My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady

4.3 43
Director: George Cukor

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway

     
 

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At one time the longest-running Broadway musical, My Fair Lady was adapted by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe from the George Bernard Shaw comedy Pygmalion. Outside Covent Garden on a rainy evening in 1912, dishevelled cockneySee more details below

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Overview

At one time the longest-running Broadway musical, My Fair Lady was adapted by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe from the George Bernard Shaw comedy Pygmalion. Outside Covent Garden on a rainy evening in 1912, dishevelled cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) meets linguistic expert Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison). After delivering a musical tirade against "verbal class distinction," Higgins tells his companion Colonel Pickering (Wilfred Hyde-White) that, within six months, he could transform Eliza into a proper lady, simply by teaching her proper English. The next morning, face and hands freshly scrubbed, Eliza presents herself on Higgins' doorstep, offering to pay him to teach her to be a lady. "It's almost irresistable," clucks Higgins. "She's so deliciously low. So horribly dirty." He turns his mission into a sporting proposition, making a bet with Pickering that he can accomplish his six-month miracle to turn Eliza into a lady. This is one of the all-time great movie musicals, featuring classic songs and the legendary performances of Harrison, repeating his stage role after Cary Grant wisely turned down the movie job, and Stanley Holloway as Eliza's dustman father. Julie Andrews originated the role of Eliza on Broadway but producer Jack Warner felt that Andrews, at the time unknown beyond Broadway, wasn't bankable; Hepburn's singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon, who also dubbed Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961). Andrews instead made Mary Poppins, for which she was given the Best Actress Oscar, beating out Hepburn. The movie, however, won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Harrison, and five other Oscars, and it remains one of the all-time best movie musicals.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Few musicals have ever captured the hearts of viewers as thoroughly as this lavish cinematic confection. Adapted by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe from George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, My Fair Lady was a hit on Broadway before becoming a movie that went on to win eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Directed by George Cukor (The Philadelphia Story), My Fair Lady is a monument to Hollywood artifice, portraying a world where the London slums are spotless, and even the poor and destitute break into song and dance at the slightest provocation. Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of the Covent Garden flower girl who is transformed into a lady ranks among the star’s most indelible performances. Famed photographer Cecil Beaton designed the costumes and sets, and Hepburn never looked more exquisite than she does here against his elegantly stylized backdrops. The unforgettable songs -- "I Could Have Danced All Night," "Rain in Spain," and "Get Me to the Church on Time" (Marni Nixon dubbed Hepburn’s singing) -- combine with Shaw’s deliciously snappy and literate dialogue to lend My Fair Lady rare sophistication. Rex Harrison (in an Oscar-winning reprisal of his stage role) is perfect as Henry Higgins, the cheerfully misogynistic speech professor who rids the winsome "guttersnipe" of her Cockney accent and ends up losing his heart to her. Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, and Gladys Cooper provide delightful support. Like most period pieces, My Fair Lady is very much a product of the era in which it was made: Dressed up for her Cinderella moment at the embassy ball, Hepburn looks strikingly like the early-'60s feminine ideal, Jackie Kennedy. Audiences today may wince at the film’s ending, but this candy-coated take on the battle of the sexes and classes still charms.
All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
My Fair Lady is one of the screen's joyous achievements, an elegant musical filled with adult characters who think before they speak. Exquisitely produced by Warner Bros, it represents the zenith of the movie musical as an art form and as popular entertainment. Rex Harrison leads an impeccable cast, and, yes, that's Marni Nixon singing for Audrey Hepburn, but Hepburn is perfectly cast otherwise. The major star of the film is perhaps set designer/costume designer Cecil Beaton, whose visual contributions immediately impacted European and U.S. fashion trends. One of the best-looking movies ever made, My Fair Lady took eight Oscars, including Best Picture. Hepburn failed to be nominated in the Best Actress category, which was won by Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins, in what many observers saw as backlash against Andrews' not being cast in the movie after originating the role of Eliza on stage.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/15/2011
UPC:
0097361452340
Original Release:
1964
Rating:
G
Source:
Paramount
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
2:52:00
Sales rank:
13,369

Special Features

More Loverly Than Ever: The making of My Fair Lady then and now; Vintage featurettes, footage and audio; Alternate Audrey Hepburn vocals; Show Me galleries; Comments on A Lady ; Trailers ; Feature audio commentary (Gene Allen, Marni Nixon, Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Audrey Hepburn Eliza Doolittle
Rex Harrison Prof. Henry Higgins
Stanley Holloway Alfred P. Doolittle
Wilfrid Hyde-White Col. Pickering
Gladys Cooper Mrs. Higgins
Jeremy Brett Freddy Eynsford-Hill
Theodore Bikel Zoltan Karpathy
Mona Washbourne Mrs. Pearce
John Holland Butler
John Alderson Jamie
Frank Baker Elegant Bystander
William Beckley Footman
Oscar Beregi Greek Ambassador
Diana Bourbon Ascot Type
Andrew Brown Actor
Walter Burke Main Bystander
Colin Campbell Ascot Gavotte
Robert Coote Actor
Natalie Core Actor
Maurice Dallimore Selsey Man
Roy Dean Footman
Brendan Dillon Leaning Man
Pauline Drake Actor
Harvey B. Dunn Actor
Martin Eric Actor
Joe Evans Actor
Charles Fredericks King
Monika Henreid Actor
Clyde Howdy Actor
Kendrick Huxham Actor
Phyllis Kennedy Actor
Colin Kenny Actor
Alma Lawton Flower Girl
Queenie Leonard Cockney Bystander
Laurie Main Hoxton Man
Sid Marion Actor
Owen McGiveney Man at Coffee Stand
John McLiam Harry
Carol Merrill Actor
John Mitchum Ad Libs at Church
Barbara Morrison Actor
Nick Navarro Dancer
Pat O'Moore Man
Richard Peel Actor
George Pelling Actor
Hilda Plowright Bystander
Jack Raine Actor
David Robel Cockney
Dinah Anne Rogers Actor
Victor Rogers Policeman
Wendy Russell Actor
Michael St. Clair Bartender
Orville Sherman Actor
Bill Shirley Freddy [singing]
Geoffrey Steele Taxi Driver
William Taylor Actor
Gwendolyn Watts Cook
Ron Whelan Algernon/Bartender
James Wood Actor
Ben Wright Footman at Ball
Ben Wrigley Actor
Eric Heath Actor
James O'Hara Costermonger
Raymond Foster Actor
Jack Greening George
Paulle Clark Actor
Allyson Daniell Ad Libs at Ascot
Tom Cound Actor
Stanley Fraser Actor
Anne Dore Actor
Nick Wolcuff Actor
Marjorie Bennett Cockney with Pipe
Betty Blythe Ad Lib at Ball
Henry Daniell Gregor of Transylvania
Isobel Elsom Mrs. Eynsford-Hill
Ayllene Gibbons Fat Woman at Pub
Sam Harris Guest at Ball
Lillian Kemble-Cooper Lady Ambassador
Moyna MacGill Lady Boxington
Alan Napier Ambassador
Marni Nixon Eliza [singing]
Barbara Pepper Doolittle's Dance Partner
Grady Sutton Dancer at Ball

Technical Credits
George Cukor Director
Gene Allen Production Designer
Gordon Bau Makeup
Cecil Beaton Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer
David Berman Costumes/Costume Designer
Alexander Courage Musical Arrangement
Linwood G. Dunn Special Effects
George James Hopkins Set Decoration/Design
Alan Jay Lerner Screenwriter
Herman Levin Producer
Frederick Loewe Score Composer
Hermes Pan Choreography
André Previn Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Harry Stradling Cinematographer
Jack L. Warner Producer
William H. Ziegler Editor

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