Aug 12, 2013
Colette's Cheri: A Male Prostitute Finds Love
Her most famous novel, Gigi (1944), is about a girl being trained to become a prostitute who falls in love with her intended client. It was made into a Broadway play and movie musical by deleting the prostitution angle and adding lots of heterosexism, such as the line "Thank heaven for little girls -- without them, what would little boys do?"
Except he does fall in love -- with Lea, an older female prostitute. He gets married to Edmee and has a long term gay affair with the wealthy Vicomte Desmond, but in the end returns to Lea, or tries to.
Meanwhile a lesbian prostitute named Pal, who runs an opium den, is also in love with Lea.
Cheri has been filmed several times, omitting the same-sex relationships, and often the characters of Desmond and Pal.
In 1950, with Jean DeSailly.
In 1962, with Jean-Claude Brialy (top photo)
In 1973, with Scott Antony
In 2009, with Rupert Friend (left)
It has also been a play (1959) with Horst Buchholz and a ballet (1980) with choreography by Peter Darrell.