Idol of Paris

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The Idol of Paris
Idol of Paris (1948 film).jpg
Directed by Leslie Arliss
Written by Stafford Dickens
Norman Lee
Harry Ostrer
Based onnovel Paiva, Queen of Love by Alfred Schirokauer
Produced by R. J. Minney
Maurice Ostrer
Starring Beryl Baxter
Michael Rennie
Christine Norden
Andrew Cruickshank
Kenneth Kent
Margaretta Scott
Miles Malleson
Cinematography Jack E. Cox
Edited by Bert Bates
Music by Mischa Spoliansky (composer),
Louis Levy (musical director)
Distributed byPremier Productions Ltd
Warner Brothers (US)
Release date
Running time
106 min
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budgetless than £100,000 [1] [2]

Idol of Paris is a 1948 film based on the novel Paiva, Queen of Love by Alfred Schirokauer, about a mid-19th century French courtesan Theresa who sleeps her way from poverty to the top of Second Empire society. It was an attempt by its makers to imitate the success of the Gainsborough melodramas.




The film was produced by Maurice Ostrer who moved into independent production after leaving Gainsborough Pictures. He set up his own company, Premier Productions, and made the film in association with R. J. Minney and Leslie Arliss who had all collaborated on The Wicked Lady . [3]

Filing started in August 1947. It was shot at MGM's British studios. [4]

The cast includes Australian Patti Morgan, who Ostrer put under a seven-year contract. [5] [6]



Reviews were very bad. [7]

The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote that "the film is over-exaggerated in every detail and will appeal only to the very unsophisticated." [8]

Variety said Ostrer "forgot that recent successful mellers leaned on stars for clicks with this 'first independent production. He boasts that the team that made his "Wicked Lady" has turned out this picture, but he has no James Mason and no Margaret Lockwood to carry the burden of an ill- written, corny script., Instead, he has comparative newcomers, who unfortunately do not merit leads in an ambitious picture. Its boxoffice prospects are dim. It would be a waste to export it to America." [9]

Box office

The movie was not a financial success and led to Maurice Ostrer quitting the film business for good. He cancelled plans to make a film Wild Marriage and dropped eight artists who he had under contract. [10]

The careers of Leslie Arliss and Beryl Baxter never recovered either. [11] [1] [12]

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  1. 1 2 Maurice Ostrer Archived 13 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine at Britmovie
  2. Robert Murphy, Gainsborough's Producers
  3. "Film role for Sydney model". The Daily Telegraph . Sydney. 31 August 1947. p. 36. Retrieved 16 June 2020 via Trove.
  4. "BRITISH FILMS". The Sun . No. 2317. Sydney. 7 September 1947. p. 19. Retrieved 13 September 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  5. "Film Contract For Australian Girl". The Central Queensland Herald . 16 October 1947. p. 29. Retrieved 16 June 2020 via Trove.
  6. "Patti Morgan has a start on road to film fame". The Australian Women's Weekly . 28 June 1947. p. 17. Retrieved 16 June 2020 via Trove.
  7. "Mary Armitage's FILM CLOSE-UPS". The Mail . Adelaide. 20 March 1948. p. 3 (SUNDAY MAGAZINE). Retrieved 16 June 2020 via Trove.
  8. "Idol of Paris". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 15, no. 169. London. 1 January 1948. p. 30.
  9. Review of Idol of Paris at Variety
  10. "Sydney model loses job when Ostrer shuts down". The Mail . Adelaide. 30 October 1948. p. 3 (SUNDAY MAGAZINE). Retrieved 16 June 2020 via Trove.
  11. Murphy, Robert (2003). Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939-48. Routledge. pp. 120–121. ISBN   9781134901500.
  12. Maurice Ostrer at BFI Screenonline