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PARIS - WHEN IT SIZZLES, 1964
Movie Review

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PARIS - WHEN IT SIZZLES MOVIE POSTER
PARIS - WHEN IT SIZZLES, 1964
Movie Reviews

Directed by Richard Quine
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Grégoire Aslan, Raymond Bussières
Review by Parita Mandalia



SYNOPSIS:

A story of a writer and his secretary, who whilst writing a script for a feature film fall in love.

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REVIEW:

Monsters, spy’s, international jewel thieves, daredevils and cops and robbers; a typical Hollywood film! Not quite. Paris-When it Sizzles is anything but a typical Hollywood film. Set in the romantic surroundings of Paris it is no wonder that there is an obvious attraction between Gabrielle and Richard from the off-set.

Audrey Hepburn plays the elegant, beautiful and charismatic Gabrielle Simpson, hired by the acclaimed writer Richard Benson played by William Holden to type a feature film script he is working on. But little does she know that this writer is yet to develop the plot of the script.

Gabrielle Simpson arrives at Benson’s luxurious hotel apartment looking the epitome of professionalism dressed in an ultra-chic lime green skirt suit with her hair up in her iconic bun. After a clash between Benson on answering a question with a question, Gabrielle soon discovers that with only two days remaining to write a script, Benson in fact has not written anything besides deciding on the title ‘The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower.’ Once discovering that Gabrielle is going on a date with her actor friend Felipe, we get a pinch of jealously coming from Benson as her squeals, “Ew! An actor? A tragedy from the start!” Here the script beginnings to develop. Ironically, the main characters of the film are based on Benson and Gabrielle, where the main actresses is Gaby, i.e. Gabrielle and her love interest is played by no other than Benson himself as Rick - an American stranger. And so begins the love story of Gabrielle and Richard played out in the form of Gaby and Rick.

Although confusing at times as a result of the shift between the two stories, having this divide in stories allows the audience to see the love story between Gabrielle and Richard play out in an unconventional but convincing form. Once ‘The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower’ ends in tragedy with Rick being shot by the police, the real life love story begins to unfold between Gabrielle and Richard.

Richard Quine, the director of Paris-When it Sizzles and the talented writers Julien Duvivier and Henri Jeanson base the unraveling of the romance between Gabrielle and Benson using the traditional screenwriting conventions which Benson mentions throughout “I’ve written this a million times before, I know how it works!” Girl forgets, in this case her budgie at her lovers place. Boy races to find her with the excuse of the budgie, fends off other love interests in this case Felipe who Gabrielle is on a date with and punches him out of her life. In the end the boy runs away with the girl and in the middle of a rain pour or in this a fountain fall kiss passionately marking their love for one another.

William Holden gives a superb performance as an arrogant screenwriter with Audrey Hepburn giving a beautiful and charming presence to the whole narrative. With a special appearance by Tony Curtis playing Maurice the policeman who shoots Rick in ‘The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower’, Paris-When it Sizzles is un-miss-able for all those who crave something different from the classics, an unconventional love story told within a story.

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Paris - When it Sizzles


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