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A rancher's daughter visits Paris to meet her mother and find love.
When wealthy Texas rancher and statesman Jim Stauton Rogers is called to Paris on a United Nations matter, he reluctantly takes his grown daughter Elizabeth with him, fearful that she will encounter his long-estranged wife, singer Marie Devarone. Although Jim and his faithful housekeeper Glynnie try to shield Liz from press photographers, Marie sees their picture in the newspaper, and with the help of her partner, Paul Sarnac, plots to meet her daughter. That night, despite Jim's preference for all things Texan, he and Liz enjoy an evening out on the town. Back at the hotel, though, Jim becomes concerned after receiving a flower basket with a welcoming note from Marie.
Reading the card, Jim thinks back to his first trip to Paris in 1927: While attending an American Legion convention, Jim becomes attracted to Marie, who sings in a small club. They marry after a whirlwind courtship and Marie accompanies Jim to his small ranch in Texas. Although Jim is happy, he spends much of his time building up the ranch while Marie feels lonely and out of place. Liz's birth does not mitigate Marie's homesickness, and when Liz is two, Marie abruptly returns to France. Back in the present, before Jim leaves on a business trip to London with colleague Henri Milan, he warns Glynnie to keep Liz away from Marie. That afternoon, Liz has fun shopping with Henri's son Andre, a government clerk, who is immediately smitten with her. For reasons unknown to Liz or Andre, well-known French painter Claude Duval asks her to sit for a painting and she agrees. At Duval's studio, Marie, who is a good friend of the artist, secretly watches her lovely daughter and asks Duval to invite Liz to the nightclub "La Parisienne" that night. Marie arranges a sumptuous feast for Liz and Andre, who are overwhelmed by the service they receive from Jean, the ingratiating maitre d'. Marie yearns to talk with Liz, but cannot reveal herself because Liz believes that her mother died when she was a baby. Paul, who is in love with Marie, suggests that she introduce herself as a friend of Andre's father.
After Paul and Marie's performance, she goes to Liz and Andre's table and chats for a while, then invites them to meet her for tea at Duval's studio the next day. Liz is flattered by the sophisticated Marie's interest in her and readily agrees. At the end of the evening, Jim calls Liz from London. He is pleased that she has been out with Andre, but when Liz casually mentions meeting Marie, Jim decides to return to Paris as soon as possible. The next afternoon, Marie and Liz have another warm conversation and Marie invites her to return to La Parisienne that evening. When Jim arrives at his Paris hotel, he questions Andre about Marie while Liz is out of the room, but Andre is only interested in asking for Liz's hand in marriage. A rather preoccupied Jim agrees to talk with Liz, but discourages Andre because Liz has a boyfriend, Bob Lennart, back in Texas. After Andre leaves, Jim gets into an argument with Liz and forbids her to see Marie again. The confused Liz balks at his order and determines to keep her engagement. That evening, Jim goes alone to La Parisienne to convince Marie not to see Liz again, but while they are talking, Liz and Andre arrive. Because Jim is also concerned over Liz and Andre's relationship, Marie offers to see if their love is real. After Jim leaves, Marie confides in Paul that she thinks Liz would be making a mistake to marry Andre because of the same cultural differences that came between her and Jim.
The next morning, when a determined Liz tells Jim that she and Andre, whose proposal she has accepted, will be meeting Marie for lunch, Jim encourages the meeting. At lunch, Marie tries to show Andre and Liz the differences that separate them, such as where each wants to live. The couple begin to argue, after which they break the engagement. Later, at the hotel, a tearful Liz hears that Andre has left Paris and asks Jim if they can return to Texas right away. Jim arranges for a flight that night, but before they leave, Liz goes to La Parisienne to say goodbye to Marie. Seeing Liz's unhappiness, Marie realizes that Liz truly loves Andre and determines to get them back together. Marie asks Liz to wait in her dressing room during the floorshow, then discovers Andre sitting in the club. She then tells Andre to wait in Paul's dressing room, which is next to hers. Meanwhile, Jim fears they will miss their plane and calls Marie's dressing room. When Liz answers the phone, Andre hears her voice and goes to her to admit how much he loves her. When Jim arrives at the nightclub, Marie takes him to Paul's dressing room and tells him that Liz and Andre really are in love. Liz and Andre overhear them and Liz learns that Marie is her mother. Jim, who does not know what Liz has heard, gives her and Andre his blessing, suggesting that they divide their time between France and America and promising to let her in on a big surprise after Marie finishes her number.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 24 Jul 1951|
|Release Date:||1951||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||Loew's Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Sound System)||Production Co:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.|
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