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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.
Ram Bowen and Eddie Cook are two expatriate jazz musicians living in Paris where, unlike the US at the time, Jazz musicians are celebrated and racism is a non-issue. When they meet and fall in love with two young American girls, Lillian and Connie, who are vacationing in France, Ram and Eddie must decide whether they should move back to the US with them, or stay in Paris for the freedom it allows them. Ram, who wants to be a serious composer, finds Paris too exciting and is reluctant to give up his music for a relationship, and Eddie wants to stay for the city's more tolerant racial atmosphere. Written by
Paul Newman was coached in playing the trombone by Billy Byers while the playing for Newman on the soundtrack was done by Murray McEachern. Sidney Poitier's tenor sax playing was done by Paul Gonsalves. The soundtrack was recorded May 1-3, 1961 at Reeves Sound Studios in New York City. See more »
As the 'river boat scene' ends, Ram looks over the bow of the boat, but the very next cut is to a trailing wake, which is at the stern. See more »
The film's great asset was the fascinating background music
The story is about two young jazzmen Newman and Poitier who live in Paris Newman is after a serious musical career Poitier enjoys the tolerant atmosphere and the freedom from U.S. racial tensions They work at a Left Bank cub owned by Barbara Laage who is having a casual affair with Newman Serge Raggiani a gypsy guitarist who is a narcotics addict, and Louis Armstrong a trumpeter, are among their friends Newman and Poitier meet a couple of American tourists, Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll who are visiting Paris on a two-weeks vacations
A romance develops between Poitier and Carroll Woodward and Newman also find that a feeling is growing between them Woodward wants him to return with her to the U. S., but Newman believes that marriage would interfere with his career, and decides to remain
As in "The Hustler," Newman plays a man whose devotion to making his talent better than second-rate prevents love But he was natural as the pool player, and convinced usthrough his movements, dialog and expressionsof his feelings for the music
Woodward is more aggressive than Newman Moved by his music, she displays genuine emotion, but Newman is so defensive, egocentric and selfish that he becomes hostile, stubborn, unpleasant and offensive Woodward is determined to make something more of it, but he remains uninfluencedwilling to show slight affection but incapable of being sincerely tender In their final bedroom scene, the two superb1y perform a progression from spontaneous domestic affection, to growing alienation, to his indifferent rejection of her love
Legend Louis Armstrong shines in one flamboyant jazz interlude
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