The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)

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The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)
Opis: Paris, France.After the success of his first book, famous American writer Charles Wills (Van Johnson) returns to Paris, and visits a local cafe named Café Dhingo where he chats with the bartender about his life. Charles flashes back to his past....August 1944.Shortly after the liberation of Paris from the Nazis, Charles, a sergeant in the US Army and reporter for the Stars and Stripes, was on the streets of Paris, covering the liberation celebration. He was suddenly grabbed by the most beautiful brunette woman he ever saw, she kissed him on the lips and disappeared into the crowd.Charles followed the crowd to Café Dhingo and met another pretty woman named Marion Ellswirth (Donna Reed). The mutual attraction was instant, and he was invited to join the party her father was throwing in celebration of the liberation of Paris and the impending end of the war. Charles, Marion, and her persistent French suitor Claude Matine (George Dolenz) arrived at the Ellswirth household, only to find that the woman who kissed Charles was Marion's younger sister Helen (Elizabeth Taylor).During drinks, Charles learned that Marion and Helen's father, James Ellswirth (Walter Pidgeon), came out of World War I alive and promptly joined the drifter generation. Unlike most drifters, he never grew out of it; even went as far as raising his two daughters to desire such lifestyle. Helen took after her father and used her beauty to sustain a life of luxury even though James was flat broke. Marion went the other way, and looked for serious-minded and conventional young men such as Claude the aspiring prosecutor and Charles the future novelist.Over the next few months, Charles and Helen fell in love and started dating. After Helen recovered from a near-death case of pneumonia from being out in the rain during that winter, they got married and settled in Paris in the spring of 1945 after news that World War II has ended for good. James had hoped that Helen would marry rich, but having taken a liking to Charles, he joined the happy family of Charles. Helen eventually got pregnant and gave birth to a daughter in 1946, whom they name Vickie. Marion, having lost Charles to Helen, agreed to marry Claude around the same time.Charles struggles to make ends meet with his meager journalist salary while he worked on his novels as well as look after Vickie, while Helen and Grandpa James partied on. Then one day luck struck.James had bought a few large pieces of land in Texas, convinced that he would become an oil baron. The oil never came and the deeds became a family joke. Always ready with practical jokes, he gave those deeds to Charles as Helen's dowry.Five years later in 1951, the joke turned into gold as oil began to shoot up from these lands non-stop. Charles quit his job, and Helen and James began to host parties instead of going to them.Over the next year, the relief of financial strain and the influx of wealth suddenly brought out the irresponsible side of Charles, as he could no longer deal with the disappointment of his manuscripts getting rejected by publishers. And unexpectedly, this brought out the responsible side of Helen. Now it was Helen who wished to stay home to raise their daughter Vickie, while Charles partied his wealth away.They also each took on other interests: Helen started to flirt with handsome English tennis player named Paul Lane (Roger Moore). Charles asked professional divorcee Lorraine Quarl (Eva Gabor) to join him as he competed in a local Paris-to-Monte Carlo race.After the race, Charles returned to Paris to patch things up with Helen, only to find her sitting in Café Dhingo with Paul. A fight broke out between Paul and Charles, an angry Charles went home first and bolted the door and then passed out after drinking too much whiskey. Helen ended up having to walk all way to Marion's place in the falling snow and rain. She caught pneumonia again and this time... she didn't make it. Charles hears about her hospitalization the next day and races to the hospital to be at her side when she dies.After Helen's funeral, Marion petitioned for and got full custody of Vickie. Charles went back to his hometown of to Milwaukee to deal with the loss of both his wife and daughter.Two years later in the present day 1954, having straightened out his life and quit drinking for good, Charles returns to Paris (where the movie begins) and finished telling his story to the Café Dhingo bartender. Charles then goes to Marion's house, hoping that his reformation would have softened Marion, and give eight-year-old Vickie (Sandy Descher) back to him. Still feeling resentful towards Charles for having fallen for Helen instead of her, Marion refuses. Seeing that Charles and Vickie belong together, Claude finally stepped in and told Marion off.In the final scene, Marion and Claude bring Vickie to Café Dhingo to look for Charles. And in front of the painting of Helen, the family is finally reunited again. Charles and Vickie then walk off together to go back to America.
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