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LILI – Bronislau Kaper

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment

liliMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

MGM producer Edwin Knopf hired director Charles Walters to bring to life Lili, a fantasy tale based on a Saturday Evening Post short story “The Man Who Hated People” by Paul Gallico. For the film a talented cast was chosen; Lili Daurier (Leslie Caron), Paul Berthalet (Mel Ferrer), Marc (Jean-Pierre Aumont), Rosalie (Zsa Zsa Gabor) and Jacquot (Kurt Kaznar). In our story Lili, a naive country girl travels to a small provincial town in hopes of locating an old friend of her late father’s. When she discovers that he has died, a shopkeeper offers her employment as a guise to take sexual advantage of her. Marc, a handsome carnival magician whose Nome de plume is “Marcus the Magnificent” perceives her danger, covets her for himself and comes to her rescue. Yet her purity of heart dissuades his intentions and through him she gains work at the carnival assisting its master puppeteer Paul. Her wonderment and childlike innocence supports just endearing story-telling through his puppets; a brash red-haired boy named Carrot Top, Reynardo, a sly fox, Marguerite, a vain ballerina, and lastly Golo, a cowardly giant. Paul begins to fall in love with Lili but is embittered with life due to a leg injury he suffered during the war that ended his career in the ballet. We sadly see him reduced to expressing his true feelings for Lili through his puppets, while being mean-spirited when out of character. Lili eventually leaves Paul’s torment and while walking out of town, imagines the three puppets, now life-size, joining her as she finds a new life path. As she celebrates by dancing with each puppet, they all magically transform one by one into Paul. Lili realizes through each of them that they are a facet of Paul. She realizes her love for Paul and runs back to the carnival where they embrace and kiss passionately as the puppets applaud. The film was a critical success, earning composer Bronislau Kaper an Academy Award for Best Score. Read more…

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