Jean Simmons (a school teacher) takes a secretarial job in a nightclub. The two club owners quibble about a lot, including her. Unfortunately, she develops an interest for the partner who disapproves of her employment at the club.
The fashion industry and Paris provide the setting for a comedy surrounding the mistaken impression that Joanne Woodward is a high-priced call girl. Paul Newman is the journalist interviewing her for insights on her profession.
The first time Jean Simmons' character meets Paul Newman's character is in a Wellington, New Zealand restaurant, in 1942 or 1943 (American troops first arrived there in 1942, the war ended in 1945). Newman is reading an early paperback copy of the book "Nine Stories", by J.D. Salinger. The hardback version was published in 1953. The Signet first paperback edition Newman is reading was published in July 1954. The title is very briefly but clearly visible as Newman closes the book and puts it down. See more »
I have to admit, when I first heard of this film, I didn't think it would keep my interest or attention. The casting, albeit comprised of talented performers, seemed a little odd: 40 year old Fontaine and 13 year old Sandra Dee as sisters sounds a little far fetched, but the pairing actually plays out believably on screen. The age difference translates into a believable mother/daughter type of sisterly relationship, which is appropriate since Fontaine's character has been left to tend to her three sisters after her parents' death.
Preconceived notions aside, the story is a compelling one, centering around four sisters in WWII New Zealand. Fontaine, Dee, Jean Simmons, and Piper Laurie all turn in admirable performances as the Lesley sisters in a plot that can sometimes seem a little implausible, or at the very least, ahead of it's time. Paul Newman also co-stars as a Marine officer who plays a pivotal role in the lives of the sisters, namely Simmons' character.
Not the best role of any of the principal actors' careers, but definitely worth seeing, especially if you are drawn to WWII era dramas.
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