Paris Underground

Overview

Constance Bennett both produced and starred in the espionager Paris Underground. Bennett and Gracie Fields play, respectively, an American and an English citizen trapped in Paris when the Nazis invade. The women team up to help Allied aviators escape from the occupied city into Free French territory. The screenplay was based on the true wartime activities of Etta Shiber, who engineered the escape of nearly 300 Allied pilots. British fans of comedienne Gracie Fields were put off by the scenes in which she is ...
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Overview

Constance Bennett both produced and starred in the espionager Paris Underground. Bennett and Gracie Fields play, respectively, an American and an English citizen trapped in Paris when the Nazis invade. The women team up to help Allied aviators escape from the occupied city into Free French territory. The screenplay was based on the true wartime activities of Etta Shiber, who engineered the escape of nearly 300 Allied pilots. British fans of comedienne Gracie Fields were put off by the scenes in which she is tortured by the Gestapo, while Constance Bennett's following had been rapidly dwindling since the 1930s; as a result, the heartfelt but tiresome Paris Underground failed to make a dent at the box-office. It would be Constance Bennett's last starring film--and Gracie Fields' last film, period.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Paris Underground is a moderately entertaining World War II resistance film, provided that one is willing to suspend one's disbelief to a substantial degree. For example, Underground would ask one to believe that the likes of Constance Bennett and Gracie Fields, appealing and likable though they may be, would be able to set up an entire underground network and smuggle out more than 250 people -- sometimes by merely disguising a dozen or so downed English flyers as participants in a funeral and waltzing them right past the noses of the not-very-bright Nazi occupiers. Underground's screenplay is riddled with holes in its logic, and its entire approach is shamefully "lightweight" in terms of the genuine menace that existed in occupied France, but it does provide a couple of neatly suspenseful sequences that work well and its players do well by it. Bennett is a bit mannered, as could be her wont, but she knows how to punch a scene and how to carry a picture. Fields is her delightful self, and Kurt Kreuger plays the German officer with the expected villainy. Gregory Ratoff's direction is unfussy but effective, and Lee Garmes' cinematography is a joy -- far and away the best thing in the film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/26/2005
  • UPC: 014381249422
  • Original Release: 1945
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:37:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 44,439

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dame Gracie Fields Emmyline Quayle
Kurt Kreuger Capt. Kurt von Weber
Eily Malyon Mme. Bangler
Charles Andre Father Dominique
Leslie Vincent Lt. William Gray
Richard Ryen Monsieur Renard
Harry Hays Morgan Jr.
Roland Varno Lt. Cmdr. Stowe
André Charlot
Adrienne D'Ambricourt Margot
Gregory Gaye Tissier
Georges Rigaud Andre de Mornay
Constance Bennett Kitty de Mornay
Nina Borget
Marcel dela Brosse
Maurice Cass
Ray DeRavenne
Philip Dorn
Frederick Giermann
Peter Kooy
Andrew V. McLaglen Sgt. McNair
Art Miles
Otto Reichow
Georgette Rhodes
Dick Ryan M. Renard
Loulette Sablon
Vladimir Sokoloff Undertaker
Anthony Warde
Technical Credits
Gregory Ratoff Director
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Constance Bennett Producer
Lee Garmes Cinematographer
Victor Greene Art Director
Boris Ingster Screenwriter
Sydney Moore Set Decoration/Design
James Newcom Editor
Gertrude Purcell Screenwriter
Nicolai Remisoff Production Designer
Alexander Tansman Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Discourse on the Dance Floor [4:26]
2. Fleeing Paris [6:52]
3. Human Cargo [10:51]
4. Some Very Risky Business [6:42]
5. Holed Up [9:09]
6. Discourse on the Dance Floor [4:24]
7. The Cost of Freedom [10:49]
8. Friends of Mister Grey [11:23]
9. A Funeral for the Living [7:30]
10. Hot Tea and Coffee Cake [7:15]
11. No Stone Unturned [8:22]
12. A Selfless Act [5:11]
13. Valor and Courage [4:16]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Feature Start
   Scene Selections
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