Read a Movie club to  screen 'The Last Time I Saw Paris' Jan. 9

December 21, 2012
Van Johnson and Elizabeth Taylor star in "The Last Time I Saw Paris." SOURCE SUBMITTED

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and the Rehoboth Beach Public Library invite film and literary enthusiasts to a special screening of the 1954 Hollywood film “The Last Time I Saw Paris” at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 9, upstairs at the Rehoboth Beach Public Library.

“The Last Time I Saw Paris,” starring Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson and Donna Reed, is inspired by the F. Scott Fitzgerald story “Babylon Revisited.”

The screening is part of the monthly Read a Movie club, in which members are invited to read a short story in advance of the screening, and then gather to watch the film version and engage in lively discussion about how the film compares to its original inspiration.

The original Fitzgerald story is a poignant look back at the era Fitzgerald knew best: the Roaring Twenties. The story’s protagonist returns long after the Jazz Era has gone, and tries to prove to his in-laws that he is fit to reclaim his daughter. The story reflects the real-life highs and lows of Fitzgerald’s ill-fated marriage to Zelda Sayre.

“The Last Time I Saw Paris” features Van Johnson as a World War II correspondent who returns to France after the war to reclaim his life. He reminisces about the love of his life, played by Elizabeth Taylor, whose reckless but dazzling ways captivated the young soldier. Donna Reed costars as Taylor’s disapproving sister and rival for Johnson’s affections.

With a screenplay written by the Epstein brothers (of “Casablanca” fame) and directed in full-color MGM style by Richard Brooks (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”), “The Last Time I Saw Paris” plays fast and loose with the story, but offers, as the New York Times put it, a “delectable” Elizabeth Taylor, along with fine support from Hollywood icons Walter Pidgeon and Eva Gabor.

The popular Read a Movie club meets on the second Wednesday of every month. Members receive an email link to the short story in advance, and copies of the story are also available at the front desk of the Rehoboth Public Llibrary. After the film is screened, members share thoughts about how well - or not so well - the story was expanded to the big screen. Membership in Read a Movie is free. To sign up and receive the stories in advance, email Sue Early, executive director of the Rehoboth Beach Film Society, at or call the Rehoboth Beach Public Library at 302-227-8044.

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society is funded, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on this series, other events, or to become a member, visit or call 302-645-9095.