Last Time I Saw Paris, The (1954): Richard Brooks’ Schmaltzy Melodrama Starring Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson

Loosely based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story “Babylon Revisited” this schmaltzy romantic melodrama is directed by Richard Brooks, and produced by MGM’s Jack Cummings.

Shot on locations in Paris and the MGM backlot.

The corny screenplay is by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein, better known for penning Casablanca, and Richard Brooks.

The film starred Elizabeth Taylor, then age 21, just before she became a major star, and Van Johnson in his last role for MGM.

The supporting cast includes Walter Pidgeon, Donna Reed, Eva Gabor, Kurt Kasznar, George Dolenz, Sandy Descher, Odette, and Roger Moore (the future James Bond) in his Hollywood debut.

The title song, by composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, already a classic, inspired the movie’s title. Though the song had already won an Oscar after its debut in 1941’s Lady Be Good, it features prominently in The Last Time I Saw Paris, either sung by Odette or played on the background.