19 March 2013 | GManfred
Ach du leiber! Those stupid Nazis are at it again. "Paris Calling" is an early (1941) French Resistance movie made in crowd-pleasing fashion, depicting a French underground group in Bordeaux vs. some two-dimensional bumbling Huns. Here, the French become preoccupied trying to hustle downed Canadian flyer Randolph Scott off to England before the Germans find out who he is. They picked the right villains, in Lee J. Cobb and Basil Rathbone, who do their despicable best - and in this corner, aiding and abetting Our Hero, are Elizabeth Bergner and Gale Sondergaard (honest!). Much of the action takes place in Sondergaard's tavern, a hotbed of underground activity.
It's all pretty exciting and tense (especially scenes between Bergner and Rathbone), but there are several glaring plot holes and loose ends which prevent a higher rating, unless you are young enough not to notice. Randolph Scott had matinée idol looks but was essentially a lightweight as an actor, and here he has to carry too much of the picture. Thank goodness for Elizabeth Bergner and, especially, Basil Rathbone, one of Hollywood's best supporting actors. "Paris Calling" is a very likable picture of its type, just don't ask too many questions.