Is Paris Burning?

  • 1966
  • Movie
  • NR
  • War

Is it any wonder that a film with writers from Aurenche and Bost to Francis Ford Coppola to Gore Vidal would be a bit rambling? Is it any surprise that a film featuring two dozen movie stars is a bit of a mess? Full of dramatically unwieldy crosscutting between the Allies and Germans during the 1944 liberation, IS PARIS BURNING? is a fairly entertaining,...read more

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Is it any wonder that a film with writers from Aurenche and Bost to Francis Ford Coppola to Gore Vidal would be a bit rambling? Is it any surprise that a film featuring two dozen movie stars is a bit of a mess?

Full of dramatically unwieldy crosscutting between the Allies and Germans during the 1944 liberation, IS PARIS BURNING? is a fairly entertaining, action-packed film which seems continually in danger of collapsing under the weight of its own pageantry.

The plot basically deals with the Germans' attempts to torch Paris before having to pull out because they're losing the war. Frobe is the German general assigned to light the match; Caron is the wife of a political prisoner; Welles--desperate as always for money to finance his own films--is a

Swedish consul; Belmondo is a resistance fighter who takes over police headquarters; Vaneck is a Free French officer trying to enlist Allied aide in saving gay Paree; Signoret owns a cafe; Stack, Douglas, Ford and Rich compare square jawlines as four (what else?) generals; and Montand and Perkins,

of course, encounter bad luck on film yet again.

Producer Graetz underwent innumerable headaches in assembling vintage props for the film and in expanding the script every time another movie star became available. Director Clement, expert at documentary and low-key realism, does a fine job of mixing period footage with the stuff he shot, though

continuity suffers somewhat during this extravaganza. A favorite: Frobe and another general speak English en route to Hitler's office, but once in the Fuhrer's presence we get German with English subtitles. There's plenty of fun to be had here if you don't mind (or if you have a perverse

fascination with) that kind of thing.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Is it any wonder that a film with writers from Aurenche and Bost to Francis Ford Coppola to Gore Vidal would be a bit rambling? Is it any surprise that a film featuring two dozen movie stars is a bit of a mess? Full of dramatically unwieldy crosscutting b… (more)

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