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1. MGM musical of 1953

2. Lili Taylor: American actress

Common clues: 1953 Leslie Caron film; Role for Leslie; 1953 Mel Ferrer musical; Taylor of “Mystic Pizza”; Actress Taylor; Taylor of “The Haunting”

Crossword puzzle frequency: 5 times a year

Frequency in English language: 9712 / 86800

Video: Lili (1953)

It's been very important for me to follow my gut or my heart, or whichever organ you want to go by ~ Lili Taylor

Lili is a musical film which opened in March, 1953. Considered one among many "classic MGM musicals," it stars Leslie Caron as a touchingly naïve French girl, whose emotional relationship with a carnival puppeteer is conducted through the medium of four puppets.

The movie was based on a story by Paul Gallico, considerably adapted by Helen Deutsch, and was later made into a stage musical, Carnival! starring Anna Maria Alberghetti.

It won the Academy Award for Original Music Score and was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Leslie Caron), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color, Best Cinematography, Color, Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay.

Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer's rendition of "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" was released as a record, and became a minor hit, reaching a respectable #30 on 1953's charts.

Bosley Crowther, reviewing the movie at it opening, had nothing but praise for the movie, rejoicing that "at last" Leslie Caron's "simplicity and freshness... have been captured again in the film." He showers other encomia on Caron, calling "elfin," "winsome," the "focus of warmth and appeal," praising her "charm," "grace," "beauty," and "vitality." He said screenwriter Helen Deutsch had "put together a frankly fanciful reomance with clarity, humor, and lack of guile," and admires the choreographer, sets, music, and title song.

The movie is not universally liked, though; Paulene Kael called it a "sickly whimsy" and refer to Mel Ferrer's "narcissistic, masochistic smiles."

Since the puppets are almost Caron's co-stars, it is odd that few reviews of the film even mention puppeteers Walton and O'Rourke, famous in puppeteering circles. They mostly did cabaret work, did not appear on television, and Lili is the only known filmed record of their work. For the film, Walton and O'Rourke made the puppets; George Latshaw manipulated Carrot Top; Wolo manipulated Golo the Giant; and Walton and O'Rourke manipulated Marguerite and Reynardo.

Lili, rendered homeless by circumstances, contemplates suicide and is dissuaded by the friendly intervention of four puppets in a carnival puppet theatre. In her naïve simplicity, she relates directly to the puppets, seemingly unaware of the existence of a puppeteer. She becomes a part of the show. Her simple, direct interaction with the puppets, and their improvised responses in return, are a great success with audiences.

The puppeteer, played by Mel Ferrer, is gruff and emotionally cold. He falls in love with Lili, but can express his feelings only through the puppets. His situation is complicated by Lili's infatuation with a handsome magician in the carnival, played by Jean-Pierre Aumont, who (it is implied) seduces Lili. In a dream-ballet sequence, Lili competes with the magician's sophisticated and attractive assistant, played by Zsa Zsa Gabor. The puppeteer's genial assistant and friend, played by Kurt Kasznar, helps the puppeteer accept and deal with his own feelings.

Lili Anne Taylor (born February 20, 1967) is an American actress.

Taylor, the fifth of six children, was born in Glencoe, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Marie, a professional babysitter, and Park Taylor, a folk artist and hardware store operator. She grew up in a "warm family environment" and has described herself as being "a bit of a searcher" during her childhood. Taylor graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, in 1985. Thereafter, she attended The Theatre School at DePaul University and the Piven Theatre Workshop. Lili introduced Louise Post and Nina Gordon, founding members of 1990s alternative band Veruca Salt, at a party in Chicago in 1993.

Taylor has appeared in dozens of films since 1988, including Dogfight, Mystic Pizza, and Rudy. Her work has mostly been in independent films and theater. She played the role of Lisa Kimmel Fisher (mostly in the second and third seasons) in the HBO drama Six Feet Under.

Taylor received critical acclaim for her supporting film roles in Mystic Pizza (1988) and Say Anything... (1989). She then starred in Dogfight (1991) directed by Nancy Savoca, in which she played an unattractive young woman who is taken to a cruel contest by a Marine (played by River Phoenix) under the pretense of a date. In 1993, she again teamed up with Savoca for Household Saints.

In the 2008 film The Promotion, Taylor played the Scottish wife of John C. Reilly's character as he competed to be the manager of a grocery store.

In 2009, Taylor played Sheriff Lillian Holley of Lake County, Indiana, who incarcerates John Dillinger (played by Johnny Depp), in Michael Mann's Public Enemies.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lili" and “Lili Taylor”.