Hosted by Stephen Farber, Featuring an onstage conversation with Leslie Caron and presenting the theatrical premiere of a new digital restoration of “Gigi” by Warner Bros.
Traveling from her home in Paris, French actress and dancer Leslie Caron was celebrated in this special evening of film and conversation, culminating in the premiere of a new digital restoration of “Gigi.”
The gamine Caron was nineteen when she came to Hollywood to make her film debut in “An American in Paris” (1951). The talented young ballerina was chosen for the role after making a screen test in Paris with Gene Kelly, the film's star and choreographer.
While she went on to partner another legendary dancer, Fred Astaire, in the musical “Daddy Long Legs” (1955), Caron also made a successful transition into comedies and dramas. Her many star turns include the title role in “Fanny” (1961), opposite her “Gigi” co-star Maurice Chevalier, and the role of schoolmistress Catherine Freneau in “Father Goose” (1964), opposite Cary Grant. She earned Best Actress Oscar® nominations for her performances in “Lili” in 1953 and “The L-Shaped Room” in 1963, and most recently appeared in the features “Chocolat” and “Le Divorce.”
With Caron in the title role, “Gigi” swept all nine of the Academy Award® categories in which it was nominated, including Best Motion Picture of 1958. The film was selected to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1991.
“An Academy Salute to Leslie Caron” was presented in cooperation with the American Cinematheque and the Santa Monica Puppetry Center. For information on additional events being held by those organizations in Ms. Caron's honor, visit www.americancinematheque.com or www.puppetmagic.com.
Cast Leslie Caron (Gigi), Maurice Chevalier (Honoré Lachaille), Louis Jourdan (Gaston Lachaille), Hermione Gingold (Madame Alvarez), Eva Gabor (Liane d'Exelmans), Jacques Bergerac (Sandomir), Isabel Jeans (Aunt Alicia), John Abbott (Manuel), Richard Bean (Harlequin), Edwin Jerome (Charles, the butler), Maurice Marsac (Prince Berensky), Dorothy Neumann (Designer), Maruja Ploss (Mannequin), Pat Sheehan (Blonde), Marilyn Sims (Redhead), Lydia Stevens (Simone), Jack Trevan (Coachman), Monique van Vooren (Showgirl), Betty Wand (Gigi's Singing Voice), Leroy Winebrenner (Lifeguard).
Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Produced by Arthur Freed. Screenplay Alan Jay Lerner. Based on the novel by Colette. Cinematography Joseph Ruttenberg. Film Editing Adrienne Fazan. Production Design Cecil Beaton. Art Direction William A. Horning, Preston Ames. Set Decoration Henry Grace, Keogh Gleason. Costume Design Beaton. Sound Wesley C. Miller. Music Frederick Loewe. Lyrics Lerner. Musical Supervisor and Conductor André Previn. Arthur Freed Productions; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 1958. 35mm (original). 116 mins. Digital version courtesy of Warner Bros.
Academy Award winner: Art Direction (Horning, Ames, Grace, Gleason), Cinematography (Ruttenberg), Costume Design (Beaton), Directing (Minnelli), Film Editing (Fazan), Music – Scoring of a musical picture (Previn), Music – Song (Loewe, Lerner), Best Motion Picture (Freed), Writing – Screenplay based on material from another medium (Lerner)
Generous support for this program was provided by Air France. Special thanks to the French Consulate of Los Angeles.
Leslie Caron in an onstage panel discussion preceding the screening of “Gigi.”
Leslie Caron as Gigi.