Director Vincente Minnelli and producer Arthur Freed capped the success of their earlier hits 'Meet Me in St Louis' and 'An American in Paris' with this lavish musical adaptation of Colette's famous novel. Gigi (Leslie Caron), an innocent French girl, finds herself being trained as a courtesan so that she can become the mistress of Gaston Lachaille (Louis Jourdan), a family friend and heir to a sugar fortune. However, when Gaston actually falls in love with the young Gigi he complicates a long-standing family tradition and throws their whole social circle into a flap. The film won nine Oscars: Best Picture, Director, Cinematography, Editor, Set Design, Screenplay, Costumes, Score and Song.
, Vincente Minnelli's 1958 adaptation of Colette's story about a girl (Leslie Caron) groomed as a courtesan but desired as a wife by a Parisian playboy (Louis Jordan), won a lot of Oscars, but it also has the unusual distinction of being an MGM musical shot on location in the City of Lights. What a musical it is (by Lerner and Loewe): Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold crooning "Ah, Yes, I Remember It Well", plus the songs "Thank Heaven for Little Girls", "Gigi", "I'm a Bore", and "She's Not Thinking of Me". Director Minnelli makes a sumptuous, dreamy, almost laid-back affair of it all and the indispensable cast is forever etched into memory. Hollywood's long-running infatuation with continental grace and manners, the memory of a much earlier time imported to American movies through such immigrant directors as Ernst Lubitsch, may have finally come to a gentle end with this film. --Tom Keogh
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