|Directed by||Gerd Oswald|
|Written by||Bob Hope (story)|
|Produced by||Bob Hope|
C.R. Foster-Kemp (associate)
|Edited by||Ellsworth Hoagland|
|Music by||Joseph J. Lilley (score)|
Jimmy Van Heusen (song-music)
|Distributed by||United Artists|
Paris Holiday is a 1958 comedy film starring Bob Hope, which was directed by Gerd Oswald, and written by Edmund Beloin and Dean Riesner from a story by Hope. The film also features French comedian Fernandel, Anita Ekberg and Martha Hyer, and a rare appearance by writer/director Preston Sturges. The film was shot in Technirama and Technicolor in Paris and in the French village of Gambais.
Popular American comedian Bob Hunter (Bob Hope), star of stage, movies and television, boards the luxury liner SS Île de France to travel to France, only to find his French counterpart, Fernydel (Fernandel) is on the ship as well. Also on board are elegant blonde diplomat Ann McCall (Martha Hyer), whom Bob would like to get to know better, and stunning Zara Brown (Anita Ekberg), the agent for a French criminal organization which suspects that Bob is carrying an incriminating manuscript. While Bob pursues Ann, with Fernydel's help, Zara repeatedly searches Bob's stateroom, causing problems when Ann sees her leaving after a search.
When he reaches Paris, Bob visits Serge Vitry (Preston Sturges), a writer whose script Bob has come to purchase, but is told that Vitry is no longer interested in comedy: he is writing a true-life drama which he is going to produce himself. Bob pleads for a look, and is told where he can get a translated copy. A series of suspicious accidents and mishaps then leads to Bob being arrested as a suspect in the murder of Serge, but he is rescued by the American ambassador (André Morell) and Inspector Dupont (Yves Brainville), who tell him that Serge used his manuscript to reveal the identities of counterfeiters who had infiltrated their way into high offices in the French government, which is why he was murdered. The two men ask Bob to serve as bait to flush out the criminals. Bob agrees, but only because Ann's life is also in danger. Helped by Ann, Fernandel, and villainess-turned-heroine Zara, Bob is chased all over Paris by the underworld, at one point winding up in a mental asylum for safekeeping. It all ends with an escape by helicopter piloted by Fernandel (actually John Crewdson) reading a book of flight instructions, capture of a group of assassins, then a parade for Bob, Fernandel and Ann, who are heroes.
Other songs that appear:
Paris Holiday had the working title of "Trouble in Paris".
Although Hope initiated production of the film, and came up with the story idea, the intent for the film to be a showcase for both himself and Fernandel is indicated by the opening credits, where Hope's name and Fernandel take turns being listed first.
The film was in production in France from early April to late June 1957 Originally filming took place the Boulogne Studios before moving to the Joinville Studios due to delays. Location shooting took place in Paris, and in the village of Gambais. The film's World Premiere took place in England on 27 February 1958 at the London Pavilion theatre with Bob Hope and Fernandel in attendance. It opened in Los Angeles on 28 March 1958, and went into general release shortly after. It was marketed with the tagline: The Comedy Team Of The Century.
Hope described the difficulties involved in producing Paris Holiday in his book I Owe Russia $1200.
Hope and Bing Crosby recorded two songs written for the movie - "Paris Holiday" and "Nothing in Common" - for United Artists Records in February 1958. Crosby did not appear in the movie.