paris at the turn of the century.
horses and carriages
little girls on the brink of womanhood
men in top hats
who had impeccable manners
. . . ahem.
how innocent was i?
well. apparently still pretty innocent.
this movie came into the theaters
the year i was 13 years old.
probably not too very many years younger than gigi herself!
i did not see it that first showing. when it premiered.
too busy playing games outside
and roller skating and ice skating and bike riding.
i might have thought it a ‘grownup’ movie no doubt.
i don’t remember recalling it one way or another actually.
years and years later i think they had
some kind of anniversary showing of it back on the big screens.
because when i saw it . . . in a movie theater
it was as a newly married young woman.
yes. my husband was 10 years older.
and yes he robbed the cradle a bit
and i still was not that old. maybe 19.
but you know something?
the plot of this story
varoooommmm! right over my head.
YES! can you imagine that!!! ???
~ LOL ~
i didn’t know her aunt was ‘training’ her !
to be an expensive ‘courtesan’ !
different than an ordinary
still . . .
all i knew was . . .
i fell in love with the houses
palais de glace ~
and maxim’s ~
and the bois de Boulogne ~
and all the wonderful fountains!
and paris itself
the beautiful fountains of paris.
like this one.
can you imagine daily walking by something like this?
and just hearing all of them! everywhere!
there are so many of them in this exquisite city.
the magical fountains of paris.
seeing all of them in all kinds of light.
do the people of paris know the beauty they live with daily?
i hope so. do they take it for granted?
because i never would.
this was gigi’s paris . . .
at the turn of the 20th century.
and of course
certainly not with busses and mopeds and people in pants.
not in gigi’s day.
there would have been
horse drawn carriages. clip clopping with ladies inside
dressed in their finest.
oh. don’t bother me with les miserables.
i know all that. and yes. that was bad. tragic really.
and victor hugo captured it all incredibly well.
but a different time.
this is MY story.
and MY peanut.
and i like GIGI !
colette wrote the novella. and she was no literary slouch either.
just the simple name of it.
i watched it again not long ago.
i needed a dose of pure beauty. music. transportation.
a gentler time. a more romantic era.
and this movie delivers.
i was in paris!
it mattered not why! or how i got there!
and gazing upon louis jordan was not too taxing either.
he’s deciding she’s definitely changed.
she’s no longer the little girl he knew.
she’s a woman.
and he loves her.
seeing and being seen
at the famous maxim’s of paris.
she learned her lessons well apparently.
some scenes in this movie almost make you think of
the french impressionists. they are staged like paintings somehow.
very beautiful while still moving the story forward.
a subtle bit of art from the skilled hands of director vincent minnelli.
one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
the two old lovers meet accidentally in deauville.
gigi’s grandmere . . . and . . . honore’ played by
i personally like maurice chevalier.
he got a bit of a bum rep during the war.
and yet it was proved later that he was a supreme patriot all along.
how very sad.
i think he never got over the hurt of it all.
a song he sings in this movie was the inspiration really
and the point of this whole post.
i’ll share it with you at the end.
is the happy ending of course.
oddly enough this photo is in black and white.
yet it’s one of the most beautiful in the whole movie.
her ‘frock’ was of the palest lavender. french lavender I guess!
the music swells.
my heart swells.
i find i am smiling big. a big grand smile in my heart too.
and for troubled times
that’s all it takes. just a reminder that there is beauty
in the world like this. at our fingertips so to speak.
if only in a movie every now and then!
yes. this movie is full of life. and beauty. and innocence.
with a wink ! 😉
it so tastefully handles a raunchy subject!
turns what could be sordid into a french pastry really.
i still stand amazed at my own naivete’ when i saw it with bob.
he explained to me what the aunt was teaching her and why.
i wasn’t embarrassed at not knowing. i do remember thinking
“what’s the big deal?” LOLOL!
i can’t help but wonder how many 19 year old girls today
we definitely live in different times.
and the song that i love in this movie?
the one maurice sings one day while having lunch
in a beautiful shaded outdoor café?
well. part of it goes like this . . .
‘ the fountain of youth is dull as paint
methuselah is my patron saint
I’ve never been so comfortable before
oh! i’m so glad that i’m not young anymore! ‘
lyrics by mabel mercer.
and. there you have it old bean.
if you haven’t seen gigi in a long while . . .
i highly recommend revisiting it.
and if you’ve ~ HORRORS!!! ~ never seen it . . .
get thee to a rental place or library and
find you the dvd of gigi!
it’s so good for what ails ya.
almost as good as that hot fudge sundae i intend to have
yes. rummy. with nuts!
and i may just have to watch this movie again this weekend.
something about taking one’s own advice you know.
til soon old bean.
in order of appearance
pictures courtesy of:
thank you all!