While Paris Sleeps (1932)

60 or 67 mins | Drama | 8 May 1932

Director:

Allan Dwan

Writer:

Basil Woon

Cinematographer:

Glen MacWilliams

Production Designer:

William Darling

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

FD pre-release news items list Claire Maynard and Gertrude Astor in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The file on While Paris Sleeps in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that the Hays Office, after viewing the film in Jan 1932, told Fox that the film was in violation of the Production Code because of its treatment of "White Slavery." Although the Hays Office stated its regret that "an investment is jeopardized," it informed the studio that had the script been submitted to the office for review prior to filming, the unfortunate situation would not have arisen. Following a series of meetings between Hays Office officials and Fox producers, the studio agreed to reshoot the scenes in question, and production resumed in Feb 1932. According to a letter contained in the MPAA/PCA file, a Hays Office official noted that Fox "severely censured" staff members who "allowed the picture to reach its completed form without first having checked with us." Following the release of the film, Paul Claudel, a representative of the French Embassy in Washington, sent a lengthy letter to the Hays office, protesting, among other things, the film's presentation of Paris as an "underworld...infested by gangsters who have the practice of burning alive, in a large furnace, either their victims or their confederates." In 1938, when the film was submitted to the PCA for re-issue certification, the PCA informed Fox that because the picture contained "a number of definitely unacceptable details," it should be withdrawn from ... More Less

FD pre-release news items list Claire Maynard and Gertrude Astor in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The file on While Paris Sleeps in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that the Hays Office, after viewing the film in Jan 1932, told Fox that the film was in violation of the Production Code because of its treatment of "White Slavery." Although the Hays Office stated its regret that "an investment is jeopardized," it informed the studio that had the script been submitted to the office for review prior to filming, the unfortunate situation would not have arisen. Following a series of meetings between Hays Office officials and Fox producers, the studio agreed to reshoot the scenes in question, and production resumed in Feb 1932. According to a letter contained in the MPAA/PCA file, a Hays Office official noted that Fox "severely censured" staff members who "allowed the picture to reach its completed form without first having checked with us." Following the release of the film, Paul Claudel, a representative of the French Embassy in Washington, sent a lengthy letter to the Hays office, protesting, among other things, the film's presentation of Paris as an "underworld...infested by gangsters who have the practice of burning alive, in a large furnace, either their victims or their confederates." In 1938, when the film was submitted to the PCA for re-issue certification, the PCA informed Fox that because the picture contained "a number of definitely unacceptable details," it should be withdrawn from consideration. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
29 Oct 31
p. 10.
Film Daily
3 Nov 31
p. 4.
Film Daily
13 Jun 32
p. 4.
HF
7 Nov 31
p. 12
HF
28 Nov 1931.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 31
p. 3.
Variety
14 Jun 32
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
COSTUMES
SOURCES
SONGS
"Cherie Paree Is Mine," music and lyrics by James F. Hanley.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 May 1932
Production Date:
19 October--16 December 1931
retakes filmed February 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
5 April 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3012
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60 or 67
Length(in feet):
6,500
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Fifteen years after Jacques Costaud, a French war veteran and a recipient of France's prestigous Croix de Guerre, kills a man and is sentenced to life in prison, he escapes from a penal colony in French Guyana. Jacques is chased by police and dogs through darkness and heavy brush. Dodging police bullets, Jacques jumps into a swamp, and is listed as dead by the police. After Jacques slips out of Guyana, he returns to Paris, where his daughter Manon now lives. While searching for Manon, Jacques re-reads the last letter that he received from his wife, who died during his imprisonment, and is saddened when he remembers that Manon has been told that he had died in the war. The letter also mentions that Manon was given her father's medal as a keepsake. After spending all her money on her mother's funeral, the destitute Manon is evicted from her apartment because she cannot pay her rent. Manon's room is rented to Paul Renoir, who discovers Manon still in her room and, after hearing her hard luck tale, agrees to let her stay there. Paul then finds Manon work in a bar, where she will work "while Paris sleeps." When Jacques finds his daughter's apartment, he learns about Manon's troubles from the concierge and decides to remain in the shadows until he can help her. At the bar where Manon works, Jacques witnesses a patron assaulting her, and when he intervenes on her behalf a fight ensues. Later, Jacques follows Manon to a church and watches her light candles in memory of her dead parents. He then re-reads the portion of ... +


Fifteen years after Jacques Costaud, a French war veteran and a recipient of France's prestigous Croix de Guerre, kills a man and is sentenced to life in prison, he escapes from a penal colony in French Guyana. Jacques is chased by police and dogs through darkness and heavy brush. Dodging police bullets, Jacques jumps into a swamp, and is listed as dead by the police. After Jacques slips out of Guyana, he returns to Paris, where his daughter Manon now lives. While searching for Manon, Jacques re-reads the last letter that he received from his wife, who died during his imprisonment, and is saddened when he remembers that Manon has been told that he had died in the war. The letter also mentions that Manon was given her father's medal as a keepsake. After spending all her money on her mother's funeral, the destitute Manon is evicted from her apartment because she cannot pay her rent. Manon's room is rented to Paul Renoir, who discovers Manon still in her room and, after hearing her hard luck tale, agrees to let her stay there. Paul then finds Manon work in a bar, where she will work "while Paris sleeps." When Jacques finds his daughter's apartment, he learns about Manon's troubles from the concierge and decides to remain in the shadows until he can help her. At the bar where Manon works, Jacques witnesses a patron assaulting her, and when he intervenes on her behalf a fight ensues. Later, Jacques follows Manon to a church and watches her light candles in memory of her dead parents. He then re-reads the portion of his wife's last letter asking him never to reveal his criminal past to Manon because it would break her heart. When Paul overhears the unscrupulous Julot and Kapas trying to convince Manon to go to South America to "model," he bursts into the room and starts a fight. Paul later kisses Manon and promises to kill anyone who harms her. After witnessing Paul's act of bravery, Jacques introduces himself to Manon as a friend of her father, and gives Paul his consent to marry her. He also promises to come up with money to support them. Jacques returns to Manon's apartment with a bundle of money that was owed to his wife, only to discover that Manon and Paul have been kidnapped. While Julot threatens to kill Manon unless she agrees to go to South America, Jacques reports the kidnapping to the police. The police mistake Jacques for the abductor and arrest him, but he frees himself in time to rescue Manon. Manon and Jacques then rescue Paul and detain the gangsters until the police arrive. Once he is assured that his daughter and Paul are safe, Jacques decides that "the dead must remain dead," and kills himself by entering a dynamite-laden basement that is about to explode. Some time later, at the tomb of the unknown soldier, Manon lays flowers in memory of a father she thinks she never knew. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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