The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954) Rated NR

last time I saw parisA soldier reminisces about his life in Paris, following its liberation after WWII.  While there, he meets his wife, and the story follows the downward spiral of their marriage. This movie is loosely based on  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story Babylon Revisited. Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson, Walter Pidgeon, Donna Reed, Eva Gabor, Roger Moore

This film solidified Elizabeth Taylor as an A-list movie star. She plays Van Johnson’s wife, at first a vivacious, precocious, young woman who uses her beauty as a foil for her family’s poverty.  She falls for the journalist and aspiring novelist, and they marry, struggling to make ends meet.

Once wealth falls into their laps, the characters change: Taylor becomes more serious-minded, while Johnson becomes a carefree, unemployed alcoholic.  The corresponding series of events are dismal, at best, but the Taylor’s role showcases her talent perfectly, as she masters the art of understatement, being neither too over the top in her youthfulness or too repressed as the afflicted wife.  She loves her man desperately, but doesn’t know how to fix their situation.

This film is a great representation of both the beauty and the brokenness of marriage, especially when two very different personalities enter it together.  I loved this movie.  It’s worth a watch.



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