13 March 2000 | Ralph McKnight
"That's What Makes Paris PAREE!"
This picture was made when Doris Day was "Doris Day", that fresh-faced, delightful blond singer who lit up the screen with her beautiful smile and glorious singing.
"April in Paris", directed by David Butler was a colorful, joyous romp for Doris Day and Ray Bolger. Mr. Bolger has been criticized for not being a suitable co-star for Miss Day, but I felt he did a credible job in the picture. No, he was not handsome, like Rock Hudson, but Rock couldn't DANCE like Bolger!
And dance up a storm, he does! I enjoyed his acrobatic dance routines in "I'm Gonna Ring the Bell Tonight" and the political-themed dance with former Presidents' portraits, coming to life to dance with Bolger.
Doris Day, as Ethel "Dynamite" Jackson, a chorus girl, who is mistakenly chosen, instead of Ethel Barrymore, to represent America at a Paris Festival, is energetic and bouncy and mostly delightful. Her rendition of "April in Paris" was hauntingly beautiful and the highlight of the film.
The nicely staged, "It Must Be Him" also showcased Miss Day's glorious voice and dancing skills as did "That's What Makes Paris Paree".
Claude Dauphin lugubriously reprises the title tune in a side-walk cafe with the wind blowing bitterly while he sings the song to Doris Day.
To my knowledge, this is the only occasion in which Doris Day has a fist fight on the screen! If you can believe it, she was battling over Ray Bolger with Eve Miller, who also had the illusion that Bolger was "Clark Gable".
In the aforementioned, "I'm Gonna Ring the Bell Tonight", Doris Day opens the number with some rousing singing and later joins Bolger for some fancy footwork.
If you love Doris Day, you'll like this picture. As usual, there was able support by veteran actors like Paul Harvey, who later played "Henry Miller", proprietor of the Golden Garter in "Calamity Jane".