Made in Paris (1966)
“This is Ann-Margaret BEFORE she went to Paris… This is Ann-Margaret AFTER she got to Paris… AND what happens in between is what it’s all about!”
Director: Boris Sagal
Cast: Ann-Margret, Louis Jourdan, Richard Crenna
Synopsis: Maggie Scott, a fashion buyer in Paris on her first buying spree, meets famous fashion designer Mark Fontaine.
From an age when Hollywood was just beginning to cast off the shackles with which the Hays Code had bound it for the previous thirty-plus years, Made in Paris emerges as a typical — and hopelessly dated — lightweight romantic ‘comedy’ that thinks it is being daring but which loses its nerve in the final reel when the heroine chooses the moralistic guy over the one who shares the sexual/relationship philosophy of probably more than half the adult population today. In this respect, it’s a perfect reflection of Maggie Scott, the character played by a stunningly beautiful Ann-Margret, who alternates between sexually aggressive sex kitten and romantically naive ingenue at the drop of a hat.
Scott is a fashion buyer sent to Paris by Ted Barclay (Chad Everett) her boss who is also son of the company owner and Scott’s potential love interest. In Paris, Scott encounters fashion designer Marc Fontaine (Louis Jourdan), a ladies man with whom she shares a love/hate relationship. When Scott appears to have blown the company’s contract with Fontaine, Barclay travels to Paris to sort things out, setting in motion a series of misunderstandings that grow increasingly tiresome as the story unfolds.
This is one of those old-fashioned story lines that the producers thought they could update by inserting a number of nightclub scenes in which everyone gyrates as if a mild electric current is running through the dance floor at random intervals, a preoccupation with sex, and occasional glimpses of Ann-Margret’s silky cleavage and sturdy thighs. The camera loves her flaming red hair and bone structure, and like many truly beautiful women caught by the camera at the height of their beauty, she is a fascinating pleasure to watch. But her role could have been played by any twenty-something actress of the day, it’s that bland and two-dimensional, and Miss Margret doesn’t have the necessary screen presence or acting ability to save the role. Louis Jourdan plays Louis Jourdan, and is as convincing as a fashion designer as Richard Crenna is as a playboy and ladies man.
The movie works as undemanding entertainment of the kind that will interest ladies with an interest in 1960s fashion and men with an interest in the female form that doesn’t depend upon it being in a state of nudity, but will prove a turn off to everyone else. Louis Jourdan’s character does drive a seriously cool Rolls convertible though…
(Reviewed 7th September 2005)