Paris (1929 film)

Paris is a 1929 American Pre-Code musical comedy film, featuring Irène Bordoni. It was filmed with Technicolor sequences: four of the film's ten reels were originally photographed in Technicolor.

Theatrical Poster
Directed byClarence G. Badger
Produced byRobert North
Written byMartin Brown
E. Ray Goetz
Hope Loring(titles)
StarringIrène Bordoni
Jack Buchanan
Louise Closser Hale
Jason Robards Sr.
ZaSu Pitts
Music byCole Porter
Edward Ward
CinematographySol Polito
Edited byEdward Schroeder
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Release date
  • November 7, 1929 (1929-11-07)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,173,000[1]

Paris was the fourth color film released by Warner Bros.; the first three were The Desert Song, On with the Show and Gold Diggers of Broadway, all released in 1929. (Song of the West was actually completed by June 1929 but had its release delayed until March 1930). The film was adapted from the Cole Porter Broadway musical of the same name. The musical was Porter's first Broadway hit. No film elements of Paris are known to exist, although the complete soundtrack survives on Vitaphone disks. The sound tape reels for this film survives at UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Paris was the fourth film Warner Brothers had made with their Technicolor contract. The filmmakers used a color (Technicolor) process of red and green, at the time it was the third process of Technicolor.[2][3][4]


Irène Bordoni is cast as Vivienne Rolland, a Parisian chorus girl in love with Massachusetts boy Andrew Sabbot (Jason Robards Sr.) Andrew's snobbish mother Cora (Louise Closser Hale) tries to break up the romance. Jack Buchanan likewise makes his talking-picture debut as Guy Pennell, the leading man in Vivienne's revue.



Warner Bros. paid the celebrated French music hall star and Broadway chanteuse Irene Bordoni $10,000 a week to star in this film, playing the role she had originated on Broadway, introducing the enduring Porter standard "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love". While this film was being shot, the studio was in the process of completing their all-star revue The Show of Shows (1929), so they had Bordoni film a number for the revue. Their initial intention was to have Bordoni star in two musical features, but due to the poor box-office reception of Paris, they decided not to make any more films with her.[5]


  • "My Lover"
  • "Paris"
  • "Somebody Mighty Like You"
  • "An' Furthermore"
  • "Wob-a-ly Walk"
  • "Don't Look at Me That Way"
  • "Crystal Girl"
  • "I'm a Little Negative"
  • "I Wonder What is Really on his Mind"
  • "Miss Wonderful"
  • "Among My Souvenirs"
  • "The Land of Going to Be"

Paris utilized advertisements of a type which were common for its time, featuring the talking in the film and Irène Bordoni starring. One ad for Paris said "See the talking picture of the future".


No film elements of Paris are known to exist, although the complete soundtrack survives on Vitaphone disks. The sound tape reels for this film survives at UCLA Film and Television Archive. According to the George Eastman Museum 2015 Book "The Dawn of Technicolor, 1915-1935" there are three fragments at the Seaver Center .In April 2018 British Film Institute discovered the 1 minute Technicolor fragment which is included on the YouTube video.

Box Office

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $632,000 domestically and $541,000 foreign.[1]

See also


  1. Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 10 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, c. 1971
  3. Progressive Silent Film List : Paris at
  4. 1957 MOVIES FROM AAP Warner Bros Features & Cartoons SALES BOOK DIRECTED AT TV
  5. Paris, original Broadway production at the Music Box Theatre, October 8 1928 to March 23 1929 totaling 195 performances;
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