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An American in Paris (1951) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is "discovered" by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art. Jerry in turn falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound.

  • Jerry Mulligan is an ex-serviceman who stayed on in Paris after the war. He's now a struggling artist trying to sell his paintings on the sidewalk. He's had little luck until the rich Milo Roberts sees him. She offers to help him with his career but is clearly more interested in Jerry than his work. She rents a studio for him and plans his first exhibition. For his part, Jerry falls for a lovely young French woman he sees in a nightclub, Lise Bouvier. She however is being pursued by Jerry's friend, entertainer Henri Baurel. When Baurel gets the opportunity to tour in the US, he wants Lise to marry him so they can go together. She is in love with Jerry but feels she can't abandon Henri who saved her during the war. She has only a short time to decide.

  • Jerry Mulligan is an American ex-GI who stays in post-war Paris to become a painter, and falls for the gamine charms of Lise Bouvier. However, his paintings come to the attention of Milo Roberts, a rich American heiress, who is interested in more than just art.

  • Jerry Mulligan, an American ex-G.I., decided to stay in Paris where he was stationed during the war to pursue his dream of becoming a painter, having a Parisian life which all the famous great artists before him have done. Beyond a group of children in the neighborhood where he lives, Jerry considers fellow American Adam Cook, who came to Paris to study classical piano, his best friend. As Adam studies more than he gets work, he is a struggling artist much like Jerry. Adam's Frenchman friend and former professional colleague, Henri Baurel, who Jerry befriends through Adam, is a bit more successful in his art as a renowned singer. Jerry catches the eye of wealthy, more mature American Milo Roberts, who lives most of the year in Paris when she isn't at home in Baltimore. Although Jerry initially sees through Milo's pretense to her true intentions of she wanting to be his sugar mama - something she has been to other struggling younger artists before - he eventually takes her to her word that she is only interested in helping him get his name known within Paris art circles. Milo quickly comes to see that she may have problems having Jerry all to herself when he is smitten on first sight with an innocent nineteen year old mademoiselle named Lise Bouvier, a perfumerie shop girl. Initially considering him too brash and forward, Lise eventually falls enough under Jerry's persistent charm to give him a chance. What he does not know is that she is already dating someone else, namely Henri, who had extolled her virtues to Adam before. On the request of her parents during the war, they who were working for the Resistance, Lise became Henri's ward for the duration of the war. They only fell in love as Lise became a woman. Lise has to decide if her love is stronger for Jerry than her sense of obligation to Henri, who can also give her an exciting future as he wants her to go to the US with him as Mrs. Baurel while he goes on tour. And Jerry has to decide if his love for Lise is stronger than his want to be a famous artist, the latter which Milo seems to be able to provide. Lise and Jerry's decisions are with the mutual knowledge that they love each other.

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  • Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.


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Synopsis

  • Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is an exuberant American expatriate in Paris trying to make a reputation as a painter. His friend Adam (Oscar Levant) is a struggling concert pianist who is a long time associate of a French singer, Henri Baurel (Georges Guétary). A lonely society woman, Milo Roberts (Nina Foch) takes Jerry under her wing and supports him, but is interested in Jerry more than his art. Jerry remains oblivious to her feelings, and falls in love with Lise (Leslie Caron), a French girl he meets at a restaurant. Lise loves him as well, but she is already in a relationship with Henri, whom she feels indebted to for having saved her family during World War II.

    At a raucous masked ball, with everyone in black-and-white costumes, Milo learns that Jerry is not interested in her, Jerry learns that Lise is in love with him, but is marrying Henri the next day, and Henri overhears their conversation. When Henri drives Lise away, Jerry daydreams about being with her all over Paris, his reverie broken by a car horn, the sound of Henri bringing Lise back to him.

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