Gigi (1958)

G   |    |  Comedy, Musical, Romance


Gigi (1958) Poster

Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship which may not stay platonic for long.


6.7/10
19,578


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  • Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan in Gigi (1958)
  • Leslie Caron and Isabel Jeans in Gigi (1958)
  • Marilyn Monroe at an event for Gigi (1958)
  • Louis Jourdan and Frederick Loewe in Gigi (1958)
  • Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan in Gigi (1958)
  • Maurice Chevalier in Gigi (1958)

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26 June 2001 | john_ccy
9
| Absolutely Charming
Having seen this film several times, I definitely have to rate Gigi as one of the most charming musicals ever made. The delightful score, by Lerner & Loewe, includes songs such as "I Remember it Well," "The Night They Invented Champagne," "Thank Heaven For Little Girls," as well as the title track, "Gigi," sung with surprising candor and earnestness by Louis Jourdan. Although reminiscent of their work on My Fair Lady, this score not only stands beautifully on its own but also grows in depth with each viewing.

The three principals, Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan, and Maurice Chevalier, along with the Paris locales helps maintain a distinctively French flavor, especially in the way the characters relate and interact.

For everyone who has commented on the political incorrectness of the story, a closer look will actually reveal the true feminist perspective of Colette's work which was groundbreaking for its time: 1) the story is a commentary and observation of the limited social and economic options for women outside of marriage during the turn of the century Paris, 2) Although Gigi (Caron) never fully masters her lessons and grooming, she is able to capture Gaston's (Jourdan) heart precisely because of her imperfections, and 3) most importantly, it is Gaston rather than Gigi who is forced to truly transform himself and defy the social conventions of the time to bring the story to its resolution.

Compare this to My Fair Lady, which offers similar social commentary but resolves itself in a more standard way: For example 1) Eliza Dolittle only becomes noticeable and lovable after transforming her outward appearance and speech patterns 2) Although Professor Higgins finally realizes his love for Eliza at the end, it is Eliza who is forced to submit her will by effecting a reconciliation that does nothing to resolve any of the issues raised in the scenes leading up to that point.

Definitely see Gigi and judge for yourself. (By the way, the widescreen version is sooooo much better. This is especially apparent in numbers such as "I Remember It Well" where entire characters are forced to be cut out of the screen.)

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