Gigi

Gigi

4.5 19
Director: Vincente Minnelli

Cast: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan

     
 

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Leslie Caron plays Gigi, a young girl raised by two veteran Parisian courtesans (Hermione Gingold and Isabel Jeans) to be the mistress of wealthy young Gaston (Louis Jourdan). When Gaston falls in love with Gigi and asks her to be his wife, Jeans is appalled: never has anyone in their family ever stooped to anything so bourgeois as marriage! Weaving in and out of the

Overview

Leslie Caron plays Gigi, a young girl raised by two veteran Parisian courtesans (Hermione Gingold and Isabel Jeans) to be the mistress of wealthy young Gaston (Louis Jourdan). When Gaston falls in love with Gigi and asks her to be his wife, Jeans is appalled: never has anyone in their family ever stooped to anything so bourgeois as marriage! Weaving in and out of the story is Maurice Chevalier as an aging boulevardier who, years earlier, had been in love with Gingold's character. Chevalier gets most of the best Lerner & Loewe tunes, including "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," "I'm Glad I'm Not Young Any More," and his matchless duet with Gingold, "I Remember it Well." Caron's best number (dubbed by Betty Wand) is "The Night They Invented Champagne" while Jourdan gets the honor of introducing the title song. Filmed on location in Paris, Gigi won several Oscars, including Best Picture; it also represented the successful American movie comeback of Chevalier, who thanks to this film was "forgiven" for his reputed collaboration with the Nazis during World War II.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Vincente Minnelli's Gigi was arguably the last great movie of the director's career and the last great musical made at MGM. It was an improbable hit in its time, and it is often denigrated as a poor relation of My Fair Lady, which, like Gigi, was the work of composer-screenwriters Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. In 1958, it had been five years since Minnelli's last successful musical The Band Wagon, and the genre was believed to be running out of steam at the box office. This project, based on a Colette story about a young courtesan matched up with a wealthy man, seemed unlikely material in the supposedly staid 1950s. But Lerner and Loewe's script downplayed the morally equivocal nature of the adults and the title character (without totally losing it) and wrapped the story around a score that drew on the richest melodic influences of My Fair Lady, which was just going into previews at the time. Gigi even inherited one song dropped from the stage version of My Fair Lady, and the score gave it the feel of a 19th century operetta, with the sweeping, melodic elegance of the Viennese tradition and the sauciness of its Parisian counterpart. It was Minnelli's enviable task to make all of this look beautiful, shooting partly in Paris (a privilege he'd been denied on An American In Paris) with a dream cast. The result was a movie that pleased audiences; got away with presenting a tale of prostitution to a general audience in a decade when the screen supposedly didn't even acknowledge the existence of moral terpitude, much less allow its heroes and heroines to have engaged in it (see Detective Story); and introduced a brace of superb songs that still play to audiences. Gigi was the last great score and script that Minnelli ever got to work with, and it is the last MGM musical that is essential viewing even for non-fans of Minnelli and the movie musical.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/08/1994
UPC:
0027616005038
Original Release:
1958
Rating:
G
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Leslie Caron Gigi
Maurice Chevalier Honore Lachaille
Louis Jourdan Gaston Lachaille
Hermione Gingold Mme. Alvarez
Eva Gabor Liane d'Exelmans
Isabel Jeans Aunt Alicia
Jacques Bergerac Sandomir
John Abbott Manuel
Richard Bean Harlequin
Edwin Jerome Charles the Butler
Dorothy Neumann Designer
Pat Sheahan Blonde
Marilyn Sims Redhead
Jack Trevan Coachman
Monique Van Vooren Showgirl
Lydia Stevens Simone

Technical Credits
Vincente Minnelli Director
Preston Ames Art Director
Cecil Beaton Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Alexander Courage Musical Arrangement
Adrienne Fazan Editor
Arthur Freed Producer
F. Keogh Gleason Set Decoration/Design
Henry W. Grace Set Decoration/Design
William Horning Art Director
Ray June Cinematographer
Alan Jay Lerner Score Composer,Screenwriter
Frederick Loewe Score Composer,Screenwriter
Charles Parker Makeup
André Previn Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
William J. Tuttle Makeup

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Gigi 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gigi is the apex of the great MGM/Arthur Freed musicals. It is a classic. Unfortunately, the DVD transfer of this masterpiece is nothing short of abysmal. The colors bleed. The original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 has been artificially squeezed down to 1:85 !This causes the most annoying distortion on the right and left side of the screen. The image on both sides is stretched vertically! Warner Home Video should be ashamed of themselves for their treatment of a great Hollywood classic. They should hand to over to The Criterion Collection to get the treatment it deserves.
_melissa More than 1 year ago
Gigi(Leslie Caron) is a musical about an awkward,clumsy,and silly girl that is "backwards for her age". The rich and "bored" Gaston is fond of Gigi's family. He spoils her and is amused by her company and banter. As Gaston flirts with the sophisticated women of Paris Gigi becomes a woman. Gaston then realizes that "there is sweeter music when she speaks" and "a different bloom about her cheeks". This is my favorite musical and perhaps movie. Their love is sweet and innocent. It is not greedy or hungry.
atigerl More than 1 year ago
Gigi is a delightful musical filled with memorable music and classic actors and actresses. The outstanding costumes and beautiful scenery only add to the magic of the show. As soon as I watched Gigi for the first time, I downloaded the entire musical score! This light-hearted movie will entertain people of all ages. It also contains a lot of social commentary and insights into the time period in France! I purchased the DVD version of Gigi first, and then, immediately purchased the Blu-Ray version as soon as it was available. However, I was a little disappointed in the quality of the Blu-Ray version. I was expecting a sharper picture and even more stunning views of the scenery and costumes, but this version just appeared more "grainy" on the screen. I believe the DVD version is just as good if not better than the Blu-Ray!
Joyachiever More than 1 year ago
“Gigi” was a great film about a young woman who falls in love with a wealthy man. He is only technically meant to be her “mentor”. The only thing I did not like about “Gigi” was the suicide part. I am compassionate towards those who have attempted or followed through on suicide. However, I do not believe that there is no human being worth committing suicide over. Aside from that caveat, “Gigi” provided an interesting glimpse into the life of a courtesan who is being trained to work among the upper class. “Gigi” is great for those who enjoy musicals with love stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie is great! Leslie Caron puts the perfect touch on GIGI.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The earlier incarnation of this film did not do it justice...now, here it is, restored and loaded with extras with the great Leslie Caron herself....and a blu-ray release is soon to follow this one....can't wait til September!
Lady_Reader More than 1 year ago
Has always been a favorite of mine. The additional narratives on the film extras are very informative. Well worth the time and money.
drbcabarete More than 1 year ago
How lovely and loving a film. Wonderful performances by some great people from film and stage. Music and lyrics are most memorable and have been through the years. A beautiful piece of work to share with young people and for us others to remember it well.
bellanova More than 1 year ago
This movie has it all--sumptuous visuals, biting adult wit, trenchant social commentary, an endearing central character, splendid music, and wonderful performances, even from Maurice Chevalier. What is so extraordinary is the re-creation of the Art Nouveau, Belle Epoque exteriors, interiors and costumes. That extraordinary beauty makes more credible the social mores of the time, which seem so out of synch with today's sensibilities and yet fascinating and intriguing. Leslie Caron is stunning and Auntie, teaching Caron the arts of her trade, is simply priceless. Best scene: Auntie leaves her house.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy old movies with good music. This one is great with a good cast and cute story line.
evie-Z More than 1 year ago
"Gigi" is such a wonderful musical. I have loved it forever. Leslie Caron plays the part perfectly, supported by such top notch entertainers as Louis Jordan, Maurice Chevalier, Hermione Gingold and many others. They all made their mark on the world of entertainment and thank heaven we can watch them long after they are gone. You will love the music, costumes and the scenes of Paris . This musical deserved it's award of Best Picture and and nine other Acedemay Awards.
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