Paris Blues (1961)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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 him in the States. A pair of tourists, Connie Lampson (Diahann Carroll) and Lillian Corning (Joanne Woodward) arrive in the city for a two-week vacation, and the two musicians lose no time in hooking up. Soon both relationships take a serious turn and the musicians are forced to make some important decisions about the possibility of returning to their native soil. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
United Artists

Cast

Paul Newman
as Ram Bowen
Joanne Woodward
as Lillian Corning
Sidney Poitier
as Eddie Cook
Louis Armstrong
as Wild Man Moore
Diahann Carroll
as Connie Lampson
Serge Reggiani
as Michel Duvigne
Barbara Laage
as Marie Seoul
Andre Luguet
as Rene Bernard
Marie Versini
as Nicole
Moustache
as Drummer
Aaron Bridgers
as Pianist
Guy Pederson
as Bass Player
Roger Blin
as Gypsy Guitarist
Helene Dieudonne
as the Pusher
Niko
as Ricardo
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Paris Blues

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

Four writers have adapted Harold Flender's novel, whose sole asset was the idea they have minimized ...

Full Review… | January 26, 2016
The New Republic
Top Critic

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
Variety
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
ColeSmithey.com

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
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for Paris Blues

½

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

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

No one on this Earth is going to be as right for you as I was Ram Bowen and Eddie Cook are American musicians in Paris, France. They love their simple life of playing music and banging chicks. One day they encounter two American girls and they fall in love. The girls want Ram and Eddie to settle down, return to America, and have a family. Can Eddie and Ram change their lifestyle that much for love? "I like to walk, and I like the way you walk, and Paris is a beautiful city to walk in." Martin Ritt, director of Hud, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Norma Rae, Hombre, Nuts, Stanley & Iris, The Outrage, and No Down Payment, delivers Paris Blues. The storyline for this picture is very interesting. I adored the unpredictable nature of the characters and the ultimate outcome was definitely unique. The acting was awesome and the cast includes Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll, Joanne Woodward, and Louis Armstrong. "You like the life you live it!" I am a huge Paul Newman fan so I decided to DVR this picture off Turner Classic Movies (TCM). I was surprised this film has historically received such poor reviews. This actually reminded me a little of Bar Fly. This is an underrated Paul Newman film as he delivers an amazing performance that is definitely a must see. I strongly recommend seeing this picture. "Call the game on account of complications." Grade: B+/A- (8.5)

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins
½

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
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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