We are being swept up in a Bastille Day celebration with Patricia of Lady Eve's Reel Life and Christian of Silver Screen Modes. Click HERE and cheer Vive la France!
Paris is filled with Parisiens
Fans greet their idol, "Wild Man" Moore
Parisiens who play and work at night, and sleep in the day. Parisiens who sleep at night, and play and work in the day. Flower sellers. Restauranteurs. Gypsies. Children. Musicians and lovers. Denizens of crowded basement jazz clubs and partiers on the fabled rooftops of the city.
Paris is filled with expats
Eddie Cook, Ram Bowen
Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman
Reed man Eddie Cook played by Sidney Poitier is at home in Paris. Here he is a musician. Back home he is a "black musician." Trombonist Ram Bowen played by Paul Newman has garnered a devoted fan following while pursuing a dream of becoming a serious composer, or is it a composer of serious music?
Paris is filled with tourists
Connie Lampson, Lillian Corning
Diahann Carroll, Joanne Woodward
Pretty teacher Connie Lampson played by Diahann Carroll is on a two week Paris vacation with her friend Lillian Corning played by Joanne Woodward, a divorced mother. They enjoy music.
Paris is filled with lovers
Connie Lampson, Eddie Collins
Diahann Carroll, Sidney Poitier
Ram was attracted to Connie upon meeting her. His piercing blue eyes and brooding manner were no weapon against the attraction between Connie and Eddie. The love developing between the teacher and the musician is complicated by deeply ingrained attitudes. Eddie has found his comfort zone in Paris. Connie believes Eddie is running away. She maintains her roots "home", back in the States. She believes you must make a stand and fight for rights. She wants Eddie to return and fight the good fight with her.
Lillian Corning, Ram Bowen
Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman
Ram's piercing blue eyes and brooding manner are like a magnet to Lillian. She is not willing to waste one moment of her vacation. Perhaps she sees what she wants to see in Ram. Love works that way sometimes.
Paris is a place where dreams come true, where dreams die and where dreams are reborn
Jazz bona fides
Louis Armstrong, Paul Newman, Duke Ellington
The score to Paris Blues features Duke Ellington arrangements of Duke Ellington music, with two tracks by Louis Armstrong. Paul Newman was coached on the trombone by Billy Byers and Murray McEachern played on the soundtrack. Paul Gonsalves played for Sidney Poitier.
The soundtrack album was nominated for the 1962 Grammy in the category Best Soundtrack Album or Recording or Score from Motion Picture or Television. The winner was Breakfast at Tiffany's, Henry Mancini.
Duke Ellington was nominated for an Oscar in the category Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture which was won by the team behind West Side Story. I feel he should have been more properly nominated for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture which was won by Henry Mancini for Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Martin Ritt directed Paris Blues on location in Paris. This was Ritt's second film with Poitier following Edge of the City, the second of five with Newman, and final of four with Joanne Woodward.
The screenplay is based on a 1957 novel by Harold Flender. The main characters in the novel were Eddie and Connie with their romance and struggle with race a focus. The characters played by Newman and Woodward were secondary in the novel and much changed for the film. An early adaptation had changed the focus to two inter-racial romances. One can assume that a certain apprehension and an eye to box office spurred the film in its final form.
Paris Blues can be enjoyed on many levels; as a fine showcase for four star-powered actors, the atmosphere of its location filming, and for the music and the character played by the great Louis Armstrong.