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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
From 1954-56, Arthur Freed had to battle the Hays Code in order to bring Colette's tale of a courtesan-in-training to the cinema. He eventually convinced the film industry's Code Office to view the story as condemning rather than glorifying a system of mistresses. See more »
In the scene where Alicia is teaching Gigi about the jewels, in a shot, Alicia is facing Gigi, having her hands pointing up and Gigi is facing her, listening. In the very next shot, Alicia is playing with a string of pearls, facing away from Gigi. Gigi is sitting beside her but also not facing her but still looking at her. 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 »
"Gigi" is undoubtedly as good as it is because it was a musical written expressly for the screen (it had been an enormously popular Broadway play starring Audrey Hepburn). Lerner and Loewe were coming off their huge success with "My Fair Lady" on Broadway, and were at the height of their powers when they created the classic songs and screenplay for this film. And although Leslie Caron's vocals were dubbed (thankfully not by Marni Nixon), the rest of the cast acquits themselves with aplomb and a good deal of style, particularly the heartstoppingly suave and beautiful Louis Jourdan (who was much older than he looked at the time, as was Caron -- he was 38, she was 27). The breathtaking Art Nouveau sets and fin de siecle costumes were all designed by Cecil Beaton and are even more gorgeous than those he did for the film version of "My Fair Lady" a few years later.
This film is very faithful to Colette's original short story in both humor and spirit, and while I have no illusions that it is a completely truthful portrait of life in early 20th century Paris, it is a delightful, romantic story, one that is as lovely now as it was in the 1950s, or indeed, at the turn of the century. It really did deserve the Best Picture Oscar.
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