Movie review by Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Lili Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 6+

Classic love story of an orphan and the carnival.

NR 1953 83 minutes

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 2 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 9+

Lilli – Innocence, Charm, Discovery

All too rarely has a film about lost innocence and earnest love been so sensitively brought to the screen. Respected screenwriter Helen Deutsch (The Seventh Cross ‘44) adapted Paul Gallico’s (The Snow Goose) darkly observant novella “The Seven Souls of Clement O’Reilly” into an inspiringly charming story of a naive young orphaned girls coming of age. Deutsch also maintains the opportunistic exploitation of the vulnerable girl without sensationalizing this angle. The Academy award-winning score by brilliant composer Bronislau Kaper is nothing short of unforgettably brilliant. This beautifully produced MGM film cannot be called a musical as there’s only one song but what a song! It’s been universally popular for over 60years, and screenplay writer Helen Deutsch also wrote the world-renowned lyrics that accompany Kaper’s magnificent music. The haunting dream-ballet sequence that closes this unique movie brings both tears of joy and wonder at its stirring and visually fascinating realization. Direction, music, sets, writing, choreography, art- direction, cinematography (Robert Plank - ‘Strange Cargo ’40) and performances, combine to create movie making at its most magical and should be seen by all lovers of classic film art. In 2004 the New York Times added Lilli to their listing of the best 1,000 movies ever made. May not be to everyone’s tastes but whatever is? The WB Archive DVD delivers an excellent visual and sound transfer.
age 15+

One good song and nice dancing but...

I have a 6-year and 8-year-old and would not show this movie to them yet. I saw the film Lili listed on a website that said 100 Musicals I Want to Show My Children Before They Turn 18 (or something like that) and this movie was listed as Age 6!! The story is about a 16-year-old French orphan who is homeless. She ends up at a circus/carnival IN LOVE WITH A MARRIED MAN and loved but berated and generally mistreated by her boss who, in the end, turns out to be the man with whom she is actually in love. The movie has puppets and some people on Amazon said they saw this movie when they were 5 or 6 but the subject matter is really not for children. Plus, the movie and the puppets aren't so great that it's worth showing this movie to young children, imho. Lastly, to the woman who put it on her list of musicals. It's not really a musical.

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