Paris Holiday

Studio: Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Mar 01, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Beloved American funnyman Bob Hope – errr, Bob “Hunter” – steps aboard a glamorous, European cruise ship en route to a working vacation in Paris.  He quickly butts heads with his French counterpart, comedian Fernyndel (Fernandel), while doing his best to woo a pretty, uninterested American attaché (Martha Hyer, the same year she received an Oscar nod for Some Came Running), and at the same time a French secret agent (La Dolce Vita’s Anita Ekberg) attempts to pin him in possession of incriminating documents. And this is all before the ship pulls into harbor! Matters become even more complicated once Bob steps foot on French soil, where he’s fingered for the murder of a screenwriter friend (played by filmmaker Preston Sturges) and arrested.

Although it’s certainly among the lesser of the endless light comedies which sent Hope off to one exotic location or another (see: Road to Rio, Morocco, Bali, Singapore... the list goes on), Paris Holiday is an enjoyable-enough romp. Paris Holiday (1958) paired Hope – still, at the time, one of America’s reigning comedians – with the mono-named Fernandel, France’s top comedic actor of the era, probably best known stateside as David Niven’s driver in Around the World in 80 Days. The two men play something of rivals, and despite there being no doubt that this is Hope’s picture – the script was written by Hope’s manager, from a story concocted by the actor, and produced by Hope himself – Fernandel is given equal billing. They both are allowed to run out their own schticks, and their comedic styles never meld particularly well; Hope being quick with the wisecrack, while Fernandel is left to clownish mugging. There are far better showcases out there for both of their talents.

Kino Lorber’s Blu-ray looks good, giving the Technicolor image some extra pop, but the dialogue sounds occasionally weak and garbled. The only extra feature is a scan of a magazine shampoo ad featuring Ekberg from around the time of the film’s release.



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