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Lili [VHS] (1953)

Leslie Caron , Mel Ferrer , Charles Walters  |  G |  VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)

Price: $21.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Lili [VHS] + Gigi + My Fair Lady
Price for all three: $41.94

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  • Gigi $6.99
  • My Fair Lady $12.96

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Product Details

  • Actors: Leslie Caron, Mel Ferrer, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kurt Kasznar
  • Directors: Charles Walters
  • Writers: Helen Deutsch, Paul Gallico
  • Producers: Edwin H. Knopf
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Warner)
  • VHS Release Date: December 21, 1994
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302148332
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,224 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The wonderful Leslie Caron stars in this Oscar-winning musical fable with a touch of the bizarre. Caron plays Lili, a recently orphaned waif hopelessly in love with a carnival magician. Mel Ferrer plays Paul, a gruff puppeteer who can express his softer side only through his puppets. Sound weird? It is. Caron's performance is lovely. She is, as always, a graceful dancer, but she is also able to pull off the much more difficult task of making Lili pure and innocent without being icky--she talks to Paul's puppets with complete conviction. (The puppets, by the way, are incredibly creepy.) Younger viewers will take Lili at face value, but adults may well get sucked into its unintentional dark side: homelessness, suicide, emotional repression, and giant dancing puppets all come into play. Also enjoyable is Zsa Zsa Gabor, who does a great job standing around looking pretty as the magician's assistant. --Ali Davis

Product Description

A shy young orphan who learns the truth about love with the help of a crippled puppeteer (Mel Ferrer).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Lili" a completely enchanting, magical film March 29, 2000
By Jim Jr
Format:VHS Tape
"Lili" is one of the most magical and enchanting films ever. It is a small film - not lavish and overblown - but a production that grabs your heart from the very beginning. Leslie Caron has never been better and richly deserved the Academy Award nomination (and should have won). Her scenes with the wonderful puppets (some of the best uses of puppetry in films) are completely enchanting. Mel Ferrer, Jean Pierre Aumont, Kurt Kasner and, surprisingly, Zsa Zsa Gabor couldn't be better. The excellent ballet sequence at the end of the film in which the puppets turn into the puppeteer each time Lili dances with them, showing her that the person behind the characters she has come to love is her real love, is a perfect resolution for the story. "Lili" was the basis for an equally wonderful Broadway musical, "Carnival". This is a film that can be viewed over and over and never lose it's charm and magic.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give That Girl A Contract August 28, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
How hard can it be to find a film with elements of homelessness, unemployment, despair, suicidal thoughts, thievery, feigned affection, disability and self-pity? Not very hard you say. But in a G-rated film barely eighty minutes long?

Still unavailable on DVD format, "Lili" (1953), is available only as a rare "Video Compact Disc" (VCD) which compresses movies onto (at least two) CD-sized disks; i.e., a CD which contains moving pictures and sound. By using an MPEG compression standard, VCDs can hold up to 700 Mb (eighty minutes) of full-motion video and quality stereo sound and can be played on almost all standalone DVD players and PCs. VCD quality is similar to that of VHS tapes.

VCD not withstanding, and barely a decade after "The Wizard of Oz," MGM still made the industry's best-looking films. The sets, costumes and color of "Lili" are outstanding. And at least two things in the film suggest that 1939 classic -- a puppet named "Golo" who resembles Burt Lahr's "Cowardly Lion," and a surreal, yellowish road on which Lili eventually seeks something better.

We first meet Lili (Leslie Caron), an orphaned teenager, at a bakery where a friend of her late father had promised her a job. But he too has died. Homeless and unemployed, she falls in with some traveling circus performers whose act causes her inattentiveness which immediately costs her the job she does get.

Deflated, she climbs a trapeze ladder but is thwarted by the high-pitched voice of "Carrot Top," one of four puppets manned by Paul Berthalet (Mel Ferrer). Paul is overtly bitter that his limp has reduced him from a once-famous dancer to a puppeteer on a French midway.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the 3 best films of all time April 4, 2004
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
"Lili" ranks with "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" as one of the three finest motion pictures ever filmed. Its captivating song, "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo," ranks with "Over the Rainbow," "When You Wish Upon a Star," "You'll Never Know," and "It's a Grand Night for Singing" as one of the five best original movie songs. Its climactic dream-ballet sequence, in which Lili dances with life-sized versions of four puppets, is rivaled only by the "Out of My Dreams" dream-ballet sequence of "Oklahoma." And no actress has ever been more adorable and endearing--or capable--than Leslie Caron is in this movie.
Not really a musical, Lili is best described as a romantic fable or sophisticated fairy tale. It tells the story of a naive 16-year-old orphan who joins a carnival. There she brings success to a lame puppeteer (Mel Ferrer) by interacting with his four puppets. Her ingenuousness leads her to regard the puppets as real persons. Ferrer, though outwardly bitter about the war injury that ruined his career as an acclaimed dancer, shows flashes of inner kindness and humanity: he uses his puppets at one point to infuse joy into a despondent Lili, and he smiles when she isn't looking. Soon he falls in love with Lili. But she can't recognize as Ferrer's the tenderness that is revealed only in the puppets. Repelled by the overt rudeness of "the angry man," Lili becomes infatuated with the carnival's magician, a ladies' man. When she eventually learns the magician is married, Lili's eyes open. But the puppeteer's jealousy still clouds her vision. She decides to leave the carnival. Her departure precipitates the dream sequence.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overall disappointng video transfer March 4, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since writing this review, Warner Archive has released this title as a Burn-on-Demand DVD. I subsequently purchased a copy of this release directly from WB and can report that the quality of that transfer is excellent.

Those areas of the following review that relate to transfer quality are for the Region 2 release only.

As far as the quality of this film's content, it is excellent. It is well-produced, well-acted by an excellent cast with a wonderfully touching story. However, the video quality of this DVD release is quite poor. I cannot say with assurance if it was transferred from video tape, however I would feel confident in saying that it was not digitally remastered from film, as the image lacks the crispness one usually expects from DVD.

The color is very inconsistent, vacillating from over-saturated (often to the point of bleeding) to somewhat washed out (aberrations quite common to old dubbed video tapes), sometimes doing so in the same scene. It is interesting that the authentic MGM/UA VHS release is of similar quality as far as the variations in color (even changing hue in the same scenes as on the DVD), although there is very little, if any, over-saturation on the tape version.

Sadly, this is another great movie that has not been released on DVD with the quality it deserves. As there is nothing on the packaging that indicates any connection to the studio that actually produced the film, it reminds me of the reproductions of public domain material one might find on DVD at the local dollar store (although the cover artwork is of a better quality) and, in my opinion, at $28.99 this item is severely over-priced. Overall, a big disappointment. Unless you are desperate to own this title on DVD, regardless of the video quality, I would recommend that you save your money. I wish I had.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic memory!
I had to buy this video because I remember watching this sweet movie as a young girl on TV and it always stayed with me. Read more
Published 22 days ago by MiamiCool
5.0 out of 5 stars Worked great.
Bought this VHS as a gift for my grandmother she loves it and I was worried the tape wouldn't work but it worked perfectly ! Great movie !
Published 1 month ago by Samantha Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars At long last
If I could give this 6 stars, I would. I was spellbound by this movie when I saw it in the theater when i was 5 years old, and it, Lili and the puppets, the both tender and dark... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Reed Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
It is a very good movie with the incredible acting talent of Leslie Caron as a young woman growing up and realizing she is unprepared to live in a world that her dead father had... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Emily Hasenkopf
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Movie
I do adore this movie and could watch it over and over again. I love Leslie Caron and all the actors and actresses in this lively little movie. Read more
Published 2 months ago by micohawinds
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Classic
My grandma introduced me to this film when I was a teenager. She always got me into classic films. I started liking the name 'Lili' after this movie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Must Love Cats
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Film
I love this movie. It's really enchanting though a little uncomfortable. Seems like all the old men want to get with 15 year old Lili. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Harley from Heroes
5.0 out of 5 stars For all who like a film with a plot
One of my old favorites which has been not available over the years.
A musical with the communication medium of hand puppets. Read more
Published 4 months ago by A Movie Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming
This was a favorite of mine when I was a teen. I still love it. It is a charming story.
Published 4 months ago by Myrna Trauntvein
5.0 out of 5 stars Leslie Caron fan..
I loved Leslie Caron in this movie. It was different which I liked and although...considered a short film in my opinion, I found it simple and fun.
Published 4 months ago by Nene Kai
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