Lili (1953)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Based on the story by Paul Gallico, Lili stars Leslie Caron as the title character, a 16-year-old waif who runs off to join a carnival. Embittered, crippled puppeteer Mel Ferrer treats Lili with contempt; only by speaking through his puppets is Ferrer able to express his genuine love for the girl. Before this happens, however, Caron must overcome her crush on magician Jean-Pierre Aumont, who is married to the contentious Zsa Zsa Gabor. Though not a musical (as was Carnival, the 1961 Broadway version of Lili), the film affords Leslie Caron the opportunity for a dream ballet, and also accommodates the lilting Bronislaw Kaper/Adolph Deutsch hit song "Hi Lili, Hi Lo". Legend has it that professional curmudgeon H.L. Mencken, who considered movies a waste of time and never bothered to see them, was persuaded to attend a showing of Lili--and loved every minute of it!
Classics , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment


Leslie Caron
as Lili Daurier
Mel Ferrer
as Paul Berthalet
Zsa Zsa Gabor
as Rosalie
Kurt Kasznar
as Jacquot
Amanda Blake
as Peach Lips
Alex Gerry
as Proprietor
Ralph Dumke
as Corvier
George Baxter
as Enrique
Eda Reiss Merin
as Fruit Peddler
George Davis
as Workman
Mitchell Lewis
as Concessionaire
Fred Walton
as Whistler
Reginald Simpson
as Second Workman
Richard Grayson
as Flirting Vendor
Dorothy Jarnac
as Specialty Dancer
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Lili

All Critics (6)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 17, 2012
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

A vehicle for MGM's new star Leslie Caron to shine.

Full Review… | July 1, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Lili

A magical little gem of a film. Leslie Caron is mesmerizing as our beloved Lili. "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" provides one of the best musical scenes in movie history. (First and only viewing - 6/28/2011)

Adam R
Adam R

Leslie Caron is back in another silly but charming musical about an orphan in a carnival. Of course we have that irritating song Hi Lili, Hi Lo here. You lose a star automatically for such things.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Leslie Caron is sweet and Mel Ferrer is broodingly handsome. It's a cute story with moving drama as LIli comes to recognize the love of the man behind the puppets, but it lacks a little of the severity of the novel. I would recommend both novel and movie.

Amanda Caswell
Amanda Caswell

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