5.9/10
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11 user 2 critic

That Girl from Paris (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 1 January 1937 (USA)
Nikki Martin, a parisian opera star, takes off in search of adventure and true-love leaving her arranged husband to be at the alter. While hitchhiking, Nikki meets handsome American ... See full summary »

Director:

Leigh Jason

Writers:

W. Carey Wonderly (story "Viennese Charmer" in Young's Magazine) (as J. Carey Wonderly), Jane Murfin (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lily Pons ... Nicole 'Nikki' Martin
Jack Oakie ... Whammo Lonsdale
Gene Raymond ... Windy McLean
Herman Bing ... 'Hammy' Hammacher
Mischa Auer ... Butch
Lucille Ball ... Claire 'Clair' Williams
Frank Jenks ... Laughing Boy Frank
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Storyline

Nikki Martin, a parisian opera star, takes off in search of adventure and true-love leaving her arranged husband to be at the alter. While hitchhiking, Nikki meets handsome American musician, Windy McLean and his band the 'McLean Wildcats'. Windy immediately spites her, but Nikki falls in love with him and follows him to New York by stowing away on the ship his on. The steward finds her hiding in Windy and the Wilcats room. She is locked up by authorities and Windy and the band are fired. When the ship reaches New York, Nikki escapes off the ship and finds out the Wilcats apartment. They demand her to leave, fearing being implicated but she refuses. Clair, Windy girlfriend shows up with Hammacher, and offers the band a low paying job at a roadhouse in another city. Anxious to depart, they accept. Nikki becomes the bands singer. Clair becomes jealous and reports her to the authorities, causing the band to flee again... Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Parisiense See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the film debut of the The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir. See more »

Quotes

Whammo Lonsdale: [three musicians, in jail for aiding a foreigner's entrance in the country to help her singing career, are reading about her marriage in the newspaper] And to think, she started wid' us. We give her her first break.
Laughing Boy Frank: And now, we're takin' the rap for it.
Whammo Lonsdale: Yeah, she's been playin' us for suckers all along. She's been engaged for six months.
Butch: [in typical form, Butch always resorts to his unconventional political views] And to a financier, which proves that at heart, all women are capitalists.
See more »

Connections

Version of Four Jacks and a Jill (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

When You and I Were Young, Maggie
(1866) (uncredited)
Music by J.A. Butterfield
Lyrics by George W. Johnson
Played on guitar and sung by Jack Oakie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
an opera singer is a runaway bride
15 August 2014 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

I wish I had a time machine and could go back to the old Met and hear some of these singers like Galli-Curci and Lily Pons, who had voices the size of gnats. Nowadays a straight coloratura would never be given Violetta to sing. I'm not even sure one would sing Lucia. They still sing Gilda, and by Act II, it looks like a silent movie. as no one can hear them.

Anyway, Lily Pons was a huge international breakout opera star who made three films for RKO in the '30s. She also did advertisements and gave concerts. Here, she plays a singer, Nikki Martin, a Parisian without a passport who takes off on her wedding day and winds up meeting musician Windy McLean (Gene Raymond) who plays with a band, the 'McLean Wildcats.' Nikki falls for him and stows away on the ship that takes him and his band back to America. Authorities find her, lock her up, and fire the band, which was supposed to play on the ship. Nikki escapes once the ship reaches New York and turns up at the Wildcats' apartment.

Windy's girlfriend, Clair (Lucille Ball) arrives and has a job for them at a roadhouse, which gets them out of town and away from the authorities, who want to bring them to justice for hiding Nikki. When Clair is injured, Nikki becomes very popular as the band's singer. Clair reports them, and soon, they're on the run again.

The band players (Jack Oakie, Hermann Bing, and Mischa Auer) are funny and lively. The film contains lots of music of all kinds. At the end, Pons sings one of her signature roles, Rosina in "The Barber of Seville." Today that role is sung by a mezzo-soprano.

Pons had excellent coloratura technique (but no trill) and, like most female singers of that era, backed off the high notes. It has to do with their training and the type of sound that was considered acceptable. She had a high F and was known for Lakme, an opera which isn't done much anymore.

This is an entertaining film that gives one a chance to see one a really big opera star of the day, during a time when opera was much more a part of the culture. Pons sang into her seventies and, even when I was a child, was still very well known.


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