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Paris When It Sizzles (1964) - Blu-ray Review

Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

Classic Hollywood making fun of itself? Count me in! Paris When it Sizzles goes full ridiculous in this charming, downright delightful romantic comedy so silly that you cannot help but smile the whole way through.

"one of the rare times that Hollywood does its best to not take itself so seriously"


Starring legends Audrey Hepburn and William Holden, the film centers on famed screenwriter, Richard Benson (Holden) who is down to his last weekend of allotted time to deliver a 138-page script to his producer Alexander Meyerheim (Noël Coward). Too busy indulging in his playboy, alcohol-induced lifestyle, Benson hires a temp secretary, Gabrielle Simpson (Hepburn) to help him type up his non-existent story. Upon arriving in his hotel room in Paris, Simpson learns that since not a single page as been written, she must also aid Benson in coming up with the story. And in doing so, the two, of course, start falling in love in the process.

As the destined pair make their way through the script, all the potential scenarios for The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower are played out with the two leads starring in this movie-within-a-movie. Mirroring Benson and Simpson’s growing romance, the exaggerated personas – conveniently named “Rick” and “Gaby” – navigate their way through international thieves, spies, and even, yes…monsters. And of course, no successful Hollywood picture would be complete without the plot-twisting switches…and “switches on switches” to keep the characters and the audience on their toes. Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

While Holden and Hepburn are no doubt, effortlessly good in the main story of Paris When it Sizzles, the sequences in The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower show both stars, especially Hepburn, having so much fun embracing the heightened emotions of their alter egos. It is so nice to see a film from this era actively poking fun at Hollywood tropes to make something filled to the brim with absurd fun and is an all-around good time.

Considering the meta nature of the film, it is not super surprising that this film was not much of a success when it came out, nor has it really garnered much popularity over time. But I think that this film deserves much more attention than it has previously received. It is one of the rare times that Hollywood does its best to not take itself so seriously, and in doing so, there is an unpredictability to the picture that keeps it non-stop entertaining, engaging, and hilarious.

Directed by Richard Quine and written by George Axelrod and featuring cameos by Tony Curtis, Marlene Dietrich, and even the voice of the one and only Frank Sinatra, Paris When it Sizzles pulls out all the stops in this light-hearted, unique romantic comedy. If you’ve never seen it, now is the time to do yourself a favor and check it out. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures, you can now own this under-rated Hollywood gem on Blu-Ray with a new High-Definition transfer.

4/5 stars

Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- May 3, 2022
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: Dolby TrueHD Mono; French: Dolby Digital Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

William Holden and Audrey Hepburn reunited 10 years after SABRINA to star in this irresistible romantic comedy. Holden plays Richard Benson, a screenwriter being pressured by a movie producer (Noël Coward) to finish his script. Richard hired a live-in secretary (Hepburn) to help him, and soon they’re falling in love. But while they’re having fun enacting scenes from an unwritten screenplay, the deadline to deliver the script is fast approaching.

Video

With the new 1080p high definition, this restoration is fairly good. With no imperfections on the print to be found, the picture is very clean. The color balance offers a more muted-tone for most of the film, and the amount of film grain is decent but can be a bit distracting at times.

Audio

With a Mono Dolby TrueHD audio track, everything comes in crystal clear with Nelson Riddle’s grand and sweeping score wonderfully mixed in throughout, though overall the track is a bit quieter than you would expect.

Supplements:

With nothing but a few trailers to show, the supplements included are virtually non-existent, and it leaves us wishing for much more!

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Trailer

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 1/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars


Film Details

Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
110 mins
Director
: Richard Quine
Writer:
George Axelrod
Cast:
William Holden; Audrey Hepburn; Grégoire Aslan
Genre
: Comedy | Romance
Tagline:
RELAX...IT'S ALL RIGHT TO LAUGH AT THIS TENDER LOVE STORY!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Actually, depravity can be terribly boring if you don't smoke or drink."
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 3, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 3, 2022.
Synopsis: Holden plays Richard Benson, a screenwriter pressured by a movie producer (Noël Coward) to finish his script. Richard hires a live-in secretary, Gabrielle Simpson (Audrey Hepburn) to help him, and soon they're falling in love, enacting scenes from an unwritten screenplay. Unfortunately, the deadline to deliver a script is fast approaching.

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Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

 

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