Directed by Billy Wilder. US. 1957. NR. 130 min. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sponsored by Kimberton Whole Foods
- Sun, Jun 10, 2:00 pm
This lovely bit of romantic comedy is often considered to be Billy Wilder’s tribute to his idol, Ernest Lubitsch. Filmed in Paris at such settings as the Opera and the Chateau de Vitry, and featuring the charms of Audrey Hepburn and Maurice Chevalier (as her father, a French private detective, no less!) and the sophisticated comedy writing of Wilder and his long-time collaborator I.A.L. Diamond, this is a film that sparkles. Although star Gary Cooper was criticized at the time for being a bit too old to be playing a playboy philanderer, he carries the role off well. However, the elfin charms of Chevalier give the film its true Gallic flavor and often allow him to steal the show. Also, Hepburn’s winsome beauty and openness plays off well against Cooper’s maturity. As London’s Radio Times said about their relationship in this film, “she humanizes and energizes him with her European vivacity.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. So, if you’re in the mood for a touch of witty Parisian sophistication, excellent acting and beautiful settings, this is the film for you. (Bill Roth)