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
Most of the film was shot on location in Paris, with the last few numbers being completed in an apartment that MGM constructed on their backlot. 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 »
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 »
Don't get me wrong, I love it - Leslie Caron and the whole cast. And the songs are superb.
But let's face it, this is Americanized Collette. She celebrated the deals and compromises within a sexist order that allowed a lucky few high-class prostitutes to become well-to-do, independent women in fin-de-siecle Paris (and a lot of others to at least make some kind of living). She empowered women, at a time when there just weren't many other opportunities for them to establish real independence (our current categories of PC and non-PC wouldn't have meant much then). It wasn't always pretty, but there was reality in her writing about relations between the sexes that hasn't lost its relevance.
Of course, this had to be soft-pedalled for the American audience - hence the ending, which conforms nicely with middle-class morality on this side of the Atlantic. This is the only "politically" unsatisfactory thing about the movie, however. And it remains superior - both "politically" and as a film - to My Fair Lady, where Eliza is implied to return and submit herself to Rex Harrison at the end, whereas Gigi at least implies that it's Gaston rather than Gigi who is going to have to change his ways.
My only other gripe: Why no dancing from Leslie - and from Vincente Minelli, that peerless director of dance sequences? I guess Lerner and Lowe must have been more in control of this one, and weren't of a mind for rug-cutting. Too bad - there really isn't nearly enough of Leslie dancing on film as it is!
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