Louis Jourdan

Made in Paris (1966)

Made in Paris 1966

Maggie Scott (Ann-Margret) works at Barclay’s Department Store as an assistant fashion buyer. When the head fashion buyer Irene (Edie Adams) suddenly leaves to get married right before she’s supposed to go to Paris for some fashion shows, Maggie is sent in her place. Maggie isn’t sure she’s up to it, but Irene thinks she can handle it and her boss’s son Ted (Chad Everett) recommends her for it, even though he’s been trying to pursue her romantically and she keeps turning him down.

Maggie has never been to Paris before so Ted asks his friend Herb (Richard Crenna) to take her out and make sure she’s okay. It turns out Herb has designs on her, too. Before Maggie leaves, Irene tries to tell her that fashion designer Marc Fontaine (Louis Jourdan) needs special attention, but she leaves before she can elaborate. Once Maggie arrives in Paris, she’s brought to a lovely apartment to stay in. While she’s sleeping, who should walk in but Marc Fontaine. It doesn’t take long before Maggie finds out Marc and Irene had been seeing each other and he didn’t know she wasn’t coming to Paris.

When Maggie goes to see Marc’s fashion show, they have yet another tense encounter, but they eventually make peace with each other and Maggie begins to fall in love with Marc. Before long, Maggie’s stuck in the middle of a crazy love triangle.

Made in Paris may be total nonsense of a movie, but it’s at least fun nonsense. Well, at least it’s fun if you like Ann-Margret and 1960s fashion. Ann-Margret and the fashion are the two biggest redeeming values Made in Paris has going for it, so if you’re not a fan of either of those, you might want to sit this one out. It’s not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination and it’s certainly not one of the best movies for Ann-Margret or Louis Jourdan, but I was pleasantly surprised that I had as much fun with it as I did. Not the kind of movie I’d go out of my way to watch, but I’d watch it again if nothing else was on.

What’s on TCM: June 2012

Hard to believe it’s already almost June!  June’s Star(s) of the Month are Teen Idols.  Every Thursday will be showcasing movies starring the likes of Elvis, Frankie and Annette, The Monkees, and Troy Donahue.  TCM will also be doing a series called The Immigrant Experience every Wednesday night this month.  June 10th is a very noteworthy day as it marks what would be Judy Garland’s 90th birthday.  TCM will be celebrating by playing her movies for a full 24 hours, all chosen by noted Judy Garland expert John Fricke.  The Essentials, Jr. series also makes its return to Sunday nights this month.

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The V.I.P.s (1963)

On any given day, you’re bound to encounter all sorts of characters at an airport.  On this particular day, it seems that all the drama is happening in the V.I.P. lounge of Heathrow Airport.  Movie director Max Buda (Orson Welles) is there with aspiring actress Gloria Gritti (Elsa Martinelli), trying to get out of the country so that he won’t have to pay a massive tax bill.  Frances Andros (Elizabeth Taylor) is about to leave her mogul husband Paul (Richard Burton) and run off to New York with her boyfriend, Marc Champselle (Louis Jourdan).  Then there’s Les Mangrum (Rod Taylor), who desperately needs to get to New York so that he can get a loan to save his tractor company.  He’s accompanied by Miss Mead (Maggie Smith), his loyal secretary who is secretly in love with him.  And last, but not least, there’s The Duchess of Brighton (Margaret Rutherford).  She’s fallen on hard times and in order to afford to keep her family’s estate, she has to go to Florida to take a job.

All of these personal dramas become even more tumultuous when all flights out of Heathrow are delayed by fog.  At first, they expect to only be delayed an hour, but it soon becomes clear that they won’t be able to fly out until the next morning and they are all put up in a hotel for the night.  By then, Paul has found out about Frances’ plan to leave him and shows up to put a stop to it.  Les makes a few last-ditch attempts to get the money he needs, and just when he thinks he’s ruined, Miss Mead saves him in just the nick of time.  Max finds a way out of his tax woes, but not a particularly desirable one.  Even the Duchess is able to find a way to keep her family home.

The V.I.P.s may be regarded as one of Elizabeth Taylor’s lesser movies, but I actually enjoyed it.  It’s a guilty pleasure of mine.  If you go into it hoping for straight drama, look elsewhere because it doesn’t really work on that level.  However, if you’re in the mood for something campy, then you might have some fun with The V.I.P.s.  Essentially, it’s Grand Hotel, but set in an airport and campier.  The writing isn’t particularly good, but it was over the top enough to be fun.  Elizabeth Taylor seemed kinda bored most of the time, apparently she only took the role so she wouldn’t have to worry about Richard Burton getting distracted by Sophia Loren.  But boy, does she ever look fabulous!  Richard Burton hams it up big time and Orson Welles’ accent is pretty ridiculous.  And Margaret Rutherford’s boozy, pill-popping Duchess of Brighton is just a hoot.  But I think the most hilarious part of this movie is the hotel the airline puts these people in.  If that were the hotel you really got to stay at when your flight gets delayed, travel delays wouldn’t be quite so bad.  But we all know in reality, you’re really going to the nearest Best Western, not a swanky, stylish place like that.  Also, if you’re into 1960s fashions, this is worth checking out if only for the eye candy factor because it is a very stylish movie.