D’Arrast came to Hollywood to assist Chaplin on A Woman of Paris (23) and The Gold Rush (25). A shadowy figure now, he had a reputation for smart comedy and highly strung fractiousness. He crossed cocktail sticks with Goldwyn on Raffles, with Selznick on Topaze, and eventually quit Hollywood for lack of work. He began at Paramount with three society romances starring Adolphe Menjou as, in order, head waiter, marquis, and famous composer. The Magnificent Flirt was a farce he wrote with Jean de Limur and Herman Mankiewicz that starred Albert Conti and Florence Vidor. Dnj Martini, made at Fox with Mary Astor and Matt Moore, is the epitome of romantic cynicism undaunted by the Depression. After Raffles, he returned to his true home. Paramount, for Nancy Carroll and Fredric March in Laughter, written by himself and Donald Ogden Stewart and produced by Mankiewicz—a barrage of acerbity. Topaze came from the Pagnol play and starred John Barrymore.
His last film had in its cast d’Arrast’s wife, Eleanor Boardman. Those huge Paramount salons, slim girls in satin, and waspish dark men may have been presented as clearly by d’Arrast as anyone. Paramount condescended to its audience, and he seemed to fit that tone.