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April in Paris (1952)

A series of misunderstandings leads to a chorus girl traveling to Paris to represent the American theater, where she falls in love with a befuddled bureaucrat.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ethel S. 'Dynamite' Jackson
...
S. 'Sam' Winthrop Putnam
...
Philippe Fouquet
...
Marcia Sherman
...
François
...
Secretary Robert Sherman
Herbert Farjeon ...
Joshua Stevens
Wilson Millar ...
Sinclair Wilson
Raymond Largay ...
Joseph Welmar
...
Tracy
Jack Lomas ...
Cab Driver
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Storyline

Miss Ethel 'Dynamite' Jackson is a chorus girl who mistakingly receives an invitation from the State Department to represent the American theatre at an arts exposition in Paris, France. There's only one problem, the invitation was meant for Miss Ethel Barrymore. Meanwhile, S. Winthrop Putnam, the bureaucrat who made the mistake tries unsuccessfully to correct his mix-up. It's too late, for Dynamite Jackson is off to Paris, where the two meet and marry, or so they think! Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sparkling as Champagne! The Year's Musical Eye-ful! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 April 1953 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

April i Paris  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Doris Day writes in her autobiography that she only encountered trouble or tension on two of her Warner Bros. films, "Young at Heart" and "April in Paris". On "Paris", she writes that leading man Ray Bolger and director David Butler clashed early on, with Butler accusing Bolger of trying to steal scenes away from Day. Doris says that, being a relative newcomer to films, she was unaware of Bolger's tricks and managed to stay out of the line of fire. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, when Doris Day "stomps" on Ray Bolger's foot, she doesn't hit even close to his foot. See more »

Quotes

Ethel S. 'Dynamite' Jackson: How'd you get in here?
S. Winthrop Putnam: I have a friend in the FBI.
Ethel S. 'Dynamite' Jackson: How about the red cross?
[throws a vase at him]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: April in Quahog (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

It Must Be Good
(uncredited)
Music by Vernon Duke
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Sung by Doris Day
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They must have been in Seine.
24 April 2005 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Of all the major Hollywood studios, Warner Brothers were always the most cheese-paring. All of their musicals -- except the wonderful 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' and some later adaptations of Broadway musicals -- are marred by extremely low budgets and obvious economy measures. 'April in Paris' is one of several Warners musicals featuring an established popular ditty (with a stiff price-tag for performance rights) as the movie's title song, buttressed by some very forgettable songs by resident Warners tunesmiths. Except for one high-spirited and high-kicking number called 'Ring the Bell Tonight', only the E.Y. Harburg/Vernon Duke title song is memorable here.

Doris Day amazes me, not only for her unearthly beauty and her quiet sex appeal, and for her underrated acting ability, but also for her musical talents. I've read that Day originally trained as a dancer, but switched to a career as a vocalist after she was injured in a car accident. Her singing voice is so clear and beautiful, I've difficulty believing that singing was her second choice of career. And, as she proves here, she has no physical handicap as a dancer ... unless you count the dull choreography of LeRoy Prinz.

Ray Bolger is an interesting choice of romantic leads for Day, but the two of them don't really team very well. Here, he plays a character very similar to the one played by Donald O'Connor in 'Are You with It?': a repressed wonk who turns out to be a superb dancer. Bolger (an underrated actor) is quite good in his straight scenes here as a harried bureaucrat, a less nelly version of Edward Everett Horton ... but that character just doesn't match up with Bolger's dazzling dance numbers. Bolger's Massachusetts accent is much more obvious here than in any of his other films. Bolger was sometimes required to play epicene men, as in the Broadway musical 'By Jupiter'. Here, he's impressively virile, as he strips off his dinner jacket and lights into some rapid-fire nerve taps far more proficient than Ann Miller's.

I always enjoy watching Bolger dance. Here, regrettably -- blame it on LeRoy Prinz -- Bolger doesn't do anything he hasn't done better in several better musicals, except for a brief trick shot in which he dances between two full-length portraits of Washington and Lincoln (also played by Bolger) who dance along with him. I was impressed with a brief pas de deux between Bolger and Day, in which she dances conventionally but manages to keep up with Bolger while he does his usual "Where's Charley?" moves.

The contrived plot line requires Bolger and Day to mistakenly believe they're married to each other. Two Frenchmen perform the wedding service without actually being qualified for that job. This being a Hollywood film of the 1950s, it's imperative that the fake marriage remain unconsummated, so the two Frenchmen then have conscience pangs and sabotage the marital bed so that no sex can take place ... instead of simply admitting their deception. Speaking of 1950s morals: this movie's dialogue features several occurrences of the word 'gay' in its innocent sense.

Two of my least favourite movie clichés are: every building in Washington DC is directly across the street from the Capitol, and every location in Paris has a clear view of the Eiffel Tower. We get both of those clichés in this movie. On the positive side, we get a brief appearance by character actor Shepard Menken as a Parisian waiter. Actress Eve Miller does her best in an unplayable role as Day's rival. Eve Miller's acting career never quite caught on; she suicided shortly after her fiftieth birthday.

The movie's weird plot gives us Claude Dauphin as an omniscient Frenchman. A gag sequence requires that Ray Bolger's hat be several sizes too large ... but later the same chapeau fits him perfectly, and later still it's too large again when the scriptwriter recycles the gag. This movie is more than competently directed by the underrated David Butler, but matters are not helped by a script which requires Day's and Bolger's characters to be unable to make up their minds about deeply important issues such as love and career. Still, as enjoyable froth, I'll rate 'April in Paris' 7 out of 10.


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