Paris Blues (1961) - Rotten Tomatoes

Paris Blues1961

Paris Blues (1961)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Paris Blues Photos

Movie Info

The second film of director Martin Ritt with both Paul Newmanand Sidney Poitier, it's set in a city that has long been a haven for black musicians eager to escape the racism of the U.S. Newman is Ram Bowen, a trombone player who makes his living in a jazz group, which also includes tenor man Eddie Cook (Sidney Poitier), while studying music and aspiring to a career as a "serious" composer. Eddie stays in Paris to bask in the respect that its people feel for his music, a respect rarely accorded him in the States. A pair of tourists, Connie Lampson (Diahann Carroll) and Lillian Corning (Joanne Woodward) arrive in the city for a two-week vacation, and the two musicians lose no time in hooking up. Soon both relationships take a serious turn and the musicians are forced to make some important decisions about the possibility of returning to their native soil. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi

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Paul Newman
as Ram Bowen
Joanne Woodward
as Lillian Corning
Sidney Poitier
as Eddie Cook
Louis Armstrong
as Wild Man Moore
Diahann Carroll
as Connie Lampson
Serge Reggiani
as Michel Duvigne
Barbara Laage
as Marie Seoul
Andre Luguet
as Rene Bernard
as Drummer
Guy Pederson
as Bass Player
Roger Blin
as Gypsy Guitarist
Helene Dieudonne
as the Pusher
as Ricardo
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Critic Reviews for Paris Blues

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

Four writers have adapted Harold Flender's novel, whose sole asset was the idea they have minimized ...

January 27, 2016 | Full Review…

Despite how square this movie about hepcats seems -- if only from the admittedly unfair vantage point of more than five decades on -- expressions of raw emotion stir Paris Blues to life.

July 31, 2014 | Full Review…

All it lacks is something to pull these parts into a sensible whole.

February 9, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Within its snappy, flashy veneer is an undernourished romantic drama of a rather traditional screen school.

January 7, 2008 | Full Review…

Paris Blues has something of his old intelligence and liking for authenticity.

July 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Ageing like a fine wine - even with its vintage "Ya dig, baby?" lingo - this offbeat affair from one of Newman's drama teachers and favourite directors, Martin Ritt, is also one of the most delightful jazz movies ever made.

September 6, 2017 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Paris Blues


Great music, middling drama. Joanne Woodward comes off best.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier and Louis Armstrong. Score by Duke Ellington, directed by Martin Ritt. Jazz musicians in Paris. This movie sounds amazing and should be astonishing, right? The problem is that its not. The fifth of the movie that actually has to do with jazz gets farted on by how dislikable Newman's character is or how little you care about Joanne Woodward's character. The whole Poitier contrived social consciousness thing where he walked around with Diahann Carrol for half the movie was dull. Not to mention the nonsensical yet predictable ending. But for as much as I bitch about this movie the scenery and photography were great as was any scene with Armstrong.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

Filmed on location in Paris, starring Sidney Poitier as expatriate jazz musician Eddie Cook, and Paul Newman as trombone-playing Ram Bowen. The two men romance two vacationing American tourists, Connie Lampson (Diahann Carroll) and Lillian Corning (Joanne Woodward) respectively. The film also features trumpeter Louis Armstrong as Wild Man Moore and jazz pianist Aaron Bridgers; both play musicians within the film. It was produced by Sam Shaw, directed by Martin Ritt from a screenplay by Walter Bernstein, and with the fantastic black & white cinematography by Christian Matras. A little silly in the screenplay, but climatic and cool as Jazz.

Andre Tavares Simoni
Andre Tavares Simoni

Super Reviewer

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