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Paris Honeymoon 1939
Description: A Texas millionaire travels to Europe to meet his girlfriend, a European countess. He stops in a rustic mountain village and meets a pretty peasant girl. He falls in love with her, then gotta decide if he wants her or the rich countess.
Released: 27 Jan 1939 Director: Frank Tuttle Writers: Frank Butler, Don Hartman, Angela Sherwood (story) Actors: Bing Crosby, Franciska Gaal, Akim Tamiroff, Shirley Ross Genres: Comedy, Musical
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Paris Honeymoon Reviews:

Bing Crosby plays Lucky Lawton a cowboy millionaire who struck gold on his land and would be considered nouveau riche. He's about to marry a Countess played by Shirley Ross, but a hitch has gone through with her divorce. They both come over to Paris to test and straighten it out.While there Crosby buys a castle from Akim Tamiroff in some unknown Balkan city named Pushtalnik. It's also time for Pushtalnik's Rose Festival and the Rose Queen traditionally resides in the castle. That would be Franciska Gaal and she arrives and Crosby has to receive rid of her before Ross joins him in wedlock.Now if you're already thinking this plot is silly, it is. But that's the type of thing that was done in the 1930s in Hollywood. And it's the type of storyline that Bing Crosby was often asked to carry on the strength of his popularity and charisma. He does this admirably with support from some great songs by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger.Robin and Rainger were one hot songwriting squad in Hollywood at that time. They were new off an Oscar in 1938 for Thanks for the Memory which became the beloved theme song of Crosby's Street picture partner Bob Hope. Not often remembered is that Hope introduced this song with Shirley Ross and also recorded it with her. Shirley Ross was at home equally on Broadway as well as Hollywood, she probably shuttled back and forth so she never got really established in either. A nice singer with a pleasant voice, the girl was destined to be a footnote in Hollywood history. She also introduced Blue Moon in Manhattan Melodrama, albeit with a various lyric and entitled The Terrible in Each Man. Larry Hart changed the lyric and the song became a smash, but not for Shirley Ross.Akim Tamiroff was a nice addition to any movie he was in. Here he plays Peter Karloca, mayor of Pushtalnik. Karloca spent some time in the United States, proudly studying our political ways in Chicago and adapting them to Pushtalnik. He and Ben Blue who plays the village idiot who turns the table on Tamiroff in the end, have some nice scenes together and separately.Robin and Rainger's score consists of The Funny Old Hills, a cowboy ballad that is a private favourite of mine, I Have Eyes which he sings as a duet via telephone with Ross, You're A Sweet Tiny Headache which Bing expresses his feeling for Gaal tongue in cheek and finally Joobalai which is one of the several large production numbers in 30s Bing Crosby film. Nice, but man what Busby Berkeley should have done here.Gaal was a continental cabaret entertainer who Cecil B. DeMille discovered and tried to create a star, just like his rival producer Sam Goldwyn tried with Anna Sten. Paris Honeymoon was one of only two another movies she made before returning to Europe just in time for Globe Fight II. There's other number, sort of. One night Bing and butler Edward Everett Horton test to spook Gaal from the castle. Bing plays a disembodied head who is rolled down the dark hallway singing, I Ain't Got Nobody for a couple of lines. When Decca released the Bing's Hollywood record series, they included a nice jazz recording that Crosby made with Woody Herman's band a couple of years after Paris Honeymoon was out.I can't forget Edward Everett Horton who's prissy stuffiness provided a nice foil for many stars. At that time primarily known for his work with Fred Astaire, Horton and Bing work well together and it's a pity they didn't do more.A several months after Paris Honeymoon was released, Europe was at fight and that mythical village of Pushtalnik would have been caught up in it. But we Americans like our escapist entertainment and Paris Honeymoon certainly fills that bill.


Paris HONEYMOON (Paramount, 1938), directed by Frank Tuttle, reunites Bing Crosby and Shirley Ross, who had recently starred in WAIKIKI WEDDING (1937), also directed by Tuttle. As much as the game of Paris HONEYMOON indicates a sequel to WAIKIKI WEDDING, it wasn't, but would have made a fine double feature. As with WAIKIKI WEDDING, Crosby is supported by fine hero performers. Instead of Martha Raye and Bob Burns to complicate matters, Paris HONEYMOON provides Akim Tamiroff, Edward Everett Horton and Ben Blue for comic support. Unlike WAIKIKI WEDDING, Shirley Ross is mainly the secondary female lead while Franciska Gaal (1904-1972), Paramount's most newest foreign import who had made her Hollywood debut in Cecil B. DeMille's rousing adventure, THE BUCANNEER (1938), is the main attraction.The storyline begins off with "Lucky" Lawton (Bing Crosby), a Texas cowboy tycoon, assisted by his valet, Ernest Figg (Edward Everett Horton), in Europe, to attend his upcoming wedding to the wealthy Countess De Remi, formerly known as Barbara Wayne (Shirley Ross). But on the eve of their marriage, Barbara receives word that there is a delay in obtaining her divorce from her former husband (Gregory Gaye). The wedding is postponed for actually until Barbara heads for Paris to speed up the process. In the meantime, Lucky decides to look over a castle in a tiny Balkan village in the mountains which he has purchased for his honeymoon cottage. While there he encounters Manya (Franciska Gaal), a peasant woman known for saying tales to her friends, who has been chosen as queen of the forthcoming rose festival. After their union, Lucky finds this "sweet tiny headache" difficult to avoid and resist, and gotta decide whether to give her up in marriage to a buffoonish Peter Karlocka (Akim Tamiroff), the city mayor, or saddle up with Barbara once her divorce is finalized.This light-hearted comedy provides some fine but unmemorable tunes by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger: "Funny Old Hills" (sung by Bing Crosby); "Work While You May" (sung by villagers); "I Have Eyes to See With" (sung by Bing Crosby and Shirley Ross); "You're a Sweet Tiny Headache" (sung by Crosby to Franciska Gaal); "Joobalai" (sung by villagers, Crosby and Gaal); and "Funny Old Hills" (reprise by Crosby and Gaal). The easy and tender tune of "I Have Eyes to See With" is presented by Crosby and Ross at opposite ends of the telephone (a gimmick done once before by Crosby and Kitty Carlisle in SHE LOVES ME NOT (1934)), with Ross vocalizing her verse from her bathtub at a Paris hotel. But it's "Sweet Tiny Headache" that is provided as the theme song heard through the underscoring, especially when it involves the pert Franciska Gaal. Gaal does receive to sing along with Crosby, and while she does have a pleasing voice, she wouldn't receive a possibility to appear in other musical again. After one more American film, THE GIRL DOWNSTAIRS (MGM, 1939), Gaal would return to her native Budapest, Hungary. During the rose festival sequence, prior to the lively "Joobalai" number, the villagers dance to an instrumental score of "The Tra-La-La and the Oomph Pa-Pa" which is not provided vocally in this production. However, this lyrics would be heard and sung by Martha Raye in the comedy, NEVER SAY DIE (Paramount, 1939).The helping cast details Rafaela Ottiano as Fluschotska; Ben Blue as Sitska, the village idiot who soon provides humorous effects during a drunken stage during a festival; Victor Kilian as the Ancient Villager and Michael S. Visaroff as The Bishop. Ottiano provides herself with some funny lines, recited in her usual serious manner. When Edward Everett Horton accidentally gets hot water spilled on him, he quips to her, "Why don't you boil me in oil and be done with it!" Ottiano coldly replies, "It is not the custom." Although Paris HONEYMOON is far from being Crosby's greatest cinematic work, the predictable plot is helped along by the chemistry between Crosby and his helping players. A bit long at 92 minutes, it gets by with its nice tunes, comedic help and some nice European picturesque settings which might have worked out better photographed in Technicolor. On the humorous side, in the castle sequence where Crosby wants to discourage Gaal, he decides to scare her off by haunting the zone as he floats around the castle's dank chambers as a disembodied head singing "I ain't got nobody." Wolf howling adds to the eerie atmosphere. Unfortunately for him, the plan backfires, especially on Crosby. Other venture of comedy is provided during the festival where Peter Karloca (Tamiroff) becomes the victim of spiked-up liquor during his proposed wedding ceremony to Manya, who originally had intended to test the potion on the jealous Barbara Wayne to place her out of the method so she can be at the festival with Lucky. Essentially a dramatic actor riding high with more screen time following his Academy Award nominated performance in THE GENERAL DIED AT DAWN (Paramount, 1936), Akim Tamiroff, whose name is billed second after Crosby in the credits, followed by Gaal and Ross, handles himself quite well with his comedic performance. Absolutely.Rarely seen in newest years, Paris HONEYMOON was one of many Bing Crosby movies of the 1930s to be seen on a regular basis on late night or midday commercial tv during the 1960s and 1970s. And after a long hiatus, it would create a fine welcome back if it could ever resurface again, particularly on a classic film cable channel. (**1/2)


When the movie begins, rich American, Lucky Lawton (Bing Crosby) is about to marry Barbara when the unexpected occurs...they explore she is STILL married and she needs to return to Paris to receive her divorce. The plan is for Lucky to later follow and meet her there for the wedding. However, when he goes through a tiny city on his method to Paris, he discovers a comely local lady (Franciska Gaal) and falls for her as well! How do alcohol and attempted vehicular homicide have to do with sorting all this out??The movie is fair and cute predictable but should have still worked...mostly because Crosby was everytime such a nice screen personality. But the alcohol gimmick and how it played out was really, really stupid...as was the finale. Frankly, I expected more.



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