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"Paris Interude" is just a factory-line MGM programmer despite it's origins from an S.J. Perelman play. This "Paris" is little more than a bar set with the occasional scene in an apartment or office. Otto Kruger is a World War I "hero" (losing one arm in the war) now a famous newspaper reporter. Trouble is the hero has little honor and literally steals stories in addition to having other people write them uncredited. He also steals girls like American tourist Madge Evans, a new romance of Robert Young's. Young "hero worships" Kruger and gladly writes his stories and steps aside so Kruger can have Evans, much to the disgust of mutual acquaintance, magazine illustrator Una Merkel, the only person who sees Kruger for what he is. Madge falls in love with Otto who is only toying with her and leaves her high and dry once he gets an offer to cover a story out of the country. Crushed and penniless, Madge is befriended by Una who gets her a job writing of Paris fashion shows for American magazines and cheered by Robert, who now realizes he is in love with her. Madge, however, is still pining for Otto but when the news comes that he his plane has been shot down in China and he is listed as dead, a devastated Madge leans more heavily on Robert and eventually falls for him as well and they plan to marry. Meanwhile, Una receives a disturbing telegram...
This romantic melodrama (with several nice comic Perelman bits) is fairly predictable at every turn and not particularly helped by the cast with the notable exception of Una Merkel, who is always a delight, here as the good friend who knows men like the back of her hand. Madge Evans is quite attractive but she's a rather lightweight actress and screen personality; it's hard to understand why MGM gave her so many more opportunities than the more talented Karen Morley or the more charismatic Anita Page. Otto Kruger was a middle-aged character actor whom MGM briefly considered star material but he's rather theatrical here, most especially in his "sick" sequence where he uses the same tiresome low-scratchy voice shtick he does in THE WOMEN IN HIS LIFE from this same period. Robert Young, on the other hand, is quite good as as the playful but heartsick friend dealing trying to deal with an unrequited love. "Paris Interlude" is a decidedly minor MGM film perilously close to a "B" movie and in truth deserves no better a grade than a C.
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