Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
In 1930, in Belgium, Gabrielle van der Mal is the stubborn daughter of the prominent surgeon Dr. Pascin Van Der Mal that decides to leave her the upper-class family to enter to a convent, ... See full summary »
In Paris, detective Claude Chavasse is hired to follow a wife suspected of infidelity with the notorious American libertine Frank Flannagan. When the husband learns that his suspicions are accurate, he tells Claude of his plan to kill Flannagan. Claude's daughter Ariane overhears the threat and warns Frank of the coming trouble. She then plays the part of a worldly socialite with a list of conquests as long as Flannagan's. The bemused ladies' man returns to America the next day and Ariane, completely in love, follows his romantic escapades in the news. She sees him again in Paris the following year, and resumes her worldly guise, telling tales of former lovers when they meet at his hotel in the afternoon. Frank, amazed by the mystery girl and surprised to find himself jealous of her past, hires Claude to uncover more information about her. When the detective realizes what has happened, he asks Frank not to break his daughter's heart. Written by
The original ending of the film just showed the two lovers departing together on a train, which threatened to land the film on the Catholic Legion of Decency's "Condemned List." As a result, Maurice Chevalier was called back to do the voice-over heard at the close of the film, in which he reports that the couple are "now married and serving a life sentence in New York City." See more »
Ariane washes her hair and is rubbing it with a towel just after Frank Flannagan leaves her apartment. Moments later, her hair is completely dry and perfectly styled. See more »
This is the city - Paris, France. It is just like any other big city - London, New York, Tokyo - except for two little things. In Paris, people eat better. And in Paris, people make love - well, perhaps not better, but certainly more often. They do it any time, any place. On the left bank, on the right bank, and in between! They do it by day, and they do it by night. The butcher, the baker, and the friendly undertaker. They do it in motion, they do it sitting absolutely ...
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The first thing I noticed about this lilting romance (on the widescreen DVD) was the beautiful, shimmering, black and white photography. Set in Paris, with some scenes filmed there, Director Billy Wilder weaves a captivating, simple tale of a 20ish woman (Hepburn), who lives with her father (Maurice Chevalier), who schemes to snag a 50ish cad (Cooper). At first the age difference is very apparent, with Cooper seemingly mis-cast as a womanizer, but he grows on you, with a sweet, gentle, quiet, attractive performance. Hepburn is stunning and spunky in one of her best performances. The song "Fascination" is used to great effect. Filmed in 1957, the only way to show the title occurrence is to have a camera shot following Hepburn's dis-robed fur coat falling to the hotel room's floor, as she embraces Cooper. The ending is suspenseful, with cute narration epilogue by Chevalier. A wonderful film.
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