Paris Blues (1961)

Starring: PN, Sidney Poitier, Joanne Woodward, Diahann Carroll, Louis Armstrong, Serge Reggiani

Directed by: Martin Ritt

Summary: Ram Bowen (PLN on the trombone) and his pal Eddie (Sidney Poitier, on the sax) are American jazz musicians in the progressive Paris of the early 1960's. Lillian (JW) and Connie (Diahann Carroll) are school teachers on vacation. The women meet the musicians and instantly strike up romances. (My favorite is Lillian, a divorced mother of 2 who seduces Ram on the first date!) The couples stroll through the city (It's amusing to watch Joanne try to walk through the cobblestone streets in heels, Diahann was luckier, they gave her flats); as one called this a postcard movie. But it's not all happy days, because the women must return to the United States at the end of only 12 days. Eddie and Connie argue that he's in Paris only because he doesn't want to deal with the racial tensions in America. She thinks he's just running away. Lillian can't seem convince Ram that he can create music outside of Paris. Almost a non-sequitor, Louis Armstrong is on hand to perform some musical numbers...for some reason or other.

Quote:Ram: "Lady, this romance is doomed. You get up too early for me."

Lillian: "You're never going to forget me. You're going to walk down the street of wherever you happen to be, and you're going to see me even when you know I'm not there. Nobody in this whole world is ever going to be as right for you as I was." (Could that be one of the greatest break up lines ever??)

Trivia: Duke Ellington was nominated for an Academy Award for musical score.

The Newman Factor and Rating: I think it's every girls' dream to go to Paris and meet a passionate artist (at least on some level...) perpetuated by the fact that movies set in Paris only showcase characters that are artists. Sidney is wonderful as usual with his amazing charm. Paul has a few good scenes, but the focus is clearly on Sidney. Overall, the film is nothing spectacular, but it isn't a bad rent either. Newman: 6, Film: 7.