Idol of Paris

Idol of Paris is a 1948 film based on the novel Paiva, Queen of Love by Alfred Schirokauer, about a mid-19th century French courtesan Theresa who sleeps her way from poverty to the top of Second Empire society. It was an attempt by its makers to imitate the success of the Gainsborough melodramas.

The Idol of Paris
Directed byLeslie Arliss
Produced byR.J. Minney
Maurice Ostrer
Written byStafford Dickens
Norman Lee
Harry Ostrer
Based onnovel Paiva, Queen of Love by Alfred Schirokauer
StarringBeryl Baxter
Michael Rennie
Christine Norden
Andrew Cruickshank
Kenneth Kent
Margaretta Scott
Miles Malleson
Music byMischa Spoliansky (composer),
Louis Levy (musical director)
CinematographyJack E. Cox
Edited byBert Bates
Distributed byPremier Productions Ltd
Warner Brothers (US)
Release date
Running time
106 min
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budgetless than £100,000[1][2]



The film was produced by Maurice Ostrer who moved into independent production after leaving Gainsborough Pictures. He set up his own company, Premier Productions, and made the film in association with R.J. Minney and Leslie Arliss who had all collaborated on The Wicked Lady. It was shot at MGM's British studios.[3]


The movie was not a financial success and led to Maurice Ostrer quitting the film business for good. The careers of Leslie Arliss and Beryl Baxter never recovered either.[4][1][5]

The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote that "the film is over-exaggerated in every detail and will appeal only to the very unsophisticated."[6]


  1. Maurice Ostrer at Britmovie
  2. Robert Murphy, Gainsborough's Producers
  3. "BRITISH FILMS". The Sun (2317). Sydney. 7 September 1947. p. 19. Retrieved 13 September 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  4. Murphy, Robert (2003). Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939-48. Routledge. pp. 120–121.
  5. Maurice Ostrer at BFI Screenonline
  6. Idol of Paris Monthly Film Bulletin; London15.169 (Jan 1, 1948): 30.

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