Mardi Gras (1958 film)

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Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Edmund Goulding
Produced by Jerry Wald
Written by Hal Kanter
Winston Miller
Based on story by Curtis Harrington
Starring Pat Boone
Music by Lionel Newman
Jerry Wald Productions
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 18, 1958 (1958-11-18)
Running time
107 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.69 million[1]
Box office $2.5 million[2]

Mardi Gras was a 1958 musical comedy film starring Pat Boone and Christine Carère.


A military school cadet (Boone) wins a date with a French movie goddess (Carère) who happens to be the queen of the "Mardi Gras" parade. The two fall in love, but Carère's movie studio wants to capitalize on this newly found love for publicity.



Jerry Wald arranged for second unit filming done of Virginia Military Institute even before a director had been arranged. He originally wanted Gene Kelly but Kelly was too expensive. He eventually decided on Edmund Goulding, whose career was in decline and was therefore cheap, because Wald had admired his films when he was younger.[3]

Pat Boone's casting was announced in February 1958.[4] Shirley Jones, who had co-starred with Boone in April Love, was meant to play the female lead but had to drop out due to pregnancy.[5] Instead the studio cast French actress Christine Carere, who has just made A Certain Smile for Fox.[6]

The film was Sheree North's final film with 20th Century Fox, who had signed North in 1954 in order to mold her as a replacement for Marilyn Monroe. While under contract with Fox, North made six other movies that Fox also released; How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955), The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956), The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956), The Way to the Gold (1957), No Down Payment (1957) and In Love and War (1958).

Shot on location in New Orleans, in CinemaScope and Deluxe color, this was director Goulding's final film.


Despite generally good notices ("makes for sprightly, gay entertainment" - Los Angeles Times[7]) Mardi Gras failed to do well at the box-office.

North was then released from her studio contract. Fox seemed to have lost interest in her in 1956 when they signed Jayne Mansfield to a six-year contract.


Composer Lionel Newman was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score (Scoring of a Musical Picture) for this film.


  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p251
  2. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p227
  3. ^ Matthew Kennedy, Edmund Goulding's Dark Victory: Hollywood's Genius Bad Boy, Terrace Books 2004 p 275 accessed 31 August 2014
  4. ^ PRODUCER SCORES CHICAGO FILM BAN: Hartman Hits Restriction of O'Neill Movie to Adults -Policeman's Book Bought By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 11 Feb 1958: 36.
  5. ^ Karen Steele to Co-Star in Bullfighter's Story Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 05 Apr 1958: 12
  6. ^ French Doll: Meet Christine Carere, a Tiny Bundle of Sheer Acting Talent 'Mardi Gras' Is Next for Christine Incomplete Source Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 15 June 1958: g16.
  7. ^ 'Mardi Gras' Teen Delight With Pat, Tommy, Gary George, Wally. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 09 Nov 1958: E3.

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