SUBJECTS — Drama/Musicals; World/France;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Romantic Relationships;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility; Caring.
AGE: 12+; MPAA Rating — G;
Musical; 1958; 119 minutes; Color. Available from Amazon.com.
MOVIE WORKSHEETS & STUDENT HANDOUTS
TWM offers the following worksheets to keep students’ minds on the movie and direct them to the lessons that can be learned from the film.
Teachers can modify the worksheets to fit the needs of each class. See also TWM’s Movies as Literature Homework Project.
It is Paris at the turn of the 20th century. Gaston is the scion of a wealthy family. He is infatuated with Gigi, a beautiful young girl he has known all his life. Gigi’s family is poor; her aunt is a former courtesan. According to the custom in Paris at the time, Gaston and Gigi’s family could enter into a contract by which Gaston would provide a large sum of money and Gigi would become his mistress. Hopefully the money would be enough to last Gigi for the rest of her life. After her beauty had faded or when he was tired of her, Gaston would leave Gigi, as he had left his last mistress. This was the world of the demimonde which led to tragedy in Camille and La Traviata when a courtesan and a young man fell in love.
Gaston makes an offer according to tradition. Gigi at first resists entering the demimonde. But Gigi is in love with Gaston. Is her only salvation to become his mistress?
“Gigi” is adapted from the Broadway play which was based on the book by Collette. It is the setting for fabulous songs, including: “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” “Gigi” and “The Night They Invented Champagne.”
SELECTED AWARDS & CAST
1958 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Minnelli), Best Song, Best Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Color Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing; 1958 Directors Guild of America Awards: Best Director (Minnelli); 1959 Golden Globe Awards: Best Film – Musical/Comedy, Best Supporting Actress (Gingold); Best Director (Minnelli). “Gigi” is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” film.
Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan, Maurice Chevalier, Hermione Gingold, Eva Gabor, Isabel Jeans, Jacques Bergerac.
BENEFITS OF THE MOVIE
Before watching the movie briefly describe the demimonde for your child. After viewing the film ask and lead your child through an answer the Quick Discussion Question.
For a description of the demimonde, see Helpful Background section to the Learning Guide to “La Traviata”.
2. Gigi’s grandmother and aunt were very excited about Gigi entering into a contract with Gaston. Why were they willing to permit her to become part of the demimonde?
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS (CHARACTER COUNTS)
Discussion Questions Relating to Ethical Issues will facilitate the use of this film to teach ethical principles and critical viewing. Additional questions are set out below.
(Do what you are supposed to do; Persevere: keep on trying!; Always do your best; Use self-control; Be self-disciplined; Think before you act — consider the consequences; Be accountable for your choices)
1. Did Gaston have a responsibility to marry Gigi?
Yes. Because of his love for her he had a responsibility to do what was right for her. Gigi only reluctantly agreed to a life in the demimonde and did so only because she loved Gaston. His caring for her gave him a responsibility to see that she was as happy as possible. That meant marriage.
(Be kind; Be compassionate and show you care; Express gratitude; Forgive others; Help people in need)
See questions in the “Romantic Relationships” and “Responsibility” sections above.
ASSIGNMENTS, PROJECTS & ACTIVITIES
BRIDGES TO READING
The book Gigi by Collette is appropriate for young readers.
This Learning Guide was last updated on April 17, 2013.