13 user 5 critic

Good Girls Go to Paris (1939)

Passed | | Comedy | 20 June 1939 (USA)
A Midwesterner waitress, scheming to gold-dig her way to Paris, gets mixed up with a wealthy New York family.


Alexander Hall


Gladys Lehman (screenplay), Ken Englund (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview:
Melvyn Douglas ... Ronald Brooke
Joan Blondell ... Jenny Swanson
Walter Connolly ... Olaf Brand
Alan Curtis ... Tom Brand
Joan Perry ... Sylvia Brand
Isabel Jeans ... Caroline Brand
Stanley Brown ... Ted Dayton Jr.
Alexander D'Arcy ... Paul Kingston
Henry Hunter Henry Hunter ... Dennis Jeffers
Clarence Kolb ... Ted Dayton Sr.
Howard Hickman ... Jeffers - Brand's Butler (as Howard C. Hickman)
Learn more

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Jenny Swanson, a waitress on a college campus, confides to English Professor Ronald Brooke that she is willing to gold-dig and blackmail her way to a Paris vacation. Her journey lands her in the New York home of Brooke's future in-laws: the wealthy and fractious Brand family. Jenny charms grandpa Olaf, and seems on her way to landing a rich suitor but her conscience and her heart may lead her in another direction... Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A girl's gotta be good to get to Paris - Good and Smart! (Trade paper ad). See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Second of three films from 1938-9 that Columbia paired Melvyn Douglas and Joan Blondell. The others being There's Always a Woman (1938) and The Amazing Mr. Williams (1939). They would not work together again until MGM's Advance to the Rear (1964). See more »


When Ronald is introduced to his class, a shadow of the boom microphone moves onto the blackboard upper left of the frame. See more »


Tearoom Hostess: And remember, you're waitresses, not entertainers. No unnecessary conversation with the students
See more »


Featured in Good Witch: How to Say I Love You! (2017) See more »

User Reviews

Bad is watchable, Thanks Joan
28 October 2018 | by sb-47-608737See all my reviews

The movie is a good screw ball comedy, thanks mainly to Joan, playing a naive girl, with starry eyes.

The star she is looking for, is a rich boy, to be black-mailed, or rather it is his rich father, to get rid of a mesalliance, so that she can go to Paris with the money, as she had been reading in the Page-3 of the gossip columns, almost every other day, as she averred.

There are only two obstructions in her being able to execute the plan, the father-confessor : Exchange Professor Ronald, and her own conscience (the flutter).

Though one of the reviews compares it with the It Happened One Night.. but I don't find much similarity, neither with the Cinderella stories... since the black-mailer knew the Prince (and hence made him target) and the Prince, in fact more than one Prince, too knew that she is out to milk them (she had told that herself to them - and in fact to a train-load of passengers).

The innocent and naive role Joan could pull it brilliantly through, and that along with two ever solid performers, Melvyn and Connolly carried the movie on their shoulders. A bit of not-unmentionable part is by Alan Curtis, but except them all other, including the director or rather the story-writer, did their best to spoil it.

Isabel Jeans tried to be some sort of Billy Burke or Alice Brady (in My Man Godfrey) - with a closet Toy Boy - though not too believably, and going overboard in trying to act the type of silly woman, which Billy Burke does well. The Toy-Boy, had his own designs (though he too didn't look too convincing), nor did the first victim Stanley Brown - he was guilty (having written love-letters), but didn't look to be so when charged. His domineering father Clarence Kolb did carry his small part.

But the worst were the trio of Joan Perry (Sylvia, Ronald's betrothed), Henry Hunter (Dennis, Butler's son and Sylvia's lover) and Hickman (the butler). That was a completely hay-ware plot. About to marry Ronald, Sylvia spending nights, daily as the detective said, with Dennis. We can blame it on social morals, but what of the Butler's son and the Butler ? Not they too, certainly. And that wasn't in closet, everyone except the Groom (Melvyn) and Grandpa (Connolly) knew of it.

The behavior of these two lovers was not too explainable- even more during the accident and the aftermath. Sylvia bribed Jenny in taking the blame, but then in the confrontation, she not only told that she had blocked the cheque but also egged Jenny- almost daring her to tell the truth (though Jenny didn't) and then the complete spineless (and Coward, as Jenny told him on face, and rightly so), Dennis can't be the right one for wayward Sylvia, as the Butler father Jeffers said, nor would have the wise Grandpa agreed to the opinion.

Had these four characters (Sylvia, Dennis, Jeffers and Caroline) been better thought of, it could have been a far better movie than it is.

But still, it is entirely watchable, due to brilliance of Blondell.

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Release Date:

20 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Good Girls Go to Paris, Too See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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