Movie Review – Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs
Directed by Jean Negulesco
1955
available on Amazon Prime

On a trip to France, millionaire Jervis Pendleton (Fred Astaire) has car problems while driving a country road. He walks to the nearest house, which is an orphanage, to borrow the phone. Julie Andre (Leslie Caron) is an 18 year old orphan who has taken on the role of teacher to the other children as well as assitant to the headmistress. Pendleton is immediately taken by the girl and offers to bring her to the USA and send her to college as her anonymous benefactor.

This is a classic 1950’s romance movie. The male star is wealthy, elegant, and showers his girl with gifts. The girl is naive, pretty, and oblivious – quickly falling for his advances (who can turn down a trunk full of designer clothes?). Since this is an Astaire / Caron flick, there is plenty of dancing, including a long “dream ballet” that many Caron movies include. The May-December romance is exaggerated by the fact that Astaire was 56 years old when he made the movie, playing a 26 year old and Caron was 24, playing 18. It did feel a little uncomfortable when Pendleton lures Andre to New York City for the weekend.

The movie is so far removed from the book of the same title by Jean Wester. It barely resembles the story line, and in my opinion lost the sencerity of it. If you read the book, assume the movie is a completely different story.

IMDB gave it a 6.7 out of 10. I give it an 4 for my disappointment in Hollywood-ifying a classic story.

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