The Rage of Paris (July 1, 1938)
Released July 1, 1938: A young girl in Paris that is out of work and down on her luck decides that she needs to find a wealthy man to marry.
Directed by Henry Koster
Written by Bruce Manning and Felix Jackson.
The Actors: Danielle Darrieux (Nicole de Cortillion), Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (Jim Trevor), Mischa Auer (Mike the head waiter), Louis Hayward (Bill Duncan), Helen Broderick (Gloria Patterson), Charles Coleman (Rigley), Samuel S. Hinds (Mr. William Duncan Sr.), Nella Walker (Mrs. Duncan), Harry Davenport (Pop the caretaker), Mary Martin (drama teacher), Edwin August (receptionist), Edward Biby (relative at wedding), Wade Boteler (Mr. Wright, manager), Sidney Bracey (Opera House usher), James Carlisle (man at dock), Carl Deloro (chef at wedding), Edward Earle (waiter), Mary Forbes (waman in Opera Box), Edward Gargan (truck driver), Jennifer Gray (telephone operator), Paul Gustine (guest at wedding), Sam Harris (ship's passenger), Henry Hebert (cousin George Morgan at wedding), Howard C. Hickman (man in Opera box), Arthur Hoyt (assistant manager), Hugh Huntley (hotel clerk), Alfred P. James (old man), Sydney Jarvis (Mr. Smythe, Canadian Club patron), Jack W. Johnston (relative at wedding), Emmett King (Captain McMasters, relative at wedding), Charles Lane (department head), W.E. Lawrence (Steward/Doorman), Ethelreda Leopold (nightclub patron), Phil MacKenzie (department head), Edwin Maxwell (hotel manager), Matt McHugh (department head), Harold Miller (Canadian Club patron), Corbett Morris (secretary), Edmund Mortimer (Cousin Theresa's husband at wedding), Leonard Mudie (uncle Eric), David Oliver (department head), Lionel Pape (Uncle Josephus), Tempe Pigott (landlady), Jason Robards Sr. (department head), Dewey Robinson (truck driver), Frances Robinson (outside secretary), Charles Sherlock (elevator boy), Larry Steers (elevator operator and nightclub dance extra), Ellinor Vanderveer (opera spectator), Beryl Wallace (model), Larry Wheat (nightclub patron), Florence Wix (Cousin Theresa, relative at wedding).
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Time for a chick-flick with some style . . . a pretty girl from Paris, trying to find success in New York City as a model, hatches a scheme with two friends to pretend that she is a lady of wealth and get a wealthy man to marry her. Sounds simple, eh? Well, in Hollywood, motion pictures excell at taking a simple idea and twisting the plot around so many ways that it makes one's head spin. But fear not, because like all movies of the 1930's and 1940's, all works out for the best in the final scene.
Our movie opens as we watch beautiful but unemployed Nicole de Cortillion trying to get a job at a large New York City modelling agency. Via trickery she works her way into the boss' office and convinces him that he has a job for her, but when the boss gives her a job as a model with no clothes on, only a 'drape' over her, she protests and starts to walk out. At the same time, another man enters the boss' office and sets a piece of paper on his desk with the address of one of the boss' business partners. As Nicole is leaving, the boss offers the job to another girl in the office, and when Nicole hears how much money is offered, and for such a long period of time, she decides that she wants the job anyway, and rushes back into the office and snatches the paper from the boss' desk and runs off.
But of course, instead of snatching the piece of paper with the address of the photographer on it, she snatches the piece of paper with the name and address of the business partner. She goes to his office, and once inside, begins to take her clothes off. When dashing Jim Trevor (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) enters his office and sees Nicole disrobing, his is amused and allows her to continue, not knowing what is going on, but enjoying the scene. Eventually he believes that she is there to make a scene and then blackmail him for money in some kind of con, so he kicks her out. She isn't sure what has happened, thinking that the photographer rejected her as a model. Back at her rooming house, she discovers that the landlady has locked her room, not permitting her to enter until she has paid her back rent. A lady living next door to her decides to pay her rent, and as they talk, the neighbor decides that there is a way to help Nicole, with the aid of a friend who is the head waiter at a fancy restaurant in a large hotel. They get him to front the money for a suite in the hotel across from a wealthy single man, with the promise to pay him back and more, so that he can open his own restaurant. Nicole will get the wealthy man to fall in love with her, and when they are married, she will be able to pay back the head waiter that fronted the money for her.
Well, here is where the curveballs start coming . . . the wealthy man certainly does fall for beautiful Nicole, but one night at the opera the wealthy man spots an old friend in the crowd, and it turns out that his buddy is none other than Jim Trevor, the fellow that she mistakenly disrobed for some weeks ago. Now the comedy builds as Jim Trevor trys to convince his wealthy buddy that this lady is a con-artist out to take him for his money, and nothing else. Of course, the head waiter and Nicole try to stop him, and the animosity between Nicole and Jim Trevor builds until, . . . you guessed it . . . Nicole falls for Jim Trevor, but by this time is about to marry the other fellow. And Jim Trevor still believes that Nicole is just a gold-digger out for nothing but money.
Pop your corn, grab your soda, and laugh and cry along this twisted journey of love in 1938 New York City.