April in Paris (1952): David Butler’s Musical Comedy Starring Doris Day and Ray Bolger

The title of David Butler musical comedy, starring Doris Day, derives from the famous 1932 song, written by Yip Harburg and composed by Vernon Duke

Winthrop Putnam (Ray Bolger), the Assistant Secretary to the Assistant to the Undersecretary of State, was formerly Assistant Assistant Secretary to the Assistant to the Undersecretary of State.

He sends an invitation to grand dame Ethel Barrymore to represent the American theatre at an art exposition in Paris. Instead, the invitation is received by Ethel “Dynamite” Jackson, an All-American Broadway chorus girl.

Ethel and Winthrop meet on the way to Paris and fall in love. However, Winthrop is engaged to Marcia Sherman, daughter of his boss Secretary Robert Sherman. After a misunderstanding, Winthrop and Ethel end up together.

In the film’s first part, Day’s Ethel is supposed to exhibit the conduct of a crass American simpleton. When she is irritated, she gets aggressive, throwing a vase at Putnam. And on the boast, she proves she has no table or other manners, she uses the wrong spoon, drops an olive, chews her salad too loud.

Day sings four songs solo, such as “It Must Be Good” or “That’s What Makes Paris Paree,” and the rest of the tunes with her co-stars Bolger and Claude Dauphin.

Though not one of Day’s best musicals, April in Paris was popular at the box-office, paving the road for the actress to soon become Hollywood’s top star and most bankable actress, with a wider acting range than given credit to.