The Louis Jourdan Website - Gigi
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Writers: Alan Jay Lerner (screenplay), Colette (novel)
Other cast members: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Hermione Gingold
Filmed on location in France and at MGM Studios in California during the summer and autumn of 1957, GIGI was released in May 1958
Louis Jourdan plays bored playboy Gaston Lachaille
Every year, for over five decades, people continue to see this Academy Award-winning Lerner & Lowe musical for the first or twentieth-plus time, and are captivated by its charms on an ongoing basis.
While Louis Jourdan wasn't the initial choice to play Gaston (or Leslie Caron to play Gigi), Dirk Bogarde and Audrey Hepburn - the first Gigi on Broadway - being originally pencilled in, it seems inconceivable that anyone else could have played the two roles so perfectly.
The project, which dated back before the Broadway debut of My Fair Lady, like that other ageless musical, West Side Story, took a long time coming to fruition, and bears all the hallmarks of a film made with the greatest care and thought.
While Louis Jourdan never imagined that his voice would be fit for professional singing, it's obvious that his ability to put tenderness and feeling into a song was finer than most vocalists of the era.
While he's admitted an affection for this motion picture, Louis Jourdan still regrets that he is most remembered for what he refers to as a song-and-dance film. But next time you watch it, note how deftly he metamorphoses his character from the cynical playboy style of some of his most known films to an entirely different and inspired individual whom we suddenly realize was lurking underneath all the while. One can also act in musicals.
What is sadly missing from the film is the duet between Gaston and Gigi which was written after the film was made, just one of Lerner & Lowe's afterthoughts, but one which was never incorporated into the picture.
Enjoy Louis Jourdan Songs from Gigi Online
Watch "It's a Bore"
Watch "She is Not Thinking of Me"
Watch "The Night They Invented Champagne"
(with original Leslie Caron vocals)
Watch Louis Jourdan performing "Gigi"