Directed by Mitchell Leisen
Starring Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore
Screenplay by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett
Approx. 94 min. 35mm/DCP.
American in Paris showgirl Colbert, stranded in the rain at the train station in her evening gown, persuades working class cabby Don Ameche to drive her around from club to club looking for a job — until she agrees to pose as a Hungarian countess in order to distract gigolo Francis Lederer from his amorous attentions to Barrymore’s wife Mary Astor.
Produced by Paramount Pictures, this was the fourth of 13 screenplays by the writing team of Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett; that same year, they wrote NINOTCHKA (also set in Paris) for director Ernst Lubitsch. As Lubitsch once famously remarked (and Wilder would concur), “I’ve been to Paris, France, and I’ve been to Paris, Paramount. I prefer Paris, Paramount.” Wilder and Brackett would later go on to write such classics as THE LOST WEEKEND and SUNSET BOULEVARD.
“Rapturous fun… One of the authentic delights of the 1930s!”
– Pauline Kael
“One of the liveliest, gayest, wittiest and naughtiest comedies.”
– The New York Times
“Superbly malicious script by Brackett and Wilder, gorgeous sets and camerawork, and a matchless cast… probably Leisen's best film.”
– Time Out