Gigot Film Details
Overview: Jackie Gleason plays a mute janitor who befriends Nicole, the little daughter of a prostitute.
Tagline: A new joy has come to the screen… and the world is a happier place to live in!
Review: This precious movie, Gigot, was made by Jackie Gleason as a tribute to his love for Charles Chaplin and his classic silent film The Kid (1921). Gleason’s character Gigot is poor, basically a tramp, and mute, the muteness a plot device to emphasize that communication in film is all the more profound and emotional when the actor does not speak, but has to communicate to the audience through facial expressions and pantomime alone. Jackie Gleason would have been a WONDERFUL actor in the silent era. He is outstanding in Gigot. I’ll bet Chaplin loved this film. Even the lovely French style music reminded me of similar music in Chaplin’s silent classic City Lights (1931). Instead of a little boy (Jackie Coogan in the original), Gleason makes the little child a girl, one who is so traumatized by life and living with a prostitute mother that she rarely speaks either. These two souls don’t need words to communicate their love for one another. One of the most powerful scenes in the film, almost painful to watch, is when Gigot takes little Nicole (the winsome Diane Gardner, whatever happened to her?) to a church. Of course she has been raised without faith, and Gigot yearns to teach the child about Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, but he can’t tell her in words. He starts hitting himself in frustration, but the love of the little girl rescues him from his torment. They’d never put a scene like that in a modern mainstream film in Hollywood today. Not politically correct. Just like with Chaplin films, there are mixtures of pathos and comedy. These juxtapositions are timeless and still effective, as long as the human heart remains sensitive to others besides itself. Often broadcast on the Fox Movie Channel, but unfortunately in pan and scan. This film needs a remastering and an official DVD release in its original widescreen. 10 out of 10.
Country: United States
Duration: 104 min
Also known as: Dobri duh Pariza,ジゴ,Жиго,Gigot, der Stumme von Montmartre,Gigot,Jigo,Gigò,Synevi stin Monmarti,Gigot – lumppuri,Gigot, le clochard de Belleville