So This Is Paris



Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Myrna Loy Photo
Myrna Loy as Lalle's Maid
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
615.68 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 7 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.12 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 7 min
P/S 4 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by AlsExGal8 / 10

A great slice of roaring 20s life...

... but other than the names of the characters, I see nothing about this film that would indicate anything particularly Parisian about it.

A doctor's wife, Suzanne Giraud (Patsy Ruth Miller) , laps up romance novels about sheiks. Across the way, the apartment of the Lalles, who are professional dancers who dress in Middle Eastern attire, is visible via the window. Through a misunderstanding, Suzanne thinks the man living there has exposed himself to her, and demands her husband (Monte Blue as Dr. Girard) go over there and "get satisfaction" by caning him. It turns out the man's wife is an old flame of Dr. Giraud, Georgette (Lilyan Tashman),and the two begin an emotional affair. Meanwhile, Mr. Lalle, who never even encounters Dr. Giraud, goes to the Giraud apartment to return the doctor's cane, and becomes enamored of Suzanne. She does not return the sentiment only because Mr. Lalle is not her idea of a romantic sheik.

Suzanne is the only one not cheating or attempting to cheat on anybody, but she does have the knowledge - eventually - of the behavior of everybody else. And if Mr. Lalle had been more Valentino and less librarian, she probably would have been having a rendezvous too.

This is just a very light enjoyable film that is a great showcase for the fashions and dance styles of the time. The best scene in the movie is the Artists' Ball with a rowdy band and a rowdier Charleston. It was highlighted in the documentary series "Silent Hollywood" as an example of silent film not having any problems with musical numbers. Warner Brothers recently restored it, and it looks terrific, but I think the music that was used, particularly at the Artists' Ball, was not nearly as good as what was used in Silent Hollywood.

I'd recommend it as a good example of that Lubitsch touch in the silent era. It also showcases Lilyan Tashman as being as good in silents as she was in sound films, her natural mischief coming through.

Reviewed by Cineanalyst7 / 10

Kaleidoscopic Jazz-Age Comedy of Infidelity and Masquerade

"So This is Paris" is another delightful comedy by Ernst Lubitsch and which features a concert with Charleston dancing that's a quintessential jazz-age cinematic sequence. Once again, the director returns to the themes of marital flirtations with infidelity and the dramatic irony of the spectator knowing more than do the characters, who fall prey to a series of comical misconceptions based on partial views and information, lies and masquerade. Such elements occupied much of his German oeuvre, as well as being prevalent in his more sophisticated romantic comedies in Hollywood beginning with "The Marriage Circle" (1925). While "So This is Paris" lacks the nuanced and subtle acting and craft of that predecessor, it makes up for it, at least in part, with some zany action, including a considerable amount of camera trick effects and even a hint of Freudian homoeroticism involving a cane.

Based on a German operetta, "Die Fledermaus," which in turn was based on a French farce, "La Réveillon," Lubitsch had already adapted a version of the stage story in one of his early German comedies, "The Merry Jail" (1917),a film that is fairly indicative of the type of broad humor the director employed during his early career. The Parisian setting here is inconsequential to the narrative, but Paris was usefully associated with sexual promiscuity, so this film's title was a convenient advertisement of the subject matter, as well as surely allowing Lubitsch and company to portray adultery without drawing the ire of censors, which it presumably would've had it been set too close to home, say, in Middle America, or, too honestly, in Hollywood (which was already having enough problems from associations with deviancy in the minds of moralists).

Meanwhile, the hint of homosexuality between the two husbands, the doctor and the actor, and the phallic symbolism of the walking stick would've presumably largely escaped notice. For much of the picture, the actor possesses the doctor's cane, wagging it, as he goes to visit the doctor's wife, Suzanne, while her husband is away--although, little does he know, the doctor is away visiting his dancer wife--the two men oblivious to each other's attempts to cuckold one another. Having already complimented the actor on his shirtless physique in a sheik costume in the fashion of Rudolph Valentino, and having misinterpreted the actor's complement of Suzanne's profile as alluding to that of his own, the doctor admires himself in a mirror. He also has a vexing dream where his lost cane pokes him in the face and forces its way down his throat, as Freudian film theorists delight. Similarly, the actor, during one of his attempts to woo Suzanne, literally deflowers her vase, tossing the stems at her.

As in prior films, especially "Lady Windermere's Fan" (1925),Lubitsch gets a lot of play from characters being mislead by what they see through windows; in this case, from the fact that the doctor and Suzanne see the neighboring couple from across the street this way. Point-of-view shots are also effectively used later, in addition to superimpositions, including Kaleidoscopic effects, to represent drunkenness. There's also masquerade and mistaken identities: the actor dressed as a sheik, oblivious to his attracting the desire of Suzanne and the jealousy of the doctor (who initially puts a thermometer in her mouth and diagnoses her as too hot); the dancer, in a setup similar to a scene in "The Marriage Circle" and its remake "One Hour with You" (1932),inventing an imaginary illness as a pretext to bring the doctor away from home; the jail mixup; and Suzanne even wearing a mask to trick her husband into an affair with his own wife. One gag that reverses this general dramatic irony, however, is the tirade of insults between the doctor and a policeman, with the detail of the remarks being left to the imagination or for the amusement of lip readers.

Yet, the most remarkable sequence here has to be the Artists Ball. It's framed by Suzanne listening to the orchestra from the event over the radio, with the announcements from it appearing on the screen as overlaying text. The Ball itself is unlike the rest of what is a rather intimate and small-scale production, with a large crowd of Charleston dancers and large ballroom. Although the scale is right, it's surely not quite the kind of scene that earned Lubitsch the title of "the Griffith of Europe," although it's somewhat reminiscent of a dance scene in his German film, "The Oyster Princess" (1919),as well as anticipating his later musicals. As the jazz band plays and the flappers gyrate, the sequence features a series of dissolving images, superimpositions, prominent displays of dancing legs, twirling lights and the first of the film's multiple-exposure Kaleidoscopic effects. Apparently, Lubitsch and cinematographer John J. Mescall were having a ball on this production, exploring the limits of trick effects as old as the days of Georges Méliès, repurposed for the Roaring Twenties. There's even a shrinking effect via superimposition to reflect the metaphor of the doctor's smallness and emasculation in a later scene.

It's unfortunate that this film has yet to receive wider distribution. I would love to see a quality print, as the copy I viewed had a washed-out look. It's bad enough that most silent films are considered lost, including such Lubitsch classics as "Kiss Me Again" (1925) and the Best-Picture nominee "The Patriot" (1928); the ones that remain, such as "So This is Paris," or "Rosita" (1923) and "Three Women" (1924),deserve to be released from the vaults. The Artists Ball scene, however, is featured on the DVD "Light Rhythms: Music and Abstraction," as part of the "Unseen Cinema" series.

Reviewed by ThomasDrufke6 / 10

Roaring Twenties

Seeing this film at my schools auditorium with a packed house of people who actually want to be seeing a 1920's silent film and with a live organ player was a delight. It made me wish I lived in Hollywood where old films are actually shown with a live orchestra and score pretty normally. If it weren't for the obnoxious lady next to me who would not stop laughing at every single thing, I probably would have liked the film even more. So This is Paris was very racy for its time, and I think that's part of the reason why it was so funny. It caught the audience of guard as to just how raunchy it was for its time. But make no mistake, the film is a good time at the theater.

It's about two couples who get caught up in a love quad with each other and attempt to keep it from their significant others. This makes for great comedy if handled correctly. Specifically when we know something that characters don't. The way the film is presented is controversial for its time. There just weren't films made at this time that displayed infidelity, at least not like this. The party scene alone made me think of how everyone may have perceived the film at the time. It was almost like a scene out of the most recent Great Gatsby, very trippy.

The film is definitely funny, but I just didn't get the laughs I do out of watching some of the other 20's classics. I'm much more a fan of the physical comedy. I guess I just don't find reading a joke as funny as seeing it, probably why I don't read books. I was also impressed by the camera movements and the subtle special effects this film had. Such as the drunk visions and even the shrinking scene. With all that said, I think So this is Paris can be a joy to watch even with some of it's faults.


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