April in Paris

You are invited to rate and comment on the 39 films of Doris Day.

How do you rate "April in Paris"?

Poor
4
8%
Average
15
30%
Good
20
40%
Excellent
11
22%
 
Total votes: 50

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pillowtalk
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Re: April in Paris

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BabeWilliams wrote:I've just seen this one on my DVR, (I recorded it when it was on TCM) And I absolutely loved it. Can't really explain why though. The leading man wasn't very attractive, and even if the french man were available he wouldn't have been much competition anyway. So, I'm not really sure why I loved this movie. I suppose it was the Doris glow that was all about it. In any case I gave it an excellent because I really did like it. The songs, the ones where Doris sang anyway, were all great too.
YAY! There's someone else who loves it, besides me. I thought I was alone. :lol:
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~Nicki~

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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by TCMMovieFan »

Too bad because this did have the makings of a fine musical.
Ray Bolger was totally miscast in this film. He sure could dance but was not a good partner for Doris. The bit where he danced as himself with George Washington & Abraham Lincoln was clever but his singing was poor and his acting was 'off the mark' on this one. In earlier films - he scored more as a comedic dancer - but definitely not leading man material.
The Doris musical numbers were all fine---I liked the supporting cast as well.
Maybe they should have paired Doris with Fred Astaire..........he had much more style than Bolger for this type of a role-------i.e. Fred Astaire was an excellent partner for BETTY HUTTON in LET'S DANCE. He could have also done the Bolger routines in AIP brilliantly.

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Ania
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Re: April in Paris

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Image
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
:D
I LOVE YOU DORIS♥

“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day
Ania YouTube

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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by charliesbutterfly »

I've been in a Doris Day mood lately and rewatching all my favorites. This one is by far my least favorite. I have never been able to make it through the whole movie...it just does not hold my attention. Upon this viewing I know why...it's Ray Bolger, he is not a leading man. I could not get past him as the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz...cast perfectly for that movie but totally miscast with Doris.

I haven't been to this site for years and wanted to know if I was the only one not feeling this movie. I see I'm in good company.
Love Me or Leave Me...don't let me be lonely.

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Peter Flapper
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by Peter Flapper »

Hi again,

Found this one too:
Image

Have an nice Day,

P

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howard
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Re: April in Paris

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Great shot! Thanks.
Like Irene Dunne done.

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jmichael
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by jmichael »

Fab picture, Peter, but I've never gotten into this movie. Ray Bolger bothers me to the nth degree and the best things about it are Doris and the lovely title song.

Michael
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Doris Martin
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by Doris Martin »

jmichael wrote:Fab picture, Peter, but I've never gotten into this movie. Ray Bolger bothers me to the nth degree and the best things about it are Doris and the lovely title song.

Michael
I agree with you dear

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Renie
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by Renie »

I re-watched this movie recently and decided to read through all the comments on this Forum about it, just for the heck of it. I was surprised to find that the majority of people disliked Ray Bolger, except for his dancing, and thus disliked the movie. They liked Doris and the songs. No surprise there.

I'd like to add my comments which are somewhat at odds with the others. I really like this movie. Doris played a brassy but lovable blond with some wonderful comedy one liners, which is my favorite role for her. The songs are great and her singing, as always, was superb. She also did a fair amount of dancing and did it so well. Throughout the film she looked like she was enjoying herself. Ray Bolger was a great dancer. I have fond memories of him in the Wizard of Oz. And, as a retiree from 30 years of working for the US Government, I felt he fit right in as one of the many quirky people I worked with through the years. What's not to like about him?

Renie

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Jas1
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by Jas1 »

His Looks Renie? lol - I think that is what people are saying for the most part- he did not look like the type Doris would have gone for- I think it is accepted he was never a leading man in that sense / romantic type. I also do not like the fact that he tried to upstage Doris -as confirmed in her book .

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Re: April in Paris

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Ditto, James.

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howard
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Re: April in Paris

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Same here!
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Renie
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Re: April in Paris

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I don't feel that Ray Bolger was miscast as the male lead in this romantic comedy. In fact, he won the Tony Award in 1948 for Where's Charley? for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, romantic comedy type. If some of you feel he was miscast as a male lead for Doris in particular you certainly have a right to your opinions as I do mine. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you know.

The alledged upstaging of Doris is covered on page 128 of Doris' book. As I see it, she said that the director and some of the technical crew felt that he was upstaging but she, herself, had difficulty recognizing it. She also said that she had never met Ray before but they got along very well.

Renie

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Musiclover
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by Musiclover »

True, Renie -- but Doris also commented, "I didn't like the movie and I certainly didn't enjoy making it. The choreography was as banal as the script." We probably agree, though, that she always did the best she could with what was assigned to her, whether she liked it or not.

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Renie
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Re: April in Paris

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Yes, I do agree that she is and always has been a trooper. Regardless of what cards were dealt her in her personal and professional lives she made the best of it. I don't know who wrote: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." But, whoever it was, they were describing Doris.

Renie

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Peter Flapper
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by Peter Flapper »

Hello there,

Found some costume drawings for April in Paris.

http://warnerarchive.tumblr.com/post/57 ... l-in-paris

P

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Jas1
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Re: April in Paris

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Thanks for these gems Peter.

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Johnny
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Re: April in Paris

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Tom Santopietro writes in Considering Doris Day about April In Paris:

"Day is first glimpsed fifteen minutes into the film, dancing and singing, in a chorus- girl routine. Without a top-notch director to guide her, Day still tends to smile too broadly, but in a welcome sign of her development as an actress, when she speaks softly at her disappointment at the trip being called off, one truly believes her. Sincerity and vulnerability truly do lie at her core, and five minutes later, her silken rendition of the beautiful title song lifts the film to an entirely different level, if only briefly.
The emotional directness of her singing , which only the very best vocalists ever achieve, is what matters here and what the audience responds to. This is the true artistry and why even a trifle like April In Paris is worth examining.
Johnny

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Johnny
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Re: April in Paris

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Production on April In Paris began on March 12-1952 with Director David Butler according to David Kaufman's book. It also states that choreographer, Donald Saddler started dance rehearsals on set with Doris on February 21-1952. They rehearsed until March 15-1952.
Saddler said about Doris, "Of all the stars and principals I've danced with, I think she is one of the most gifted". I don't think she ever had any idea how great she was. She just thought that was the way she was supposed to be. But when she was working,she was in her own world. Her real world wasn't as magical as the world she went into. It's hard to explain, but you know it when you see it. She could do anything".

These are excellent insights into Doris' work ethic in everything she does. Her standard seems to be perfection.

It is clear that Doris is underappreciated by Hollywood as the outstanding and brilliant artist she is in the fields of music, film and in particular the field of dance. Fortunately her fans appreciate her many talents where the industry has not recognized her. This Doris Day Forum is a important part of this appreciation.
April In Paris
April In Paris
Johnny

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Johnny
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Re: April in Paris

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The song April In Paris was composed by Vernon Duke and lyrics written by Yip Harburg in 1932 for the Broadway play Walk A Little Faster. The play opened in December 1932 and starred Beatrice Lillie.

There were two accounts identified as to how the song April In Paris originated.

The first version was Vernon Duke was sitting in a restaurant talking about Paris with friends. When one of the friends said they would love to be in Paris now that April was here it inspired Duke to immediately start composing the song.

The second account states the production designer Boris Aronson created the most beautiful Paris set for the play that it inspired Harburg to write the lyrics for the song.

In Tom Santopietro book Considering Doris Day, he states" Her silken rendition of the title song lifts the film to an entirely different level, if only briefly. The emotional directness of her singing, which only the very best vocalists achieve, is what matters here and why the audience responds to. This is true artistry and this is why a little trifle like April In Paris is worth examining."

Variety in January 1954 listed April In Paris as one of 1953's top box office hits.
Johnny

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Jas1
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Re: April in Paris

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Shelly Winters [in one of her books] said she had Doris' recording of April in Paris worn out - this was during the time she lived in Italy and other parts of Europe in the early 50s and was having a difficult time with romance. :(

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Johnny
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Re: April in Paris

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Doris' first film of 1953 was April In Paris directed by David Butler. Her co-stars were Ray Bolger, Claude Dauphin, Eve Miller, and George Givot.

The songs in the films are, April In Paris, Give Me Your Lips, I Know A Place, I'm Ringing The Bell Tonight, Isn't Love Wonderful?, That's What Make Paris Paree, It Must Be Good, The Place You Hold In My Heart.

In Alan Gelb's book, The Doris Day Scrapbook, he writes:

"The story line was just improbable as the casting. In lieu of Ethel Barrymore, Doris Day, a chorine, Dynamite Jackson, is invited to represent the American Theater at the International Festival of the Arts in Paris. The invitation has been extended by a bumbling bureaucrat in the State Department, (Bolger of course). Soon it appears that this diplomatic gaffe is an act of inspired egalitarianism and everyone is swept away by Dynamite. Not least of all is Bolger, and their romance blossoms on shipboard. But Doris with the brash exuberance she exhibited on another ship as a singer in Romance On The High Seas proves too much for the sober delegates accompanying her to the Paris Festival. She doesn't do anything right; her celery-chewing is too vociferous and she uses the wrong cutlery. Worst of all, she dances with a waiter! Of course, the conflicts are resolved happily in the end, but not before very joke about Paris is brought out and dusted off.

Despite the banality of the plot and the strange pairing of Doris and Bolger, April In Paris survives as a diverting example of Technicolour froufrou. The score is a treat, with music by the great Vernon Duke and lyrics by Sammy Cahn and E. Y. "Yip" Harburg. Doris' singing of the title song has an interesting melancholy note to it, but it is overshadowed by an exuberant and memorable dance number called, "I'm Gonna Ring That Bell Tonight" in which Bolger's peculiar brand of humour and athleticism is on bright display. All in all, April In Paris was designed to meet the needs of Doris' ever growing legion of fans, and it did so, without going above and beyond the call of duty."

The musical numbers were staged by LeRoy Prinz. The orchestration was by Frank Comstock and the Music Director was Ray Heindorf.
Johnny

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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by rickanderson »

Johnny wrote:
24 Apr 2019, 17:33
The musical numbers were staged by LeRoy Prinz. The orchestration was by Frank Comstock and the Music Director was Ray Heindorf.
Still, listen to these songs to get in the right mood.

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Johnny
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Re: April in Paris

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There is an interesting review on April in Paris by Jeremy Arnold on the TCM website.

Here are some excerpts:

"April in Paris (1952), is a lightweight Warner Brothers musical, was made as a typical vehicle for the hugely popular star Doris Day. It even opened on Christmas Eve, clearly designed to be a frothy holiday tuneful, if frivolous, piece of Technicolor candy, with some enjoyable numbers courtesy of composer Vernon Duke, lyricists Yip Harburg and Sammy Cahn and uncredited choreographer Donald Saddler."
...

"The musical highlight of the picture is probably, "I'm Gonna Ring That Bell Tonight", performed in the ship's kitchen, but other musical numbers include Bolger dancing with full-length portraits of himself dressed as George Washington and Abe Lincoln, and a number with French poodles all dyed to match the pastel colours of their handler's clothes."

The credited choreographer is LeRoy Prinz, but that was due mainly to his position as head of the department at Warner Brothers. (It was the common practice at the time to credit certain work.) In her memoir (as told to A.E. Hotchner), Day writes that LeRoy's brother Eddie Prinz did the choreography, but a more recent biography by David Kaufman reveals Donald Saddler actually choreographed Day's numbers. Saddler is quoted at length speaking of the strong relationship he enjoyed with Day on this and two further films.

"There was instantly a nice rapport," Saddler said. "And after a while, I could think ahead, because I knew how she moved and it proved a great asset. I always made her feel that if a step wasn't right, then I'd give her another one. And she was Warner Brothers - trained, where sometimes they would just go on the set, improvise the number and shoot it.

"Of all the stars I worked with, I think she was the most gifted", said Saddler.
...

Sadler also said that LeRoy Prinz warned him to always praise Day's takes because, "We only do single takes here", (meaning - at Warner Brothers). Saddler and Day got around this by developing a set of hand signals, so that if Day felt she needed another take, she would secretly signal Saddler, who would then say that he had made a mistake and needed to redo the shot"
....
Biographer Tom Santopietro was one of many to heap praise on Day's vocal talents, writing of her performance in April in Paris: "Her silken rendition of the beautiful title song lifts the film to an entirely different level, if only briefly. The emotional directness of her singing which only the very best vocalists ever achieve is what matters here and what the audience responds to. This is true artistry and why even a trifle like April in Paris is worth examing."

"Critics of the time basically agreed. The New Times found the film predictable and clowning tiresome, "but the dances and musical


numbers are fortunately on a higher plane and offer some cheerful entertainment in the light and tuneful line. Mr. Bolger makes lots of magic with his educated feet, especially in one lively number called, "We're Gonna Ring That Bell Tonight". And Miss Day puts her skill at rhythm singing to frequent and favourable use."
....
"April in Paris was Day's fourth of six pictures with Butler, whom she described as, "urbane, considerate, witty...genial".

It is my observation that Doris' exhuberant character Ethel "Dynamite" Jackson in April in Paris has similarities to Georgia Garrett in Romance On The High Seas. Both film have scenes on ships as well.

I do wonder what Doris thought about the poodles' fur being dyed to match the clothes. I have not read any comments from her on this matter.
Johnny

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jmichael
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by jmichael »

Not my favorite movie or leading man, but it has its moments.

Best thing by far is Doris's melting rendition of the title song. I think hers is better than Sinatra's. Nice to read that Shelley Winters loved Doris's version too. Thanks for sharing that, Johnny.

Michael
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