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Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long. Gaston, the scion of a wealthy Parisian family finds emotional refuge from the superficial lifestyle of upper class Parisian 1900s society with the former mistress of his uncle and her outgoing, tomboy granddaughter, Gigi. When Gaston becomes aware that Gigi has matured into a woman, her grandmother and aunt, who have educated Gigi to be a wealthy man's mistress, urge the pair to act out their roles but love adds a surprise twist to this delightful turn-of-the 20th century Cinderella story. Written by
The café where Honore (Maurice Chevalier) sings "I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore" is clearly a studio set. As he leaves the café at the conclusion of the number, a horse and carriage pull up on the street in the background, and their shadows are seen on the painted backdrop of the buildings at the back of the set. See more »
[Honore walks through Paris and greets the viewer]
Good afternoon! As you see, this lovely city all around us is Paris, and this lovely park is of course the Bois de Boulogne. Who am I? Well, allow me to introduce myself: I am Honore Lachaille. Born: Paris. When...
...not lately. This is 1900, so let's just say not in this century. Circumstances: comfortable. Profession: lover, and collector of beautiful things. Not antiques mind you, younger things.
[...] See more »
...and thank goodness. Despite the good songs, the movie version of "My Fair Lady" hits a dull thud. In the words of Gaston Lachaille, "it's a bore!"
But this review isn't about "My Fair Lady". It's about one of the greatest musicals ever to be placed on cellulod - "Gigi", exquisite and as light as air!
Where do you start? The score and musical direction by Conrad Salinger and Andre Previn is one of the best. Vincente Minelli's direction frames Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan wonderously and builds the chemistry between the two photogenic stars. Great support is provided by Hermione Gingold and the redoubtable Maurice Chevalier. Paris has never looked as glorious on film as this - amazing costume design, art direction, and set pieces.
And the songs - absolute classics! Lerner and Loewe really hit their stride with this - "Thank Heaven for Little Girls", "I Remember It Well", "The Night They Invented Champagne", and the beautiful title tune.
This movie has often served as an introduction to Maurice Chevalier for movie watchers, and he illuminates the screen. If you want to see him in another of the greatest musicals, watch "Love Me Tonight" with Jeanette MacDonald.
Thank heaven for this movie - it's a world that I would love to inhabit! I give it 10 out of 10.
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