Hotel de Paree

CBS (ended 1960)





Hotel de Paree Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
11 votes
  • Another average western that seems to be put out there without much thought. Holliman tries earnestly to be likable, but there's not much he can do with the thin character assigned to him.

    Though it had an odd title for a cowboy series, Hotel De Paree is as routine an oater as anything Republic or P.R.C was turning out a decade before.
    The premise is that a reformed not-really-ever-so-bad guy teams up with broken-down-once-nobility French girl to start a hotel in a dirt poor mining town in frontier Colorodo. I guess they chose to name the place "Hotel De Paree" to insure attracting clientele of the lowest possible class.
    That lead Earl Holliman's character is called "The Sundance kid" is indicative of just how typically out of touch with Actual historical people and events the script writers were. In the late 1950's, American TV was on a western binge. There were something like 44 of them on in one week. This led to an assembly-line approach, with nothing to differentiate one cowboy shoot-em down from another except a gimmick. Holliman's gimmick is that he wears a small string of mirrors on his hat band, and every so often, without warning, the sun will hit one, and blind the viewer, so to speak, with a white-out frame. Just so the point won't be lost, the opening credits feature the hat and the mirrors prominently. He seems to be a man without a purpose. Though he's halfsies on the hotel, he spends his time just hanging about the town, and always seems to be treated as totally out of place when he's in the hotel. He spends a lot of time with the local store keeper, Strother Martin, and a charmless dog named "Useless". The storylines are standard TV western tales; one-episode characters are punished or rewarded accordingly for what they've done to/for the cast members. The absolute King of the Telewesterns was Gunsmoke, yet I have seen an episode (a colour one circa 1970) that reused a "Hotel De Paree" story even down to same shot set-ups. The Gunsmoke version was of course better.
    In 1959 nobody saw anything wrong with the two sponsors sharing the show being Kellogg's (OK's and Sugar Frosted Flakes) and L & M cigarettes. That's what's called something for everyone in the family.