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3.9 out of 5 stars
15
3.9 out of 5 stars
Paris Blues
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£21.99+ £1.26 shipping


on 9 December 2010
Set in the racially relaxed jazz scene in Paris in the early 1960s, this bittersweet Martin Ritt film focuses on two American Jazz musicians (Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier) living and working in Paris who encounter two American girls (Joanne Woodward, Diahann Carroll) on vacation. Romance ensues but with complications. Shot in handsome black and white by the great French cinematographer Christian Matras (EARRINGS OF MADAME DE ..., GRAND ILLUSION), director Ritt does a good job of recreating the feverish, smoky environs of the jazz scene as well as the carefree yet intense existence of the creative expatriate. The actual romantic entanglements aren't nearly as colorful. Newman is an old hand at this kind of role, the nonconformist with a touch of the heel (HUD, THE HUSTLER) but Poitier makes for a fine contrast as the decent black man living in Europe to avoid the racism of America. The score, by Duke Ellington, is authentic. With Serge Reggiani, Barbara Laage, Marie Versini and in a rare acting role, the great Louis Armstrong whose jam session is the highlight of the film.

The British import (it's not available in the U.S. at this time) via Optimum Classics is a crisp B&W print modestly letterboxed at 1.66:1, non anamorphic.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 16 May 2009
Paris Blues is based on Harold Flender`s novel of the same title and tells the story of two American jazz musicians living in Paris who fall for two American tourists, consequently forcing them to choose between love and music. Hollywood of course avoided controversy by side-stepping Flender`s original storyline of interracial love, so we get Paul Newman in the leading role and Sidney Poitier as his friend and side-man, with Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll as the respective love interests. Despite the "love story" label, the film is quite a serious little affair, dealing with issues of race, dedication to music and (hey, its in the Hollywood rule book) drug addiction in the life of jazz musicians.
For all that, its an entertaining and enjoyable little movie with a terrific Duke Ellington score and a cameo appearance by Louis Armstrong. The music is not sidelined either, with several complete numbers either as performance scenes (the great Britt Woodman dubbed for Newman`s trombone solos) or as background for location scenes. Much of the film was shot on location and it has that black and white 60`s nostalgia thing working for it. The print quality is pretty good, a few minor blemishes here and there, but the original film ratio has been kept (Optimum appear to have licenced the release from MGM so this is probably the best print we`ll get). The blurb on the box says "Paris Blues is a must-have for music and film fans alike" and I can`t argue with that. Buy it before they discover it has jazz in it and they delete it.
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on 17 February 2015
Above average,realistic film that is a must watch if you're a Paul Newman fan.Has its flaws but overall a good picture.Newman is cool as always.
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on 12 May 2017
Great film !
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on 18 December 2016
I enjoyed this Blu Ray set in Paris with a handful of known jazz greats appearing. I recommend it.
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on 6 May 2010
Paris Blues would have deserved a better film to video transfer. Sadly, it is in this disc produced in a 4:3 letterboxed picture, and not provided with proper English subtitles. The original aspect ratio, namely 1.66:1, is easily transferred in an anamorphic fashion, with pillar box frame.
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on 6 February 2010
The best race relations, jazz, love stories, do the right thing kind of movie ever made. What a cast! Every scene a winner!
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on 20 May 2014
If you like Paul Newman, then naturally, you will enjoy this movie a little, but I read somewhere that his role was originally offered to Marlon Brando, and there's a lot of his mannerisims in the part. The movie deals with some very deep subjects in a very superficial way, and left me wishing for more, but not in a good way.
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on 13 February 2015
Not as good as expected.
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on 16 August 2016
With the Newmans, Poitier, Armstrong, the Ellington ensemble and a backdrop of Paris what more can be said?
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