This Day in Pop: 1958 – Lerner and Loewe’s ‘Gigi’ Opens

This Vincente Minnelli-directed Lerner and Loewe movie musical is often considered the last great big screen MGM musical production. Gigi was literally star-studded all the way, from behind the scenes to the big name actors listed on the marquee. The legendary Arthur Freed produced — also his last great film — and Andre Previn conducted the orchestra, with the incomparable Alan Jay Lerner penning the screenplay and the song lyrics with music by Frederick Loewe.

Heading up the cast was a trio of top-line French acting and musical talent with Louis Jourdan cast as the leading man, Gaston, and the stunning and gifted Leslie Caron (one of film’s finest dancers) as the beloved Gigi. Then, there is the incomparable Maurice Chevalier, so dapper, refined and elegant, simply irresistible on film or in song, one of entertainment’s great gentlemen in the truest sense of the word.

At the 1959 Academy Awards, Gigi set a record for winning nine Oscars, broken the following year by Ben-Hur.