Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020654, Fri, 3 Sep 2010 13:17:22 -0300

Quine's 1964 satire with Noel Coward and a whiff of Kinbote?
Dear List,

For one who only knows Nabokov from photographs and youtube interviews, and Noel Coward is not a familiar face on screen, it is easy to spot similarities between the two men and be mistaken by first impressions.
Anyway I was thrilled by the similar dates ( 1964: Pale Fire and Paris When it Sizzles), the "involuted" plot and plays with movie "shifts" and other little items that end up in a big party at the Eiffel Tower with Noel Coward dressed like an emperor under the limelight and that begins with an aerial view of Cannes (another slight wink to PF's cigales). In this initial moment, Coward is wearing a pink bathrobe and he almost seems to have a Russian-British accent...

Here are more details from the internet. Those in the know will probably disagree with me, and I cannot even promise that they'll enjoy watching the farce:

Paris When It Sizzles (16-Mar-1964)
Director: Richard Quine
Writer: George Axelrod
From story: La fête à Henriette by Julien Duvivier and Henri Jeanson
Keywords: Romantic Comedy
Noel Coward Playwright 16-Dec-189926-Mar-1973 Design for Living
Audrey Hepburn Actor 4-May-192920-Jan-1993 My Fair Lady
William Holden Actor 17-Apr-1918 16-Nov-1981 Stalag 17
Paris When It Sizzles is an unusual screwball comedy to say the least. Whether it works is another matter, but the premise and humor are interesting enough to make it enjoyable. The basic problem with the film is its two stars: William Holden and Audrey Hepburn hardly sizzle with onscreen chemistry, and Hepburn's character, Miss Simpson, falls far too easily into the hands of Holden's drunken screen writer. However, the story is an interesting play on the typical Hollywood romance, with two plotlines running in parallel to each other. Holden's Richard Benson has only two days to finish a script for an enigmatic producer (Noel Coward). Hepburn's Miss Simpson is drafted in as the typist and as the script is dictated it manifests itself on the screen, allowing the two lead characters to play out any number of romantic stories. It's the cameo appearances in the imaginary world that really steal the show, with the blink-and-you'll-miss-it last screen appearance by Marlene Dietrich, as well as Tony Curtis having fun with his own screen persona. Not one of Hepburn or Holden's best, but worth a look purely for the interesting slant on the mechanical nature of Hollywood's romances. --Nikki Disney

Paris When It Sizzles (1964) - Film producer Alexander Meyerheimer is in Cannes and upset because ... Noël Coward as Alexander Meyerheimer. Tony Curtis as Second policeman ... www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=86269

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