While Positively Purging a little sliver of a magazine clipping fluttered onto my office floor that read “My favorite movie is Paris Blues.” I looked for the film on Netflix and Amazon Prime and was unable to find it- luckily, my library had a copy. I made myself “snack mix”, poured myself a glass of wine, and curled up on my sofa to watch the film alone.
Here is my review: Hard to find but worth the effort. Made in 1961, the film is about two expatriate jazz musicians (played by Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier) who both find the freedom of Paris more exciting and accepting for serious musicians than America. It’s that freedom and racial tolerance that causes conflicts for both men when they meet two American girls (Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll) who they end up falling in love with during an intense two-week period. Diahann Carroll steals the show (why isn’t she on the DVD cover with the other three stars?). Carroll makes this movie about race more than anyone else does with lines like “There isn’t a place on earth that isn’t hell for somebody. Some race, some color, some sex…I’m not denying what you feel…but things are much better than they were five years ago, and they’re gonna still be better next year. And not because negroes come to Paris”. Louis Armstrong has a bit part playing “Wildman Moore.” I love the jazz score in this movie (it reminded me of my grandfather).
This film is before my time, but I imagine it must have been very risqué back in 1961 because Woodward’s character hits the sack with Newman’s character, and Carroll’s racial monologue is thought provoking. I also can’t help but wonder how the film would have turned out if Newman and Carroll ended up as an interracial couple in the film. They did appear to have some chemistry upon first introduction. I wouldn’t say this was my favorite romantic movie; but what a cast, what wonderful music, and what a wonderful movie. Have you seen this movie, what are your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations of romantic movies I should be watching?