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    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.

    Description:     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."


Benefits of the Movie
Possible Problems
Parenting Points
Selected Awards & Cast
Helpful Background
Discussion Questions:
      Subjects (Curriculum Topics)
      Social-Emotional Learning
      Moral-Ethical Emphasis
            (Character Counts)
Bridges to Reading
Links to the Internet
Assignments, Projects & Activities

WORKSHEETS: 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 movie worksheets to fit the needs of each class. See also TWM's Movies as Literature Homework Project.

    Benefits of the Movie:     The music is beautiful and the film demonstrates the shallow nature of relationships when sex is traded for money. This film can be contrasted with the tragic outcomes of Camille and La Traviata.

    Possible Problems:    None.

    Parenting Points:     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.

    Selected Awards, Cast and Director:

      Selected Awards:  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.

      Featured Actors:  Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan, Maurice Chevalier, Hermione Gingold, Eva Gabor, Isabel Jeans, Jacques Bergerac.

      Director:  Vincente Minnelli.

QUICK DISCUSSION QUESTION:  Why was an arrangement placing Gigi in the demimonde with Gaston not the best solution for him?

Suggested Response: Gaston knew that Gigi had resisted becoming a woman of the demimonde and that she had agreed to that life only because of her love for him. He loved Gigi and wanted what was best for her. What was best was marriage and his love would not permit him to give her anything less.

Click here for TWM's lesson plans to introduce cinematic and theatrical technique.

    Helpful Background:

      For a description of the demimonde, see Helpful Background section to the Learning Guide to "La Traviata".




Select questions that are appropriate for your students.

    Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions:


    1.  Why was an arrangement placing Gigi in the demimonde not the best solution for her?

    2.  Would it have made a difference if Gigi had been an experienced courtesan so long as she loved Gaston and he loved her? This is the situation in Camille and La Traviata.

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    Moral-Ethical Emphasis Discussion Questions (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? Suggested Response: 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.

Teachwithmovies.com is a Character Counts "Six Pillars Partner" and uses The Six Pillars of Character to organize ethical principles.

Character Counts and the Six Pillars of Character are marks of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition, a project of the Josephson Institute of Ethics.

Reminder to Teachers: Obtain all required permissions from your school administration before showing any film.

Teachers who want parental permission to show this movie can use TWM's Movie Permission Slip.

MOVIES ON RELATED TOPICS: For movies about the demimonde, see La Traviata and Camille. For movies about Paris or which take place in Paris, see Midnight in Paris, An American in Paris, Amélie, Before Sunset, Rififi, The Dreamers, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, Breathless, Funny Face, Paris Je T'Aime, Moulin Rouge, the Dreamers, Kiss, 2 Days in Paris, Children of Paradise, Last Tango in Paris, Ratatouille, Paris, Jefferson in Paris, Blue, The Aristocats, Love in the Afternoon. See also the Internet Movie Data Base list of Movie in Paries About Paris.

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