Tag Archives: Alan J. Lerner

The Best Picture Project – Gigi (1958)

Gigi (1958)

Directed by Vincent Minnelli

Written By Alan J. Lerner

Based on the novella by Colette

Starring Leslie Caron, Maurice Chavalier, Louis Jourdan and Hermione Gingold

 In the 1950’s the Academy Awards were of two minds.  On the one hand, they wanted to honor big, hit movies that took advantage of the new advances in widescreen and color photography and amounted to little more than escapist entertainment – in other words, the kind of movies they wanted people to ignore their TVs to come out and see.  On the other hand, the Academy also wanted to honor serious films that were emotionally and socially challenging and meant something.  Sometimes the two aims coincided, but usually not, which was why you had fluffier films like An American in Paris, The Greatest Show on Earth, Around the World in 80 Days and Gigi– all of which I’d call escapist sorts of movies – winning Oscars one year only to turn around and have All About Eve, From Here to Eternity, On the Waterfront and Marty – all of which I’d call sober and a bit more challenging – winning the next.  Sometimes, if you were real lucky, the film successfully straddled the two lines, such as Bridge on the River Kwai or Ben-Hur. Continue reading

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