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 film was originally going to be produced by Gilbert Miller, and would be based on Anita Loos's 1954 non-musical stage adaptation. However, producer Arthur Freed had developed an interest in Colette's story in 1953. It took Freed $125,000 to get the rights from Colette's widower, and $87,000 to get the rights from Anita Loos (both had held on to the rights and the film could not be made without them). See more »
During her visit with Aunt Alicia, Gigi says she has no friends and that she's always on her own. However, in the beginning of the movie, we see Gigi playing with several other schoolgirls, which would seem to indicate she does have friends. 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 »
In some prints shown on television, we see still photos of Leslie Caron part of the time during the song "Gigi", instead of seeing Louis Jourdan singing. (This occurs after the verse and first chorus, when the orchestra plays the song while Jourdan only exclaims "Gigi!") As shown currently, we see Jourdan singing throughout the whole song, as in the theatrical release. See more »
The art decoration and sumptuous costuming designed by Cecil Beaton are truly striking in every respect. The storyline what there is of it is rather weak. The presentation is reminiscent of "My Fair Lady" but lacking in a good story is not half as great.
Maurice Chevalier as Gaston's Uncle Honore steals the show and gives the best performance due mainly to his special French charm and charisma. He lifts every scene. His singing of "Thank Heaven for little girls" sets the spirit of the film as he advises Gaston on the importance of enjoying life. The main ingredients appear to be Paris, Springtime and girls, preferably young ones.
Gigi (Leslie Caron) is taught the social graces and niceties of life by her grandmama and friends such as how to drink a glass of wine and how to choose a good cigar. These scenes I found not particularly funny. Perhaps it was unconvincing because the actor was trying to be very naive and young and inexperienced. Louis Jordan as Gaston the bored millionaire playboy was OK in a romantic role which was relatively undemanding. I particularly liked his rendition of the song "Gigi" when his attitude to life is suddenly changed. "Gigi" happens to be my favourite tune in the whole film.
Paris life is captured in glorious technicolour. Note that it is devoid of all shabbiness and poverty. The film opens near the Bois de Boulogne in 1900 and wanders amongst the skating rink and places of great entertainment where money seems to be the least of their worries. This is escapism de luxe.
Not a great film but quite pleasant to watch. I'll be singing "Gigi" a long time after the film has been forgotten.
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