Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Alternate title: Parisian Pleasures
Hélène Hallier plays a clothing factory employee who is fired by her intolerant boss and decides to try her hand at a career change. Seeing a poster for a contest looking to find “the smallest feet in Paris”, its prize a starring role in a musical revue, she tries to enter but fails to place at first, until circumstances are such that she ends up with the gig after all. Before long she is the toast of Paris, enjoying a romance with a fellow performer that is hampered by his suspecting that she is being wooed by one of the show’s producers. This scenario and a bit of plot about a bungled publicity stunt involving a stolen necklace are actually just excuses for the real reason that this film exists, which is a generous series of musical numbers shot in the primitive but beautiful Pathecolor process that pair exotic choreography with a wide variety of themes (A Night In Mexico, the Tango, golfers, etc). The dances are performed by a huge ensemble, with featured dancers including Jeanne de Balzac, Jelizaveta Nikolská, Stanislawa Welska and, most important and the reason that this film has recently been restored, Josephine Baker in two pieces in which she shows off her world-famous Charleston shimmy to great effect. Highly enjoyable.