Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars117
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
Price:£15.48+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 1 September 2010
One of my rare criticisms of Amazon would be their failure to distinguish between reviews of ordinary dvd's and that of a Blu-ray update. For many films they are worlds apart and Gigi is no exception. I have been a fan of Gigi for more years than I care to remember. As a young man I adored the film and would seek out cinemas to watch the film again and again. Imagine my disappointment when I bought the ordinary dvd to show on my new large projection screen home cinema! To some extent the quality was acceptable when viewed on a standard size television but the picture imperfections were clear as soon as it was magnified on an 8 foot screen! And then there was the problem of the lip synch.

To my amazement this is a problem that is rarely discussed in Amazon reviews or indeed anywhere else. I know that I am more susceptible to this problem than many others. However, in some cases on ordinary dvd's the sychronisation is out by nearly half a second. 'There's Something About Mary' and 'Prelude to a Kiss' are examples of bad lip synch and sadly the ordinary Gigi dvd is equally bad. I know that you can make slight adjustments on modern home cinema equipment but the synchronistion is often too far out to be corrected.

Eureka! Problem solved on every Blu-ray disc that I have bought and in particular with the Blu-ray version of Gigi. Last night we watched this wonderful film in the Blu-ray version. It was like watching a new film. Fabulous revitalised colours and a pin sharp picture for most of the time. Such detail! The sound quality had also been much improved although this was less obvious than the benefit in video quality. There are also some very interesting extras which include an early 'Tom & Gerry' carton, a complete version of the original 1949 French version of Gigi (non-musical) and a very informative film on the making of this version. This is filmed mainly in HD and includes interviews with Leslie Caron and others who made the film. Fascinating. The extras also include the original trailer for the film and this is a further illustration of the sea difference in quality between the different versions.

I admit that I hesitated for some months before I made this upgrade purchase. I am just so glad that I bought this upgrade. It is worth every single penny and more. What a wonderful restoration of this fabulous masterpiece.
33 comments|37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 May 2009
We thought we would enjoy a bit of nostalgia when we purchased this DVD and yes we did. The film was rather dated but to be expected perhaps after all this time. However we thoroughly enjoyed it. Good acting and lovely music though the sound quality not that good.
0Comment|21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 August 2003
Whilst I really shouldn't give this a five star rating, every time I tried to reduce it I found I couldn't. Having just watched the film, I'm still too full of the pleasure of watching something so riotously happy. The reason I shouldn't give it 5 stars is because of the quality of the DVD itself. It looks more like video than DVD, with some quite serious scratch/flicker, particularly at the beginning and during one number.
With the impossibly handsome Louis Jourdan, Leslie Caron doing her sweet little girl act, and the incomparable Maurice Chevalier (try watching Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast and I think you might see where that came from!), the cast couldn't be better. The LernerLoewe songs are all hum a long, the script witty and the costumes wonderful, making the whole film very easy on the eye.
Not surprising then that the film won 9 Oscars, including best picture, director, cinematography, costume design, and song.
Worth forking out for provided you don't mind the DVD quality issues. Personally, don't regret it in the least
0Comment|40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 November 2002
Few successful musicals have been put directly on screen, without first appearing as a stage musical. Gigi is one of them. It was a stage play but not a musical one until after the film was made. It won 9 out of 9 Oscars including Best Picture. Anyone fond of classic film and musicals or just any film lover at all must watch. The beautiful on location filming, costumes and music make it somewhat lavishly operatic. The acting is brilliant. Leslie Caron, although her songs were dubbed, is charming as Gigi, Louis Jourdan plays Gaston splendidly and Maurice Chevalier gives a superb performance as Honore, singing the memorable 'Thank Heaven For Little Girls'. With such a film like this, it is no wonder that 'I Remember It Well'.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The MGM musical was all but dead when Gigi gave the studio its biggest ever musical hit, but it's not one of their best despite having a lot going for it. It's lavishly mounted, making excellent use of both Paris locations and the MGM backlot (Hermione Gingold and Leslie Caron live in the same apartment building as Les Girls the previous year) and benefits immensely from a witty script, though it does threaten to drag in places and there's a curious shift of emphasis from Leslie Caron's Gigi to Louis Jourdan's eternally bored Gaston. The real sparkle comes from the sidelines, as Hermione Gingold gets all the best lines, Maurice Chevalier all the best songs and the two of them share the film's best scene, the genuinely charming duet I Remember It Well. Of course, if Chevalier hung around a park singing Thank Heaven for Little Girls while watching children at play today he'd probably be arrested, but then this is a film which - with a little choice dilution of the original story - makes the grooming of a young girl to be a courtesan seem almost wholesome family entertainment. At times straining just a little too hard to be a Gallic-themed My Fair Lady (not unsurprising with Lerner and Loewe providing the score), it almost but not quite outstays its welcome but still just about manages to come out ahead even if it does feel like the kind of party where the hosts have ordered the most expensive champagne rather than the best.

Aside from a good documentary on the making of Gigi, an audio commentary by Jeanne Basinger and the original trailer, the two disc DVD and Blu-ray also includes a Scope Tom and Jerry cartoon The Vanishing Duck and a les than subtle anti-communist propaganda short The Million Dollar Nickel with Leslie Caron, Ricardo Montalban, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Pier Angeli urging immigrant Americans to write home the truth about life in America to dispel communist lies. Ah, the 50s...

Even better, albeit hidden away as a barely-announced extra, Jacqueline Audry's 1949 French adaptation of Gigi is also included. It tends to play more as an occasionally interesting curio than a success in its own right. Part of the problem is the lacklustre casting - no-one's bad but no-one excels and many of Colette's best epithets fall to rather flat delivery here - but a lot of it comes down to the slightness of the short story: without Lerner and Loewe's added songs, the material's just too thin to really work that well as a feature film, even one coming in at under one-and-a-half hours. Nor is there enough of a flourish to the filmmaking to compensate, with even the location work veering to the ordinary. Daniele Delorme is fine in the title role of the young girl raised by her aunt to be a courtesan, but never turns it into a star-making role in a film that could really do with a little star quality. Audry would return to the subject matter (albeit a different author) the same year Hollywood made its version, 1958, with School for Coquettes, but here she sadly delivers an acceptable but unexceptional house wine rather than a vintage one.

Sadly the print used for the DVD has seen better days and the burned-in white subtitles are often all-but invisible, especially when against a light background, but luckily some readable English ones set against a black background are available via the subtitles menu.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 April 2011
Based on Anita Loos' play, out of the novel written by Colette, Gigi snatched a ream of Academy Awards and promptly became the course of much debate and criticism for ever and a day it seems. The problem, as most musical aficionados will attest too, is that Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe rehashed their previous stage hit My Fair Lady. Which to an extent is true, hell they even slotted in one of My Fair Lady's thrown away songs, "Say A Prayer For Me Tonight", into Gigi's bubbly mix. But on its own terms, Gigi is still a vibrant and rewarding picture that holds up well with each passing year.

The story had already been done as a French film directed by Jacqueline Audry in 1950, and a year later it had been played dramatically straight on Broadway with Audrey Hepburn in the title role. So for sure it was already a well formed story. Lerner & Loewe merely added their Fair Lady formula, got the talented Vincente Minnelli to direct it and broke out from the studio to utilise the Parisian locations. A touch heavy at almost two hours long, one still can't help getting wrapped up in some wonderful tunes and Cecil Beaton's gorgeous period costumes. The cast may be a mixed bunch, with it at times feeling like a competition to see who can be the most "French," but with the spiky dialogue being wry and tart, and one of "those" finales, it's a winner and highly recommended to fans of the musical genre. 7/10
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 May 2013
GIGI [1958] [Blu-ray] [US Import] A Stylish Triumph From Start To Finish! The First Lerner-Loewe Musical Since My Fair Lady!

Home, motorcar, servants, and the latest fashion. Here we have man about town Gaston Lachaille [Louis Jordan] offers them all to Gigi [Leslie Caron]. But she, who’s gone from girlish gawkiness to cultured glamour before our eyes, and yearns for something that money can’t buy. Producers Arthur Freed, director Vincente Minnelli and a cast rife with Gallic charm. Its Alan Jay Lerner and Fredrick Loewe song sparkle like “The Night They Invented Champagne” or caress with title-tune tenderness “I Remember It Well” where Maurice Chevalier sings to Hermione Gingold. You’ll remember ‘GIGI’ forever! New digital transfer from restored picture and audio elements.

FILM FACT: ‘GIGI’ won a record-breaking 9 Academy Awards® at the 1959 Awards Ceremony; which are as follows: Winner for Best Picture. Winner for Best Director for Vincente Minnelli. Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay for Alan Jay Lerner. Winner for Best Art Direction for E. Preston Ames, F. Keogh Gleason, Henry Grace, and William A. Horning. Winner for Best Cinematography for Joseph Ruttenberg. Winner for Best Costume Design for Cecil Beaton. Winner for Best Film Editing for Adrienne Fazan. Winner for Best Original Score for André Previn. Winner for Best Original Song for "Gigi" by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Golden Globe® Awards: Winner for Best Motion Picture for Musical or Comedy. Winner for Vincente Minnelli for Best Director for Motion Picture. Winner for Hermione Gingold for Best Supporting Actress for Motion Picture. Nominee for Leslie Caron for Best Actress for Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Nominee for Maurice Chevalier for Best Actor for Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Nominee for Louis Jourdan for Best Actor for Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Winners for Vincente Minnelli and assistant director George Vieira for Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing for a Feature Film. The film title design uses the artwork of Sem's work from the Belle Époque. In tribute to ‘GIGI’ and its domination of the OSCARS® the M-G-M switchboard answered calls the following day with "M-Gigi-M."

Cast: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan, Hermione Gingold, Eva Gabor, Jacques Bergerac, Isabel Jeans, John Abbott, Marie-Hélène Arnaud (uncredited), Jack Ary (uncredited), Richard Bean (uncredited), Cecil Beaton (uncredited), Jacques Bertrand (uncredited), Hubert de Lapparent (uncredited), Cilly Feindt (uncredited), Edwin Jerome (uncredited), Corinne Marchand (uncredited), Maurice Marsac (uncredited), Anne-Marie Mersen (uncredited), Bernard Musson (uncredited), Dorothy Neumann (uncredited), Jean Ozenne (uncredited), Maruja Plose (uncredited), Roger Saget (uncredited), Pat Sheehan (uncredited), François Valorbe (uncredited) and Betty Wand (Gigi singing voice) (uncredited)

Director: Vincente Minnelli

Producer: Arthur Freed

Screenplay: Alan Jay Lerner, Niven Busch (uncredited) and Colette (based on the novel)

Composer: Frederick Loewe, André Previn (uncredited) and Conrad Salinger (uncredited)

Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg and Ray June (uncredited)

Costume Design: Cecil Beaton

Resolution: 1080p [Metrocolor]

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 [CinemaScope]

Audio: English: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, English: 5.1 Dolby Digital, French: 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, German: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono and Italian: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish

Running Time: 115 minutes

Region: Region A/1

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Warner Home Video

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: Some have called 'GIGI' a French version of 'My Fair Lady,' and the comparison makes sense, to a degree. Both musicals were written by the legendary team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe; both were adapted from well-regarded literary works by Colette and George Bernard Shaw, respectively; and both detail the transformation of an awkward, unrefined duckling into a graceful, sophisticated swan. Eliza Doolittle is groomed by Henry Higgins to be a lady, while Gigi is tutored by her elderly Aunt Alicia to be a courtesan or mistress and a woman of quality who gives her man undivided attention, companionship, and, yes, her body in return for economic security, travel, and a high-class lifestyle. When her lover tires of her, and he most assuredly will, she finds another man, then another, and another. As her dowager Aunt Alicia [Isabel Jeans] tells the impressionable Gigi [Leslie Caron], "Instead of getting married at once, it sometimes happens we get married last."

That's a bitter pill for a teenager to swallow and a heavy weight to hang on a musical, but the magic of 'GIGI' is its ability to gloss over such tawdry details and concentrate on the charming characters, engaging songs, and glorious Parisian locations of Vincente Minnelli's OSCAR® winning film. As bubbly as a champagne cocktail and sumptuous as foie gras, 'GIGI' is the last of the great M-G-M musicals, and though it's far from my personal favourite, there's no denying its beauty, style, and lyrical grace. To enter the world of 'GIGI' is to be transported to turn-of-the-century Paris and immersed in its intoxicating culture. From the Bois de Boulogne to the Place de la Concorde to Maxim's iconic restaurant, 'GIGI' celebrates the City of Light like few other films. And as seen through the eyes of bon vivant extraordinaire Maurice Chevalier, the story adopts an irresistible airy quality that belies its underlying substance. The wink on the cover art says it all.

Gigi lives with her flighty mother (who remains an unseen presence throughout the film) and wise, practical grand-mère [Hermione Gingold] in a modest Paris apartment reflective of their limited means. Twice a week, the effervescent teen meets her dour, well-to-do Aunt Alicia for lunch, where she learns how to eat exotic food, pick out cigars, and distinguish real pearls from those that are "dipped" and all in preparation for her future responsibilities. Occasionally, the obscenely rich and quite eligible Gaston Lachaille [Louis Jourdan], an old family friend, takes a break from his tedious schedule of fancy parties and ritzy social engagements to drop by their humble abode and enjoy the simple bourgeois pleasures of chamomile tea and a spirited game of cards with Gigi. Though she's several years his junior, Gigi connects with Gaston Lachaille like none of his hot-to-trot girlfriends, and as she grows up, their bond solidifies, ultimately prompting a business proposal that will alter their relationship forever.

Opulence defines Vincente Minnelli's musicals, and 'GIGI,' for which the director won a well-deserved OSCAR® and is arguably his trademark film. Sets and costumes are meticulously designed and coordinated to produce eye-filling images, and the simply staged songs grow naturally out of the story. No production numbers or overblown fantasy ballets disrupt the leisurely flow, and though not a lot of plot transpires, the mood and structure Vincente Minnelli creates sustains the film.

As does Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s delightful score, which includes such gems as “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” the melodic title tune, Maurice Chevalier's jaunty “I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore,” the buoyant “The Night They Invented Champagne,” and the priceless duet, I Remember It Well, performed with wit and warmth by Hermione Gingold and Maurice Chevalier, who wryly recall their past love affair. Though Leslie Caron's vocals are dubbed and Louis Jourdan speaks-sings his numbers á la Rex Harrison, both performers possess such charisma, we forget their limitations.

If you count the special OSCAR® Maurice Chevalier received for his "contributions to the world of entertainment," 'GIGI' garnered a total of 10 Academy Awards® [see information above]. Yet even such effusive industry praise couldn't save the old-style M-G-M musical. Changing audience taste and the demise of the studio system conspired to make 'GIGU' the last of its breed, but thanks to the artistry of Vincente Minnelli, producer Arthur Freed, and their peerless creative team, the era ended on a high note.

Blu-ray Video Quality – 'GIGI' was long overdue for a high definition makeover, especially with its encoded 1080p transfer and has been given a major improvement over the banged up, scratch-ridden print that graced Warner's previous standard-definition inferior NTSC DVD format. Vincente Minnelli's film certainly has never looked better, and fans should be quite pleased with this rendering, which really brings out all the joie de vivre of the Paris locations and fine details of the movie's impeccable production design. Despite the use of single-strip Metrocolor, hues burst forth and, for the most part, look realistic. The one exception might be the plush red that envelops Gigi's apartment; it's intentionally garish and the transfer pushes it to the limit, but it resists bleeding. The cloudless Parisian skyline are often breath-taking, and no banding breaks up the sea of deep blue, while the pastel costumes exhibit plenty of vibrancy and texture. Flesh tones can look a little ruddy, but blacks are luxuriously rich, and nice depth and delineation distinguish the lovely exterior night scenes. Clarity is quite good, with background elements possessing good detail levels, but because of the wide aspect ratio, close-ups seem a bit remote and don't flaunt all the 1080p HD facets that would lend the transfer more dimensionality. Warner Home Video deserves kudos for maintaining the original look and feel of this 50-year-old film, and not resorting to edge enhancement and digital noise reduction to obtain a sleeker, more "modern" look. Still, the amount of grain present in the picture really surprised me, especially for a movie from the late 1950s. From the opening credits onward, grain is very noticeable, but it blends well into the image, lending it a slight antiquated quality that suits the period setting. Best of all, every single blemish afflicting the previous transfer has been erased. No more nicks or grit dot the print, and all those annoying vertical lines, bleach spots, and reel change markers that previously obscured the beauty of this Oscar-winning film have been removed. A few brief shots betray a jarring softness, but on the whole, this is another solid effort from Warner Home Video.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – Warner Home Video pulls out all the audio stops, supplying 'Gigi' with both 5.1 Dolby TrueHD and 5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Of the two, the TrueHD option is the clear winner, offering clean, clear, well-balanced, and substantive sound. Vocals are nicely prioritized, so all the lyrical patter is crisp and distinct, and dialogue comes through without any impediments. Subtle accents, such as the horse hooves and the crunching of the delicate birds Gigi must consume for lunch at Aunt Alicia's, add punch to the track, and a slight fidelity increase lends the musical numbers welcome oomph. The orchestrations enjoy terrific tonal depth and fine stereo separation, but unfortunately don't bleed into the rear channels. Despite calling it multi-channel, this is still a front-centered aural affair. Once again, Warner Home Video technicians have scrubbed away any age-related defects, such as pops, crackles, and hiss. This isn't a flashy track, but it delivers, and those who appreciate the genius of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe will enjoy hearing this high-definition mix.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Audio Commentary: Commentary by Historian and Archivist Jeanine Basinger with Leslie Caron: Film historian/archivist Jeanine Basinger, with a slight assist from actress Leslie Caron, provides a serviceable commentary that hits all the appropriate points, but lacks the sparkle of some of her previous efforts. Jeanine Basinger obviously possesses great affection for 'GIGI,' but tends to repeat herself and spends too much time describing the action on screen. On the plus side, she divulges some interesting production details, examines the censorship hurdles the film had to scale, and touches upon the background of principal cast and crew members, but insight is rather slim and anyone who's at all familiar with the film won't find much enlightening information here. I was really looking forward to some extensive remarks from the lively Leslie Caron, but her very brief, separately recorded comments, which sound like they were lifted from the interview she gave for the documentary described below, and are only interjected a mere five times throughout this almost two-hour discussion.

Special Feature: NEW Documentary: Thank Heaven! The Making of ‘GIGI’ [2008] [1080p] [36:00] 'GIGI' has been called the "crowning achievement of the Arthur Freed Unit at M-G-M," and this slick, absorbing documentary chronicles its history, production, and enthusiastic reception. Employing a wealth of varied interviews, rare still photos, and film clips, the piece examines Colette's original novel and the 1949 French film it inspired, the censorship issues the musical faced, the challenges of location shooting in Paris, the contributions of designer Cecil Beaton, and the film's splashy, unorthodox Broadway premiere. Leslie Caron shares a host of colourful recollections, calling Maurice Chevalier "morose" and Louis Jourdan "finicky," and we also get to hear snippets of her wisely abandoned original vocal tracks. Archival reminiscences from Minnelli, who explains his musical philosophy, are also a highlight.

Special Feature: Original French version of 'Gigi' [1949] [83:00] Starring Daniele Delorme and Directed by Jacqueline Audry. This interesting, non-musical curio parallels the 1958 version fairly closely, but keeps Gigi very much an awkward teen until the final minutes. Jacqueline Audry directs with a light touch, but never trivializes the material, and though a slim budget precludes any ornate sets, she still evokes the atmosphere of turn-of-the-century Paris. In her film debut, Daniele Delorme makes an engaging, if plainer, Gigi, and Franck Villard nicely expresses the chronic ennui afflicting Gaston. But it's Gaby Morlay and Yvonne de Bray who grab most of the attention as Aunt Alicia and Gigi's grandmother, respectively. Warner Bros. alerts viewers to the film's unfortunate state of disrepair, especially its nicks, scratches, missing frames, and rough audio abound, but we're lucky the film exists at all, and it's interesting to compare it to Vincente Minnelli's much more lavish interpretation. The biggest visual issue is the white-printed subtitles, which require intense concentration to closely follow the dialogue. They often bleed into the image, making conversations unintelligible and keeping us so focused on deciphering their meaning, it becomes difficult to absorb the entire picture. French with English subtitles.

Special Feature: Vintage Short: The Million Dollar Nickel [1952] [480i] [4:3] [10:00] A clever bit of democratic propaganda, and this 1952 title of this short refers to the 5-cent stamp required to send a letter overseas from the USA. In the war against Communism, these letters are worth a million dollars, because they counter Soviet dis-information against the United States and emphasises the power of the written word, and how letters extolling the virtues of American freedom and sent to overseas relatives living in Communist countries for a mere nickel in postage and can help stem the Communist threat in Eastern Europe. Immigrants are urged to send letters to their families and friends back in their native countries, describing their experiences in the USA. If they tell the truth in these letters, people will know that the anti-USA propaganda is untrue. A quartet of M-G-M's foreign Hollywood stars, especially Pier Angeli, Ricardo Montalban, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Leslie Caron, speaking in their native languages, urge their fellow countrymen to get involved in this effort and use their native tongues to press the point.

Special Feature: Vintage Classic CinemaScope M-G-M Cartoon: The Vanishing Duck [1957] [Technicolor] [2.40:1] [7:04] This Classic M-G-M Tom and Jerry cartoon where George brings home a singing duckling for Joan, and follows the exploits of a baby duck, but when George and Joan leave to go to a show, Tom tries to eat him. As the chase ensues, the duckling and Jerry tries to outfox a hungry Tom by using vanishing cream to scare Tom, but he soon finds some himself and gets revenge. It was the penultimate Tom and Jerry cartoon that was directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. It also marked the final appearance of Nibbles (aka Tuffy), who first appeared in ‘The Milky Waif.’

Theatrical Trailer [1958] [480i] [4:3] [3:00] Unfortunately, Warner Home Video has not seen fit to restore the 'GIGI' trailer, so it's presented in standard definition in window box format.

Finally, 'GIGI' is one of M-G-M's most beloved musicals and this charming, sophisticated tale of Parisian life and manners in the early 1900s of Paris looks and sounds better than ever, thanks to a spanking new transfer culled from restored picture and audio elements, and a nice array of supplements. One of the most pictorially ravishing and most melodically invigorating musicals ever made, ‘GIGI’ gets its definitive home video release in this splendid Blu-ray package. Excellent picture and sound quality and some worthwhile bonus features make this a release that earns my overwhelming endorsement. Fans waiting to upgrade need not hesitate, and those who haven't yet discovered the allure of 'GIGI' should definitely check out this stellar classic release from Warner Home Video and that is why I had no hesitation in getting this wonderful and beautiful Classic Hollywood Musical and has now gone pride of place in my Blu-ray Collection. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 January 2013
This is a review of the 50th Anniversary 2-Disc Version.

Gigi won 9 Oscars- a record for musical films- and yet it has faded into obscurity. It's easy to see why it won all of those Oscars- it looks gorgeous. The locations and sets are so detailed that it's like being inside a novel. The cinematography is gorgeous and this DVD brings out all the beautiful lavish colours. Vincente Minelli's films always look gorgeous but this one has to take the prize.

It's the turn of the century and we're in Paris. Honore Lachaille (Maurice Chevalier) introduces us to Gigi (Leslie Caron) a teenager training to be a courtesan.Whilst Honore is full of love for gay Paree, his handsome nephew Gaston (Louis Jourdain) is filled with ennui. Could Gigi be the girl to banish his boredom?

The premise sounds awkward but it's actually a very charming musical. It doesn't sugarcoat the courtesan theme but it places it in historical context, allowing Alan Jay Lerner, lyricist and screenwriter, to be witty and satirical as well as romantic.
Only Maurice Chevalier can pull off a horny old goat and make him a charismatic bon vivant.

As you can tell from this review, it's impossible to describe Gigi without using French terms. This is archetypal France- Honore even has a cheeseboard at one point!- and yet it doesn't come across as bland Hollywood France. The three main actors are all French, which helps considerably (although Leslie Caron is dubbed by an American putting on a French accent). All three are completely charming. You can't help but love Caron's doll-like beauty and you can even accept her as 15 (in real life, she was 26). Jourdain brilliantly portrays the ennui of the aristocracy. And Chevalier is just Chevalier.

If I was being reductive, I could summarise Gigi as being a Parisien My Fair Lady. After all, it's the same songwriting team (Lerner and Loewe) and the premise is very similar. There's also a strong similarity between the soliloquy that merges into the title song of Gigi and 'I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face' from My Fair Lady. But Gigi holds up well on its own terms. It's very much of its period but there's a strong modern appeal as well, as it satirises the rich and the idea of women being accessories for men.

All the songs are pretty good- there's not a single one I skip. Whilst Gigi may not be a masterpiece, it's a classic.

As for the DVD, it's nicely presented in a slipcase. There's two discs- one for the film and one for extras. The film's really the thing here but the extras are interesting. You can relive that old movie feel by watching a short feature and short cartoon, plus there's the trailer, an interesting featurette about the film, and a detailed and accessible commentary by a film historian, with comments from Caron. The subtitles feel a bit dodgy to me- they seem to stop partway through sentences- but this is still an excellent release.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 September 2012
"Gigi" was a great film about a young woman who falls in love with a wealthy man. He is only technically meant to be her "mentor". The only thing I did not like about "Gigi" was the suicide part. I am compassionate towards those who have attempted or followed through on suicide. However, I do not believe that there is no human being worth committing suicide over. Aside from that caveat, "Gigi" provided an interesting glimpse into the life of a courtesan who is being trained to work among the upper class. "Gigi" is great for those who enjoy musicals with love stories.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is a fun musical that is worth re-watching. Apologies to readers as without comparing to the book this film is first rate. And for those viewers that poses large high definition devices it is also fun to watch the background from clouds to furniture.

The year 1900. The place Paris. The story of the coming of age of a little girl, Gigi (Leslie Caron.) And the coming of age of those (Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan, and Hermione Gingold) interested in Gigi's coming of age. Mixed throughout in the appropriate places are relevant songs and visual filters.

Directed by Vincente Minnelli who is well known for Brigadoon (1954), and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970). Original music by Frederick Loewe Camelot (1967) (music: "I Wonder What The King Is Doing Tonight"), and Brigadoon (1966) (TV) (music: "I'll Go Home With Bonnie Jean").

--------------------
I went from VHS to Blu-ray so I missed the in-between adjustments. The Blu-ray looks almost 3D.

Brigadoon Director: Vincente Minnelli
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)