Last Time I Saw Paris, The

1799. THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS (1954-usa). Color. With elizabeth taylor, van JOHNSON, WALTER P1DGEON, DONNA reed, eva GABOR, ROGER MOORE. Based on a short story by F. SCOTT FITZGERALD. This may not be Elizabeth Taylor’s most famous screen role, but you will rarely find a film in which she is so strikingly beautiful. Its scenario, most of which unravels in flashback, is a knowing, moving updating of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story from the 1920s to immediately after World War II and beyond. Van Johnson (MGM’s fair-haired boy who was swept to Hollywood stardom during the war) offers a solid performance as Charles Wills, an ambitious young journalist. Wills spent the war toiling for “Stars & Stripes.” Today he covers the Paris beat for a news service, all the while hoping to one-day pen the Great American Novel. Taylor plays Helen Ellswirth, an American expatriate’s daughter: a reckless free-spirit who’s tired of war and death, and determined to live “a lifetime full of last days.” She and Wills meet, fall deeply in love, marry, and become the parents of a daughter. Complications arise when they become unexpectedly wealthy, and what follows is an emotionally charged drama of jealousy, frustration and poignant, lushly romantic love scenes, The stars are surrounded by an A-plus supporting cast, including Walter Pidgeon (as Taylor’s party-loving, charming blowhard of a father); Donna Reed (as her much-put- upon sister); Eva Gabor (amusingly typecast as a rich, much-married society lady); and a shockingly young, handsome hunk named Roger Moore (who was then several years into his Hollywood career as a supporting actor), cast as an “international tennis bum.” 116 minutes. Drama