In observance of tonight’s final showing of Rene Clement‘s Is Paris Burning? (1966) at the New Beverly Cinema, there’s an underlying humor scene between Gert Frobe (as the good German general who defied Hitler’s orders to torch the city) and Orson Welles (as a Swedish diplomat) in the middle of this YouTube clip.

It was noted by a Time magazine reviewer that Welles’ concerned expression seemed to be driven by hunger for the cakes and pastries sitting before Frobe. Watch this scene with this interpretation in mind and it’s a scream. Welles does seem to be doing everything he can not to think of the food in front of him, his resolve melting by the second.
Is Paris Burning? is a ambitious but boring film that lost money. You can tell from the pacing and the cutting of the Frobe-Welles scene why it bombed. Kirk Douglas as Gen. George S. Patton?
That said, could the jacket art for the 2003 Paramount DVD be any more off-putting? It’s like the Paramount Home Video art director said to the artist, “I want you to create jacket art that will repel each and every prospective viewer. Not just the under-25s, not just World War II buffs, not just the cinefiles who may want to see this thing out of respect for Rene Clement. I want every last person on the face of the planet to look at this thing and go, ‘No!…I don’t want to see this.’ Can you do it?”