Paris (1929 film)

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Theatrical Poster
Directed byClarence G. Badger
Written byMartin Brown
E. Ray Goetz
Hope Loring (titles)
Produced byRobert North
StarringIrène Bordoni
Jack Buchanan
Louise Closser Hale
Jason Robards Sr.
ZaSu Pitts
CinematographySol Polito
Edited byEdward Schroeder
Music byCole Porter
Edward Ward
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Release date
  • November 7, 1929 (1929-11-07)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,173,000[1]

Paris is a 1929 American pre-Code musical comedy film, featuring Irène Bordoni. It was filmed with Technicolor sequences: four of the film's ten reels were originally photographed in Technicolor.

Paris was the fourth color film released by Warner Bros.; the first three were The Desert Song (although it was only a part-color film), On with the Show, and Gold Diggers of Broadway, all released in 1929. (Song of the West was actually completed by June 1929 but had its release delayed until March 1930). The film was adapted from the Cole Porter Broadway musical of the same name. The musical was Porter's first Broadway hit. Only fragment film elements of Paris are known to exist, although the complete soundtrack survives on Vitaphone disks. The sound tape reels for this film survive at UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Paris was the fourth film Warner Brothers made with their Technicolor contract. The filmmakers used a color (Technicolor) process of red and green, at the time it was the third process of Technicolor.[2][3][4]


Irène Bordoni is cast as Vivienne Rolland, a Parisian chorus girl in love with Massachusetts boy Andrew Sabbot (Jason Robards Sr.) Andrew's snobbish mother Cora (Louise Closser Hale) tries to break up the romance. Jack Buchanan likewise makes his talking-picture debut as Guy Pennell, the leading man in Vivienne's revue.



Warner Bros. paid the celebrated French music hall star and Broadway chanteuse Irène Bordoni $10,000 a week to star in this film, playing the role she had originated on Broadway, introducing the enduring Porter standard "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love". While this film was being shot, the studio was in the process of completing their all-star revue The Show of Shows (1929), so they had Bordoni film a number for the revue. Their initial intention was to have Bordoni star in two musical features, but due to the poor box-office reception of Paris, they decided not to make any more films with her.[5]


  • "My Lover"
  • "Paris"
  • "Somebody Mighty Like You"
  • "An' Furthermore"
  • "Wob-a-ly Walk"
  • "Don't Look at Me That Way"
  • "Crystal Girl"
  • "I'm a Little Negative"
  • "I Wonder What is Really on his Mind"
  • "Miss Wonderful"
  • "Among My Souvenirs"
  • "The Land of Going to Be"


Paris used advertisements of a type which were common for its time, featuring the talking in the film and Irène Bordoni starring. One ad for Paris said "See the talking picture of the future".


One of the color reels from Paris exists at the British Film Institute (BFI) archive.[6] The complete soundtrack also survives on Vitaphone disks. The sound tape reels for this film survive at UCLA Film and Television Archive. According to the George Eastman Museum 2015 book The Dawn of Technicolor, 1915-1935, there are three fragments at the Seaver Center. In 2018 BFI discovered a one-minute Technicolor fragment being used as a film leader, along with fragments of various other films, which are included in video posted to YouTube on April 27, 2018.[7]

Box office[edit]

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $632,000 domestically and $541,000 in other markets.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 10 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. ^ The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, c. 1971
  3. ^ Progressive Silent Film List : Paris at
  4. ^ 1957 MOVIES FROM AAP Warner Bros Features & Cartoons SALES BOOK DIRECTED AT TV
  5. ^ Paris, original Broadway production at the Music Box Theatre, October 8 1928 to March 23 1929 totaling 195 performances;
  6. ^ BFI film record
  7. ^ Early Technicolor discoveries from the BFI National Archive, archived from the original on December 15, 2021, retrieved April 14, 2021 (clip starts at 7:00)

External links[edit]