Told in flashback from a preface in which the main character visits Paramount to sell his story! Romanian-French gigolo Georges Iscovescu wishes to enter the USA. Stopped in Mexico by the quota system, he decides to marry an American, then desert her and join his old partner Anita, who's done likewise. But after sweeping teacher Emmy Brown off her feet, he finds her so sweet that love and jealousy endanger his plans.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is curious how times change. More than 60 years ago, people fleeing Europe went to Mexico to try to gain access to the United States. Today, instead of going the legal route, they would probably hire a coyote to take them to the other side of the border! The more things change, the more they stay the same.
This film is interesting because of the screen play by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, although the IMDB only lists the latter one as the writer. It is a mistake to bypass the great Billy Wilder, when we see his imprint everywhere in the movie.
The movie begins with a disheveled Charles Boyer going to the Paramount lot to talk to the director, Mitchell Leisen. Boyer's character, George Iscovescu, has met the director in the Riviera and comes to beg for a loan of $500, a tidy sum in those days. From there the story unfolds.
George quickly learns after arriving in the border town, that because being Rumanian he must wait about 8 years to enter the United States because of immigration quotas. He quickly learns the only way to make it across the border is if he would marry an American woman, and voila!, Emmy Brown, just happens to come to spend the 4th of July holiday with her students, thus his chance to make it in a legal way.
The cast of the film is excellent. Charles Boyer, in spite of not being upfront with the naive Emmy, doesn't make us hate him. He redeems himself at the end. Olivia de Havilland was perfect for the immature Emmy. She falls in love with a man that is trying to use her as his ticket to the promised land. Paulette Goddard, as Anita was very good. Walter Abel is the despised Inspector Hammock, the immigration officer everyone in town hates.
Don't miss it either on tape or DVD format.
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