49 user 27 critic

Paris Blues (1961)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Romance | 20 November 1961 (Sweden)
During the 1960s, two American expatriate jazz musicians living in Paris meet and fall in love with two American tourist girls.


Martin Ritt


Jack Sher (screenplay), Irene Kamp (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Paul Newman ... Ram Bowen
Joanne Woodward ... Lillian Corning
Sidney Poitier ... Eddie Cook
Louis Armstrong ... Wild Man Moore
Diahann Carroll ... Connie Lampson
Barbara Laage ... Marie Séoul
André Luguet ... René Bernard
Marie Versini ... Nicole
Moustache ... Mustachio
Aaron Bridgers Aaron Bridgers ... Pianist
Guy Pedersen Guy Pedersen ... Bass Player
Serge Reggiani ... Michel 'Gypsy' Devigne


Ram Bowen and Eddie Cook are two expatriate jazz musicians living in Paris where, unlike the US at the time, Jazz musicians are celebrated and racism is a non-issue. When they meet and fall in love with two young American girls, Lillian and Connie, who are vacationing in France, Ram and Eddie must decide whether they should move back to the US with them, or stay in Paris for the freedom it allows them. Ram, who wants to be a serious composer, finds Paris too exciting and is reluctant to give up his music for a relationship, and Eddie wants to stay for the city's more tolerant racial atmosphere. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They Live Every Wild and Wonderful Moment of Its Brash Excitement! See more »


Drama | Music | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Alexander Mackendrick was originally proposed as the director for this film. See more »


Even though Sidney Poitier was coached by the great Paul Gonsalves, and with so many real saxophonists appearing in the film, the saxophone mouthpiece on Mr. Poitier's saxophone is a very popular brand from the era - an Otto Link - the mouthpiece has a custom-made ligature formed to the mouthpiece, and it is clearly upside-down in the filming. Someone should have known that, and helped Mr. Poitier not look silly. See more »


Marie Séoul: [singing] Smokin', drinkin', Never thinkin' of tomorrow, Nonchalant, Dancing, dining, Diamonds shining, With some man in a restaurant...
See more »


Referenced in American Masters: Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000) See more »


You Know Something?
Music by Duke Ellington
Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York on May 2 & 3, 1961.
Label - United Artists
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User Reviews

They don't make 'em like this anymore
30 December 2013 | by rps-2See all my reviews

For starters, this is one of those rare movies that would not have been as good if it had been shot in colour. B&W somehow fits the mood, the story and the setting. Yet it's not really a sad or dark story. As in many older B&W films, the lighting is magnificent with highlights and shadows and textures that simply aren't workable in colour. The performances are universally superb. The script is free of the usual clichés. And the music is great. (How could you possibly make a bad movie with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier and Diane Carrol?) Nor, in that era (1961), did Hollywood zoom in and linger obsessively on sexual acrobatics. This is a mature, sexy film without any graphic sex. Those were the rules back then and this film is the better for them. A thoroughly enjoyable movie with a great cast that has stood the test of a half century very well indeed.

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English | French

Release Date:

20 November 1961 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Paris Blues See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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