Audrey Hepburn and William Holden’s second movie venture, Paris When it Sizzles, is a charming tale with a sort of plot within a plot aspect.

Directed by Richard Quine and released in 1964, Paris reunited Holden and Hepburn, who had not worked together since 1954’s Oscar winning Sabrina.

Paris opens with producer, Alexander Meyerheimer (Noel Coward) dictating a memo to be sent to his writer Richard Benson (Holden) who is supposed to be creating the next great screenplay. But when we first see Benson, we see him suntanning and drinking vodka on his sunporch. He has the title The Girl Who Stole Eiffel Tower, but that is about it.

In arrives Gabriel Simpson (Hepburn) as his new typist. Together they have to produce a full movie script in two days.


Richard and Gabriel get caught up their writing

As they start to brainstorm, many uncredited guest stars appear in their thoughts as they play out different versions of Benson’s movie. It seems as though every movie genre, from western to horror, makes an appearance in their musings. As the play out the scenes in their heads, Richard and Gabriel become the leading man and woman.


Richard and Gabriel, or Rick and Gaby, their characters in the movie within the movie, do not end up getting much work done at first, but a fine romance does develop. Although their characters may not have a happy ending in Benson’s story, the “real” Rick and Gaby are able to dance off into the Parisian sun. Benson at first sends her away but after she conveniently leaves her pet bird behind, he has to come and find her. He frankly tells her he loves her and then they set off to rewrite the awful script they had finished the night before.

Although this movie did not too all that well in the box office, I do think it is quite charming and fun. It was shot on  location and boasts a beautiful Parisian setting.

Hepburn is great as usual; guest star Tony Curtis plays he various uncredited roles fantastically. Unfortunately, like his onscreen character, Holden also had a drinking problem. The problem seemed to escalate while on set; it is said that Holden fell for Audrey when they filmed Sabrina and had never really gotten over her.

If you are an Audrey fan, this movie, while most definitely not her best, does deserve a viewing.