Joan of Paris

Joan of Paris

Director: Robert Stevenson

Cast: Michèle Morgan, Paul Henreid, Thomas Mitchell

     
 

At first glance, we seem to be watching the 1934 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical The Gay Divorcee, which opens with a montage of Paris nightspots. Suddenly, however, stock footage from that earlier film is cut short, the screen goes dark, and an offscreen radio voice announces the Nazi invasion of France. At this point, the plot of Joan of Paris gets…  See more details below

Overview

At first glance, we seem to be watching the 1934 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical The Gay Divorcee, which opens with a montage of Paris nightspots. Suddenly, however, stock footage from that earlier film is cut short, the screen goes dark, and an offscreen radio voice announces the Nazi invasion of France. At this point, the plot of Joan of Paris gets under way. Michèle Morgan plays a Parisian barmaid, Joan, whose patron saint is Joan of Arc. Thus, she considers it her bounden duty to aid Free French pilot Paul Lavallier (Paul Henreid) and his RAF comrades (one of whom is Alan Ladd) in their efforts to escape from occupied France. And if this means that Joan must face death at the hands of slimy Gestapo chief Herr Funk (Laird Cregar), she's eager and willing to make that sacrifice. One of the earliest French Underground dramas, Joan of Paris posted a neat profit for ever-in-the-red RKO Radio Pictures.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Unknown to many modern viewers, Joan of Paris deserves a wider following. True, many viewers will find themselves comparing it to the similar Casablanca. Few films can stand such comparisons, but on its own terms, Joan is a terrific and very engaging war drama. Joan's screenplay is taut and concise, packing a lot of story into 91 minutes and doing so expertly. It also manages to give equal weight to both the thriller and the romantic aspects of the story, something that many films fail to do successfully. Director Robert Stevenson turns in some of his best work here, sensitive and intimate when necessary, but also bold and gripping when the story makes that demand; the climactic (and crucial) chase is especially well handled. In the leading roles, Michèle Morgan and Paul Henreid are quite good, with Morgan effectively conveying her character's innocent religious nature and Henreid appropriately sturdy; if they fail to ignite the screen in the way that Bogart and Bergman do in Casablanca, they still have a certain amount of chemistry. Even better are the villainous Laird Cregar and the boyish and moving Alan Ladd. All told, Joan is a well-done, often thrilling melodrama.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/12/2012
UPC:
0883316470411
Original Release:
1942
Source:
Warner Archives
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
6,598

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michèle Morgan Joan
Paul Henreid Paul Lavallier
Thomas Mitchell Father Antoine
Laird Cregar Herr Funk
May Robson Mlle. Rosay
Alexander Granach Gestapo Agent
Alan Ladd Baby
Jack Briggs Robin
James Monks Splinter
Richard Fraser Geoffrey
George Cleveland Actor
John Abbott English Spy
Bob Mitchell Boy Choir Actor
Paul Weigel Janitor

Technical Credits
Robert Stevenson Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Charles Bennett Screenwriter
Carroll Clark Art Director
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
David Hempstead Producer
Russell Metty Cinematographer
Ellis St. Joseph Screenwriter
Jacques Thery Original Story
Sherman Todd Editor
Roy Webb Score Composer

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