Pre Code Hollywood Season: FD Cinematheque
Gigolettes of Paris (1933)
Director: Alphonse Martell
Cast: Madge Bellamy, Gilbert Roland, Natalie Moorhead, Theodore Von Eltz, Molly O’Day, Henry Kolker, Paul Porcasi, Robert Bolder, Ellinor Vanderveer
Suzanne Ricord, the prettiest salesgirl at the Parfumerie Parisienne, attracts the attention of wealthy Albert Valraine, who purchases all the expensive perfumes that she recommends.
After work, Suzanne and her roommate Paulette find Valraine waiting. He insists on giving the demure Suzanne a ride home and puts Paulette in the rear outdoor seat, where she still manages to hear Valraine offer Suzanne both the perfumes that he bought and to be her “fairy godfather.”
Suzanne refuses, but after she finds no mail from her lover, Paulette talks her into accepting Valraine’s offer. She removes the ring that her lover gave her, and it is soon replaced by Valraine’s. Suzanne and Paulette now live in a nicely-furnished apartment paid for by Valraine, and Suzanne is his mistress.
However, when she begins to talk about their planned honeymoon, Valraine takes back his ring and, accusing her of not having learned the rules of the game, says that everything has to end sometime.
Suzanne cries in disappointment. Valraine then promises his fiancée Diane that he is finished with his mistress and gives her the ring he took back from Suzanne.
Sometime later, Suzanne sings at a cabaret and accepts gifts from the many wealthy men who come to see her. Her friend, Antoine “Tony” Ferand, a gigolo, dances with Diane, now Valraine’s wife, and Suzanne notices the ring on her finger. When Tony tells Suzanne that Diane is Mrs. Albert Valraine, Suzanne reveals that the ring was her engagement ring and says she wants it back.
Diane gives the ring to Tony supposedly to help finance his business, and when Tony, who really loves Suzanne, gives her the ring, she reveals that her plan is to show Valraine how it feels to be at the losing end of the game. When Tony says that he is sick of their life and has no self-respect, Suzanne refuses to listen.
Valraine, who has just returned from a trip, accompanies his wife to the cabaret, and he notices that her ring is gone. Seeing the ring on a hand holding the curtain leading to the telephone, Valraine grabs it only to find Suzanne waiting for his approach.
When he questions her about the ring, she obliquely threatens to reveal their affair if his inquiries go too far. Back at the table with his wife, after Valraine, noticing Tony staring at Diane, accuses her of humiliating him with a common gigolo, Diane leaves with Tony, who is frustrated with Suzanne’s schemes. In their cab, Tony reveals to Diane that Suzanne had been engaged to Valraine and apologizes.
Although disappointed, Diane refuses his offer to return the ring. Tony goes to Monte Carlo, where he is arrested after he leaves a watch that had been given to Suzanne by a man at the cabaret, at a repair shop. The watch turns out to be stolen property.
The next night, Suzanne, upset that Tony has not come to the club, rebukes Valraine when he apologetically asks if she could ever care for him again. In front of Valraine, she gives the ring as a present to Louie, her waiter.
Meanwhile, Tony, in jail, refuses to say who gave him the watch. Realizing that she really loves Tony, Suzanne goes with Paulette to Monte Carlo to get away. She sees Diane at a table but her fears at finding her with Tony are relieved when her new husband joins her.
After Paulette shows her a newspaper article about the stolen watch, she tells her story to the police. Tony is released and the man who gave her the watch is picked up in Marseilles. Tony and Suzanne plan to marry, and he plans to return to his father’s textile producing business. To their surprise, they find that with the ring, Louie has married Paulette.
Tony is released and the man who gave her the watch is picked up in Marseilles. Tony and Suzanne plan to marry, and he plans to return to his father’s textile producing business. To their surprise, they find that with the ring, Louie has married Paulette.
Antoine ‘Tony’ Ferrand
|Theodore von Eltz||…||
(as F. Schumann-Heink)
|Rest of cast listed alphabetically:|
Diane’s Friend (uncredited)