing Joan Crawford or Greta Garbo in one of the Laurel and Hardy films. The same casting problem emerges (no problem if he romances Thelma Todd or Mae Busch though). Hope probably thought it was a great casting coup. This film pops up occasionally on British television (it was made in England), but has never appeared here. Both stars died last year, and I wonder if they both pressured American television not to show it. Hepburn, a gifted all around actress, probably did a good job. My guess is Hope tried to do to her what had succeeded with Lamarr. But Hepburn was bigger than Lamarr and it did not work. So, if my suspicion is correct, you really get two films, one starring Hope, one of Hepburn, tacked together. Hepburn, by the way, never showed up on a Hope special either. I wonder if she was even asked. Then came this disaster. I watched it once in the 1960s. It was incomprehensible to me, and given what films I had seen with Hope I wondered what had happened to him. Fernandel remained a total mystery for me, but I have seen him in some French films since, so I know he could act and perform very nicely. The plot was like half a dozen other plots reused over and over by Hope's writers - a brash coward is accidentally twisted into a criminal/spy conspiracy. The only thing I recall was that Preston Sturges' appearance as Serge Vitry was unique and short. I think that Hope may have hired him for the cameo because one of Hope's first big successes in movies was as Kidley, the hypochondriac millionaire in "Never Say Die", which Sturges wrote. But that point aside, this film was a bomb - the first really bad film in Hope's career and the one that pointed to the string of loser films of the 1960s and 70s.

  • Slight comedy provides glimpse of French funnyman


    It should have been funnier. It had the right cast: Bob Hope in the sort of part he could believably play, that of clever, self-aware, ham entertainer "Bob Hunter"; Grace-Kelly-esque Martha Hyer as his classy, hard-to-get love interest "Ann McCall"; shapely Anita Ekberg as "Zara," a mysterious spy whose strange interest in Bob complicates (among other things) the hapless comedian's attempts at romancing Ann; and funny-faced Frenchman Fernandel as "Fernydel," Hunter's Gallic counterpart/rival/friend in the story's adventures. And the plot had potential. There was mystery (why does a spy ring seem determined to keep Bob Hunter from acquiring a script from a famous French playwright?), romance (as endearingly un-suave Hunter slowly wins his sophisticated lady), and comic relief (in the exchange of one-upmanship between friendly rivals Fernydel and Hunter). Throw in the classic cruise-ship setting which begins the film, plus several car (and other vehicle) chases through Paris and its environs at the film's climax, and you have a diverting hour and a half of film, right? Well, more or less. The film's comic potential is never *quite* realized, in large part because the scenes with real screwball potential simply move too slowly. Case in point: a courtroom scene in which non-Anglophone Fernydel is called to testify to Bob Hunter's sanity. The trial is conducted in English, and as the Frenchman "defends" his American friend by proudly trotting out all the "hep cat" slang the latter has taught him ("crazy," "out of this world," "the living end"), he only makes things worse. But the sort of snappy pace that gives that crucial edge to linguistic-confusion routines (think "Who's on first?") is utterly absent. And in another scene, in which the baddies chase Hope, Hyer, and Fernandel through an amusement park, it's just too dark to properly make out their antics. Still, the film served its purpose for me: I bought it to see the celebrated Fernandel in his only American movie role of which I am aware. Without English, the Frenchman could not have played many parts accessible to a mainstream American audience, and in this movie his role is perfectly designed to get around that difficulty. He essentially plays a broad caricature of himself, with the usual stereotype of the Frenchman-as-eternal-romantic thrown in for good measure. Oh, and there's a funny "in joke" for those who know a little bit about Fernandel. The role for which he is best remembered in Europe is that of "Don Camillo," the fiesty priest in a series of well-loved films based on Giovanni Guareschi's stories. And when, in "Paris Holiday," his character dons a cassock in an attempt to sneak into a place where Hope's being held prisoner, it's as if Don Camillo is making a brief cameo here.

  • This Is Not a Good Mix


    Though this is not a good film for Bob Hope, it has one redeeming feature. It gave American audiences exposure to the great French comedian, Fernandel. Fernandel almost was given the role of Passepartout the French valet to David Niven in Around the World in 80 Days. In fact he was going to learn English for the role. It fell through and the part was played by Cantinflas whose style was similar to Fernandel. Too bad for Fernandel that Around the World in 80 Days didn't work out for him. Because Fernandel didn't speak English that presented problems trying to team him with Bob Hope. It was handled rather clumsily, Fernandel's part in the film was completely superfluous to the plot. Nothing extraordinary about the plot itself. Hope's an American actor in Paris who comes across a nasty gang and he agrees to help both American and French authorities to capture them. Along for female decoration are Anita Ekberg and Martha Hyer. It's a Bob Hope movie, not one of his best, so I'm sure you can figure out the plot from here on in. Fernandel has a few good moments though. There is a scene where he's trying to get in an insane asylum to rescue Hope and he's trying to convince the guard in front that he's crazy. So a certain amount of craziness follows and he's outstanding. His biography here says he worked in a bank when he was young. But that long horse-face of his made people laugh, so to use an American expression, Fernandel took a lemon and made lemonade. If they're going to laugh, I'll get paid for it. I wish some of his films were available here in the USA. I could easily even in this film see why he was such a national treasure in France.

  • Unintended irony


    It is unintended irony, I suspect, that the plot of this movie - what little there is of it - centers around Bob Hunter's (Hope) efforts to find a script. This movie could certainly have used a better one. Hope and especially Fernandel were great comedians, but they have virtually nothing to work with here, so the movie drags from one uninteresting scene to the next. How a picture executive could have believed that anyone would pay money to see this, much less, after having seen it, tell anyone else to see it, I can't imagine. It really is one of the worst movies I've seen in a long time.

  • Three Beauties, Two Comics, & a Mystery


    The Mystery is why is this film not as good as it should have been. I've given it a 7, but it had the potential to be even better. Our two comics are good when they are together, but the courtroom scene is dragged out, and several scenes are very dark. However, the beauty of this film is in the viewing of Martha Hyer, Anita Ekberg, and Irene Tunc! All three are drop-dead gorgeous, and really contribute to the movie! Irene should have been given a bigger part! See it in wide-screen if possible.


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