Paris Blues (1961)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The second film of director Martin Ritt with both Paul Newmanand Sidney Poitier, it's set in a city that has long been a haven for black musicians eager to escape the racism of the U.S. Newman is Ram Bowen, a trombone player who makes his living in a jazz group, which also includes tenor man Eddie Cook (Sidney Poitier), while studying music and aspiring to a career as a "serious" composer. Eddie stays in Paris to bask in the respect that its people feel for his music, a respect rarely accorded … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Harold Flender, Jack Sher, Irene Camp, Walter Bernstein, Irene Kamp
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 29, 2014
United Artists



as Ram Bowen

as Lillian Corning

as Eddie Cook

as Wild Man Moore

as Connie Lampson

as Michel Duvigne

as Marie Seoul

as Rene Bernard

as Nicole

as Drummer

as Bass Player

as Gypsy Guitarist

as the Pusher

as Ricardo
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Paris Blues

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2)

All it lacks is something to pull these parts into a sensible whole.

Full Review… | February 9, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Within its snappy, flashy veneer is an undernourished romantic drama of a rather traditional screen school.

Full Review… | January 7, 2008
Top Critic

Despite how square this movie about hepcats seems -- if only from the admittedly unfair vantage point of more than five decades on -- expressions of raw emotion stir Paris Blues to life.

Full Review… | July 31, 2014

Louis Armstrong lends his legendary horn to great effect in a musical sequence in this classic gem of a movie.

Full Review… | May 6, 2009

A low key, plotless but charming film that benefits from its appealing cast, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll, on location shooting in Paris, and Oscar-nominated jazz music from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

Full Review… | April 4, 2009

Newman is terrific in the picture, running both hot and cool, but he's upstaged by Woodward, who delivers stunning and surprising emotion in the final scenes. It's really worth seeing.

Full Review… | March 27, 2009

Audience Reviews for Paris Blues


Great music, middling drama. Joanne Woodward comes off best.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier and Louis Armstrong. Score by Duke Ellington, directed by Martin Ritt. Jazz musicians in Paris. This movie sounds amazing and should be astonishing, right? The problem is that its not. The fifth of the movie that actually has to do with jazz gets farted on by how dislikable Newman's character is or how little you care about Joanne Woodward's character. The whole Poitier contrived social consciousness thing where he walked around with Diahann Carrol for half the movie was dull. Not to mention the nonsensical yet predictable ending. But for as much as I bitch about this movie the scenery and photography were great as was any scene with Armstrong.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

Filmed on location in Paris, starring Sidney Poitier as expatriate jazz musician Eddie Cook, and Paul Newman as trombone-playing Ram Bowen. The two men romance two vacationing American tourists, Connie Lampson (Diahann Carroll) and Lillian Corning (Joanne Woodward) respectively. The film also features trumpeter Louis Armstrong as Wild Man Moore and jazz pianist Aaron Bridgers; both play musicians within the film. It was produced by Sam Shaw, directed by Martin Ritt from a screenplay by Walter Bernstein, and with the fantastic black & white cinematography by Christian Matras. A little silly in the screenplay, but climatic and cool as Jazz.

Andre Tavares Simoni

Super Reviewer

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