Gigi (1958)

gigi poster 1958 movie best picture
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Some nice music and scenery

Traditional musical that doesn't stand out among other classics

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Gigi

Studio:  MGM

Genre(s):  Musical/Romance/Family

Release Date(s):  May 15, 1958

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Get drunk with, Gigi!

Thank Heaven for little girls for little girls get bigger every day.  Gigi (Leslie Caron) is no longer a girl and beginning to turn heads.  One of the heads she has turned is the head of is young womanizer Gaston Lachaille (Louis Jourdan).  As Gigi’s grandmother Madam Alvarez (Hermione Gingold) and aunt Alicia (Isabel Jeans) try to turn Gigi into a proper woman, Gigi just wants to have fun…and a proper young woman isn’t necessarily what Gaston wants.

Directed by Vincent Minnelli, Gigi is an original musical based on 1944 novella by Colette and often considered the last great musical of MGM.  The movie was received with critical acclaim and won all nine Oscars for which it was nominated:  Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Original Song (“Gigi”).  The movie was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry in 1991.


Gigi sporting the “Madeline” collection

Gigi is a nice movie, but it isn’t the type of movie knocks you out.  It is a rather standard fair musical with a pleasant score and lyrics.  Gigi is rather forgettable in the world of movies, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any merit.

The story for Gigi is a little bit My Fair Lady, and My Fair Lady was popular at the time.  Instead of a Pygmalion type story, it becomes a coming of age story.  It also has some similarities to Sabrina which was about a girl blossoming into a woman.  The blending of the two stories and the Paris setting does help distinguish it, but it still feels like an amalgam of so many other stories.


You better light my cigar on one match, woman!

Audrey Hepburn was a hot commodity at the time and was courted for Gigi, but Leslie Caron steps into the young character as a great substitute.  You can’t look at the movie and Caron’s performance and see a little of Hepburn’s charm in it.  Louis Jourdan is rather generic as her womanizing suitor, and Hermione Gingold and Isabel Jeans also are typical old biddy characters.  Maurice Chevalier plays the crooning minstrel narrator and an older version of what Jourdan’s character could become if he doesn’t settle down.


In related Parisian news, Maurice Chevelier was arrested for child solicitation in a park…

The look, sound, and style of the movie is in the vein of classic musicals.  The Paris setting is pleasant but a lot of the film takes place on sets.  The numbers aren’t big or bold, and the music isn’t particularly memorable.  The opening number “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” is probably the most memorable song despite “Gigi” winning the Best Song Oscar, but “The Night They Invented Champaign” is also good.  “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” always kind of creeped me out with the old Chevalier singing about pre-teen girls (or even young women for that matter).

Gigi is a better than average musical in a time when musicals were more numerous, but an average musical in the grand scope of the genre.  Kids might enjoy it, but with better musicals around, this tradition style piece will probably not go over as well as something like My Fair Lady or The Sound of Music for fans of musicals.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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