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Lili

Overview

Based on the story by Paul Gallico, Lili stars Leslie Caron as the title character, a 16-year-old waif who runs off to join a carnival. Embittered, crippled puppeteer Mel Ferrer treats Lili with contempt; only by speaking through his puppets is Ferrer able to express his genuine love for the girl. Before this happens, however, Caron must overcome her crush on magician Jean-Pierre Aumont, who is married to the contentious Zsa Zsa Gabor. Though not a musical as was Carnival, the 1961 Broadway version of Lili, the ...
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Overview

Based on the story by Paul Gallico, Lili stars Leslie Caron as the title character, a 16-year-old waif who runs off to join a carnival. Embittered, crippled puppeteer Mel Ferrer treats Lili with contempt; only by speaking through his puppets is Ferrer able to express his genuine love for the girl. Before this happens, however, Caron must overcome her crush on magician Jean-Pierre Aumont, who is married to the contentious Zsa Zsa Gabor. Though not a musical as was Carnival, the 1961 Broadway version of Lili, the film affords Leslie Caron the opportunity for a dream ballet, and also accommodates the lilting Bronislaw Kaper/Adolph Deutsch hit song "Hi Lili, Hi Lo." Legend has it that professional curmudgeon H.L. Mencken, who considered movies a waste of time and never bothered to see them, was persuaded to attend a showing of Lili--and loved every minute of it!
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Those who view Lili expecting a full-scale musical should be forewarned: There's only one song (presented as a "performance" number, rather than one in which the characters sing their thoughts and emotions), and while there are two enjoyable ballets, they're actually somewhat perfunctory and seem to have been added primarily to take advantage of star Leslie Caron's talent in that area. Whether musical or not, Lili is a charming and enchanting little fable of a film, with a surprisingly somber undercurrent. The Love of Seven Dolls, the Paul Gallico story that inspired the film, is considerably darker. Caron shines as the title character, exuding a very believable freshness and innocence; more importantly, her purity and naïveté are so convincing that the crucial but problematic climax -- in which Lili realizes Paul has been supplying the words and emotions for her beloved puppets all along -- is perfectly acceptable. (And Caron dances beautifully, of course.) Mel Ferrer is quite good with creating the characters for the puppets; he is less effective with the character of Paul, which comes off not so much tortured and tragic as sullen and petulant. Charles Walters has directed with his customary efficiency, and there are some lovely visuals. Although the second ballet could have used a slightly more interesting design, overall the production values are top-notch. Several years later, this same story would be adapted into a full-scale Broadway musical, Carnival.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/9/2012
  • UPC: 883316369203
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Full Frame
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:21:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 6,248

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Leslie Caron Lili Daurier
Mel Ferrer Paul Berthalet
Jean-Pierre Aumont Marc
Zsa Zsa Gabor Rosalie
Kurt Kasznar Jacquot
Amanda Blake Peach Lips
Alex Gerry Proprietor
Ralph Dumke M. Corvier
Wilton Graff M. Tonit
George Baxter M. Enrique
George Davis Workman
Richard Grayson Flirting Vendor
Mitchell Lewis Concessionaire
Eda Reiss Merin Fruit Peddler
Reginald Simpson Second Workman
Fred Walton Whistler
Technical Credits
Charles Walters Director, Choreography
Helen Deutsch Screenwriter
Paul Gallico Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Production Designer
Paul Groesse Production Designer
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
Edwin H. Knopf Producer
Arthur Krams Set Decoration/Design
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Mary Ann Nyberg Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Planck Cinematographer
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Ferris Webster Editor
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2003

    Slight correction

    I LOVE this show, for its gentleness and naivete as well as its hopefullness. However, Lili does not 'run off' to join the carnival. Her father, her only family, dies. He has always told her to go to a certain town and find a certain man, if anything happened to him. She goes, but the baker is no longer there. The carnival, however, IS there, and the rest is history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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