TCM 31 Days of Oscar
I’ve challenged myself to watch a movie every day from Turner Classic Movie channel’s 31 Days of Oscar. I’ll be focusing on the movies I haven’t watched yet, with maybe just a few movies I’ve already seen.
Here is my 26th day and movie of my challenge to TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar.
9 out of 10 All Stars
1953 Musical, Romance film. Based on a story by Paul Gallico. Starring Leslie Caron, Jean-Pierre Aumontj, Mel Ferrer, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kurt Kaszner, François Truffaut and Amanda Blake.
The 360° Game: starts off with Knights of the Round Table starring Jean-Pierre Aumont, and he was in Lili with François Truffaut who was in the next film, Day For Night.
And the Oscar goes to… Best Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture): Bronislau Kaper.
Short Synopsis: A French teen (Leslie Caron) joins a carnival and meets a lying magician (Jean-Pierre Aumont) and a loving puppeteer (Mel Ferrer). (81 mins.)
A note before I start watching this. And why I chose this movie… after seeing her in An American in Paris, I picked Lili because of Leslie Caron.
My Thoughts: Oh this was such a sweet romance movie. Leslie Caron‘s acting in this was really good. I was pulling for her to find her happy ending, even if it at the beginning she was picking the rake Musician as her true love. Mel Ferrer played well as the “angry man” puppeteer. In between Lili’s day dream and obsession for the Musician, the other stories was good too, like Lili coming of age, the carnival life, and what happens to a dancer once he’s been injured and becomes lame. I almost got teary eyed when Paul talked about what’s become of him since his dancing injury. As for the puppets, Leslie is the only reason why I liked them… though Paul helped me like them a little too. The ending was really quick from Lili’s day dream to her running back to him. There was more landscape pictures than there was of Lili running back to Paul and i think that took some of the magic away from the romantic ending. But just a little bit. I still really liked it. And Zsa Zsa Gabor‘s part was small but she played great at it. I think this is going to end up being one of my many favorite classic movies.
The Play by Play Thoughts…
0:02 Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo music. The credits have just the music playing from this song and already it’s stuck in my head. It’s still a cute song.
Now off to meet the Magician and the Puppeteer. And young innocent Lilette “Lili” Daurier looking for a baker and a job. She’s 16 years old and her father has just died, so naturally she goes looking for this baker that her father said would take care of her.
The reality – the baker is dead too and one must be cautious in accepting the shop neighbor’s job because he might want more than just Lili being a hard worker, which he does take advantage of.
“Be of good cheer. You are young. It’s a fine day and tomorrow will be another.” – Marcus.
But thankfully the rascal Magician comes to her rescue and she develops a crush on her hero naturally.
“Let me give you a word of advice, Lili. Find someone else to love. This Marc is dangerous. He’s got an assistant with long red fingernails.” – Jacquot.
0:10 The Acrobats and Carnival. At least Marcus did follow through with being a Good Samaritan, although he only did so after learning about how old she is.
Lili is quite overwhelmed with her new job and it doesn’t help to be watching Marcus’s show with puppy eyes.
0:19 Marcus Le Magnifique. And the assistant with long red fingernails is Zsa Zsa Gabor with a barely there waist. I can definitely tell it’s Zsa Zsa with her walk and the way she holds her head.
0:25 The Puppeteer. Lili is very sad and has decided to climb the high ladder to kill herself. Thankfully Carrot Top the puppet saves her. Lili’s youth and innocence has her believing that Paul’s puppets are real. It’s really sweet the way the puppets and Lili have conversations.
“Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo song”
And here’s the song, “Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo.” It’s a cute catchy song. And what makes this scene so good for me is Paul looking at the Carrot Top with a small smile.
We learn a little latter on that Paul has gotten tired of his puppets and that Lili helped him find a way to love the puppets and the career as a puppeteer.
0:37 “Dream of Musicians. Beautiful Musicians.” – Jacquot. She does and in that dream Lili gives Zsa Zsa some competition.
But now reality has come, along with a drunk Paul who hates everyone. No wait, he does love every helpless being on this Earth after all.
“How do you do? I’m Paul Berthalet – half man, half Mountebank… disenchanted, dispossessed, but going on like a dog chasing a stick – a lame dog, trying to run like the others but not getting there.” – Paul.
0:45 And the next day and their first show… about Renaldo stealing. And then the next, and the next, all with a lot of laughs and lots of money. Which leads to the next scenes with Paul and Jacquot paying Lili. And what does Lili buy? Stuff from the carnival that she doesn’t need, just as Jacquot suggested. It’s a little romantic the way Paul is watching her spend her money. A little because he does follow her around in a stalker kind of way.
“Is there nothing you want? The whole world to choose from, isn’t there anything you want?” – Paul.
The romantic part is that this was his way of trying to find out what she wants and when that doesn’t work he uses the puppets to ask her. And his puppets also tell her that they cares about Lili. But then his jealous side comes out once she’s bought herself a very pretty dress (like Margeret’s) because she looks grown-up now and he knows that she might have a chance with Marcus now.
“So the awkward child is becoming an attractive dish and you don’t like it because from now on there’s going to be competition.” – Jacquot.
0:55 “Things are going to change.” Yes they are. For one, the big secret that the Magician Marc is married to Zsa Zsa… I mean Rosalie. And they’re off to the big shows now, so no more carnival life for them. Also… well let’s see, Marc tries to kiss Lili but thankfully Paul walks thus stopping that. And Paul and Lili have a little fight about how Lili is an amateur at love. Oh and Lili finds Marc’s wedding ring, so naturally she tries to give it to Marc. And naturally Paul thinks that Lili is just running off with Marc, thus making a fool out of herself. But these guys aren’t her boyfriends because it’s the puppet Carrot Top who she loves.
Oh these Love Triangles. But this one is sweet. Well… without the way Paul slapped Lili to stop her from making a fool out of herself.
1:00 Folis Paris wants their puppet act. But the act is nothing without the girl. You see Lili has realized that there is cruelty in the real world and she’s also that she’s “been living in a dream.” So she wakes up and says goodbye to Marc, but she wouldn’t have said anything to Paul if it weren’t for the puppets. It’s only because Paul is still hiding his love for Lili behind his puppets. And it isn’t until the puppets start to tremble does Lili realize what’s real.
1:12 And so Lili leaves. And walks to where… well from the looks of it, she’s following the yellow brick road until she day dreams of the puppets walking with her. Still looks like she’s following the yellow brick road and is even in Oz with these puppets. But this is Lili’s way of realizing that all the puppets that she loves is all apart of who Paul is…. even after he told her all this before she left him. But at least this day dream has helped her realize that she’s in love with Paul.
So it’s off to doing a marathon to run back to Paul at the Carnival. I still like this happy ending though.
1:21 The End, with an applause from the puppets.