The Last Time I Saw Paris

A DVD review from the desk of The Movie Snob.

The Last Time I Saw Paris  (C).  Here’s another DVD I liberated from a dollar bin at some discount store long ago.  This 1954 release was actually based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Van Johnson (Brigadoon) stars as Charles Wills, an American who is shown wandering nostalgically through Paris in the opening scene.  Almost all the rest of the movie is an extended flashback of the last several years of his life, starting with his presence in Paris on V-E Day as an Army journalist.  As the city goes mad with celebration, Wills meets two sisters–the sensible and severe Marion (Donna Reed, From Here to Eternity) and the giddy gadabout Helen (Elizabeth Taylor, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof).  He falls for Helen, they marry after a whirlwind courtship, and their marriage is, shall we say, not entirely successful.  Eva Gabor (TV’s Green Acres) turns up as a much-married socialite, and a very young pre-007 Roger Moore (Moonraker) also puts in an appearance.  The story is melodramatic but watchable enough, and Taylor is impossibly beautiful.  It’s funny how I (and I imagine most Generation Xers) tend to remember Liz as a has-been movie star who hung out with Michael Jackson and got married a bunch of times, but when I see her in her old screen roles, her star quality is quite amazing.

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