The Last Time I Saw Paris

  • 1954
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Romance

F. Scott Fitzgerald's tragic love story was brought to the screen with surprising vitality under Brooks' expert hand. He drew fine performances from Taylor, Johnson, and others in a sumptuous MGM production that captured the flavor of expatriate life in the City of Light. While Fitzgerald set his poignant tale in the 1920s, this film begins just after WWII;...read more

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F. Scott Fitzgerald's tragic love story was brought to the screen with surprising vitality under Brooks' expert hand. He drew fine performances from Taylor, Johnson, and others in a sumptuous MGM production that captured the flavor of expatriate life in the City of Light. While Fitzgerald

set his poignant tale in the 1920s, this film begins just after WWII; Johnson is a GI with literary ambitions who goes to Paris and meets the wealthy Taylor. They fall in love and he settles down there, attempting to write his first novel. All goes well for a while until failure to sell his

writing causes Johnson to turn to the bottle. His excessive drinking soon causes the couple to argue and Taylor to be accidentally locked out of their Parisian quarters during a rainstorm. She catches pneumonia and later dies. Their child is raised by Taylor's sister, Reed, who has always

disapproved of Johnson. He returns to the US and becomes a successful novelist. Once back in Paris (which is how the film opens, with the Johnson-Taylor love story shown in flashback), Johnson begs for custody of his little girl. Reed relents at the last moment, and the child is reunited with her

reformed father.

Taylor was never more lovely and turns in a superior performance as the star-crossed lady in love with Johnson. Johnson, who also turns in a good effort, although he's a bit glib in spots, was first teamed with Taylor in 1950 in THE BIG HANGOVER and got top billing. With THE LAST TIME I SAW

PARIS, Taylor received the top slot because she had become one of the big box-office draws for MGM. Producer Lester Cowan had originally purchased the rights from Fitzgerald to this story for $3,000, intending to film it as a Mary Pickford vehicle in the 1920s for Goldwyn. Cowan sold the story to

Paramount for a Gregory Peck-William Wyler production that fell through. But MGM purchased the rights from Paramount specifically for Taylor, assigning the clever Epstein twins to write a sparkling script that kept the flavor, if not the brilliance, of Fitzgerald's story intact. MGM shot two weeks

on location in Paris and on the Riviera, mostly at Cannes, producing the balance of the film on the Culver City lot.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: F. Scott Fitzgerald's tragic love story was brought to the screen with surprising vitality under Brooks' expert hand. He drew fine performances from Taylor, Johnson, and others in a sumptuous MGM production that captured the flavor of expatriate life in th… (more)

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