Saturday, August 23, 2014

Love in the Afternoon(1957).

Love in the Afternoon(1957). Romantic/comedy produced and directed by Billy Wilder.

Ariane Chavasse, is eavesdropping on a conversation between her father, private detective Claude Chavasse and his client, "Monsieur X". After learning of his wife's affair with Frank Flannagan, Monsieur X says he plans to shoot Flannagan later that day. When Ariane cannot get the police to go warn him, she decides to go tell him herself.

Lise Bourdin was born on November 30, 1925 in Néris-les-Bains, Allier, France. She is an actress, known for Love in the Afternoon (1957), The River of Three Junks (1957) and The River Girl(1954).
When Monsieur X breaks into Flannagan's hotel suite, he finds Flannagan with Ariane, not his wife. Flannagan wonders why girl, refuses to give him her name. So.. he decides to call her the, "thin girl".

The shy girl pretends to be a femme fatale to interest him. She agrees to meet him the next afternoon and ends up becoming his lover for the evening until his plane leaves.

After a year, Flannagan returns to Paris. The two meet by chance at an opera and start seeing each other again. This time, she comes up with stories of imaginary lovers based on her father's cases. Flannagan, is not to sure whether he believes her or not. Flannagan, decides to hire Ariane's own father to investigate. It does not take long for Chavasse, to realize the mystery woman is Ariane. He informs his client that his daughter made up her love life. Will Flannagan, return to Paris or will he stay and marry Ariane?

One of the things I loved about this film was the beautiful, black and white photography of Paris. Filming locations included the Château of Vitry in the Yvelines, the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera), and the Hôtel Ritz Paris.

At first the age difference is obvious, with Cooper seemingly mis-cast as a womanizer, but, I dunno.. he is so charming that he kind of grows on you. Given how much older Gary Cooper(56) was than Audrey Hepburn(28), you have to wonder: How, exactly did he land this role? According to Charlotte Chandler's biography of director Billy Wilder (and as cited by Wikipedia), Cooper won the role because he and Wilder had similar tastes and Cooper would be "good company" during scene shoots in Paris.

I thought Hepburn, gave one of her best performances first as a shy innocent girl, who turns into a charming femme fatale . I also enjoyed the a cute narration epilogue by, Chevalier, which he explains to American movie goers the lovers got married... just so you didn't have to worry about the characters living in sin. It was 1957 after all. Although Wilder objected to the addition, he was forced to include it to stop complaints.

Music, also plays an important role in the film. Much of the prelude to the Richard Wagner opera Tristan und Isolde is heard during a scene in the opera house, and Gypsy style melodies play in Flannagan's many love scenes. Matty Malneck, wrote three songs for the film, including the title song. Also heard are "C'est si bon," "L'ame Des Poètes" by Charles Trenet, and "Fascination," which is hummed through out the film by Ariane.


  1. Dawn, I prefer Coop's other film in which he falls in love with a much younger woman: TEN NORTH FREDERICK. But I agree about the lovely photography.

  2. Rick, I do not think that I have yet seen the classic film...TEN NORTH FREDERICK. I will put that on my new list of must see films.