Gigi (1958) Film Review


Gigi (Leslie Caron) is a young girl being trained as a courtesan around the turn of the century in Paris. She is friends with a wealthy playboy, Gaston (Louis Jourdan) who is bored of his life and only enjoys the time he spends with Gigi. They fall in love. It was a play which was eventually turned into this film, but apparently the story seemed too dark (the whole courtesan thing) for Hollywood and so songs were added, and generally they are awful, horrible songs. Perhaps apart from the magnificently creepy ‘Thank Goodness for Little Girls’ sung by an elderly playboy Honore Lachaille (Maurice Chevalier) is by far my favourite, and reminds me of a terrible Hollywood film with Gerard Depardieu that I must look up.

I was so bored watching this. There were good moments, and certainly the way the era was recreated was delightful. But really, the young girl being quirky and clumsy with her snobby teachers, the courtesan aunts it just didn’t work for me. However, I am very interested in reading the book by Collette to see how the original story was intended.

Gigi won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Vincente Minnelli), Best Writing: Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Alan Jay Lerner), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White or Color, Best Costume Design Black-and-White or Color, Best Film Editing, Best Music:Original Song (Gigi) and Best Music: Scoring of a Musical Picture.

2 thoughts on “Gigi (1958) Film Review

  1. I’d never even heard of Gigi till I’d read your post,but upon hearing it was the winner of the 1958 Best Picture Oscar. I decided to look at the awards for that year and was amazed at some of the films that weren’t even nominated. Most notably Vertigo and Touch of Evil,
    I take it Gigi hasn’t aged very well?

    • It shows that awards don’t always get it right, doesn’t it? It really wasn’t a film for me. If you love the old school musicals, you might like it. I found it exceptionally tedious and twee. Give me Vertigo any day.

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