Based on a novel by Harold Flender, director Martin Ritt examines the tug between romantic and musical dreams of two American expatriate jazz musicians (Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier) in ‘50s era Paris. Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll play two American girls, on a two-week vacation, who fall for the dedicated musicians and attempt to lure them back to the states. Ritt allows Duke Ellington’s moody and ebullient jazz score to occupy long sections of the movie as a narrative device disclosing intimate traits of the characters. Ram Bowen (Newman) and Eddie Cook (Poitier) lead their mock jazz band through standards like “Take The A Train” and “Mood Indigo.” Louis Armstrong lends his legendary horn to great effect in a musical sequence in this classic gem of a movie.
Not Rated. 95 mins. (A-)