Watching all the movies on the Warner Bros. 50-movie box set that I bought for cheap. This week the random number generator takes us to France for some reason to watch Gigi.
Here’s what happens: France, 1900. Gigi is a free-spirited young woman who thinks she has no need for love. Gaston is a wealthy playboy who is bored with life, and thinks he has no need for love. See if you can guess where this is going. Also, there’s a lot of singing.
Why it’s famous: Uh… for collecting a pile of Oscars in 1959. Also it gave us the unendingly creepy song “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.”
Get your film degree: Everything in this movie is big. Big sets, elaborate costumes, hundreds of extras, filming in Paris with the city streets done up to look like 1900.
Movie geekishness: I looked up the 1959 Oscars, and it wasn’t a landmark year for film, with a whole bunch of forgotten movies. Gigi’s biggest competitor appears to be Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which I’d wager is talked about more today than Gigi. South Pacific got a bunch of tech nominations, and way, way down at the bottom of the list in the Sound Recording category was the lone nomination for Vertigo. Yeesh.
Thoughts upon this viewing: I did not enjoy Gigi. The elaborate sets and lavish costumes only serve to cover up how paper-thin the characters and plot are. This was the follow-up from the creators of My Fair Lady, and that movie does everything Gigi does, but much, much better.
Next week: A stranger’s just a friend you haven’t met.
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