The title of Paris Model (1953) doesn’t refer to a person but a dress: an expensive Paris original called “Nude at Midnight” which works its way (in one form or another) through the lives of four women, all of whom turn to this seductive dress, with its figure-enhancing design and daring décolleté, to snare their man. They are huntresses on the trail of big game and they dress for the part. The film, released by Columbia Pictures but independently produced on a sub-studio budget by Albert Zugsmith, is built on four separate short stories, each with a different leading lady filling out the hand-me-down dress: Marilyn Maxwell, Paulette Goddard, Eva Gabor and Barbara Lawrence. The four actresses were either on the downside of their career or still working at stardom but they all had one thing in common: they had impressive figures that brought out the best in this tight-fitting dress.
Eva Gabor, more famous as a high society celebrity than as an actress, starts the film off as a Paris socialite who lives off the generosity of older men with healthy bankbooks; she buys the dress (for a small fortune, which she charged to one of her admirers) to hook a rich Maharajah (Tom Conway, the brother of George Sanders) with a hopelessly bland personality. The role parodies Gabor’s reputation and she embraces the comic part with verve and tongue-in-cheek guile.
Continue reading Turner Classic Movies. Plays August 2 on TCM.