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My Fair Lady (1964)

G   |    |  Drama, Family, Musical


My Fair Lady (1964) Poster

A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

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7.9/10
78,677

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Photos

  • 33-75 Audrey Hepburn and Andre Previn at a studio party honoring the start of "My Fair Lady" production
  • Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady (1964)
  • 3604-602 "My Fair Lady" Audrey Hepubrn waiting for rehearsal to begin 1964 Warner Bros.
  • "My Fair Lady" Make-Up Session 1964 Warner Bros.
  • 3604-202 "My Fair Lady" Audrey Hepburn and Jack Warner arrive at the premiere
  • Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


28 August 2003 | eliza-doolittle
10
| A musical with a brain as well as a heart
There's a lot of negative things been said about Audrey Hepburn's interpretation of the role of Eliza. Perhaps she's not ideal in the earliest scenes of the movie - her "dirtiness" is never quite believable - but it has to be said that despite this smallish drawback she still glows, and makes an amazing Eliza overall.

The reason for this is simple; Audrey Hepburn brings her "own spark of divine fire", (to quote Higgins) to the role and her vulnerability, mixed with her sweet, naive charm and even her wonderfully juvenile pettishness shown in "Just You Wait" all prove what a talented actress she really is. For an example of this, just watch Eliza's facial expression at Ascot, when she realises her opportunity to demonstrate her new-found mastery of the English tongue - sweetly hilarious.

MFL has been criticized as being too romanticized, too overblown. I disagree; musicals are suposed to be lavish affairs, and none pull it off quite so well as "My Fair Lady" does. It's a momentous film but it has its subtle points: watch the way in which Eliza's eyes are centred on Higgins when she enters at the ball, and the way in which the two of them stare at each other for a few seconds at the top of the stairs a few moments later.

It musn't be overlooked that, thanks to its being based on a Bernard Shaw play, "My Fair Lady" has what the great majority of musicals lack: a deeper meaning and something really quite profound to say.

The actor in the role of Colonel Pickering is a little weak, but it must be said that Rex Harrison IS Henry Higgins. In a lot of ways (in fact, in most ways) Higgins has an objectionable personality: rude, snobbish, impatient and even misogynistic, but somehow Rex Harrison pulls it all off and makes us like Higgins without betraying the character. As to romance, his song "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" is an ode to the kind of love which sneaks up on you. Overall, this movie is romantic, but not too sentimental. It has just enough romance to be dramatically fulfilling, but it never becomes soppy or mawkish. The word "love" is never mentioned at all and the two leads never even kiss. The famous end sequence is perfect and does the movie justice; after all, a big happy bow tied around a perfect romance at the end would simply not fit with everything we have learned about the two protagonists.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The instrumental "Busker Sequence", which opens the play immediately after the Overture, is the only musical number from the play omitted in the film version. However, there are several measures from this piece that can be heard as we see Eliza in the rain, making her way through the cars and carriages in Covent Garden.


Quotes

Mrs. Eynsford-Hill: Don't just stand there, Freddy, go and find a cab.
Freddy Eynsford-Hill: All right, I'll get it, I'll get it.


Goofs

When Eliza exits Mrs. Higgins' garden after singing "Without You", she goes through the gates that lead inside the adjoining room. They are left swinging behind her. When the camera turns to Higgins immediately after, the gates are perfectly stationary. There was not enough time for the gates to stop swinging in the small amount of time between the two shots.


Crazy Credits

In the posters, playbills and the original cast album for the stage version of "My Fair Lady", the credits always read "based on Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion' ", letting the audience know what play "My Fair Lady" was actually adapted from. The movie credits simply read "from a play by Bernard Shaw".


Alternate Versions

In the remastered version of the film, some of the scene changes are changed from sudden cuts to wipe outs, as they probably were when the film was released. When CBS Fox released it on video originally, they were changed to sudden cuts.


Soundtracks

You Did It
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by
Frederick Loewe
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Performed by Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Mona Washbourne and Servants' Ensemble

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Family | Musical | Romance

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