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My Fair Lady
     

My Fair Lady

4.3 43
Director: George Cukor

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway

 

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After the successful re-releases of Singin' in the Rain and Unforgiven, Warner continues their outstanding two-disc sets with this 1964 Best Picture winner, My Fair Lady, and the results are no less spectacular. The restored 2.35:1 anamorphic image from 1994 is a sight to behold. Instances of scratches and specks are easily forgiven, as the

Overview

After the successful re-releases of Singin' in the Rain and Unforgiven, Warner continues their outstanding two-disc sets with this 1964 Best Picture winner, My Fair Lady, and the results are no less spectacular. The restored 2.35:1 anamorphic image from 1994 is a sight to behold. Instances of scratches and specks are easily forgiven, as the majority of the transfer is simply breathtaking. Colors are vividly reproduced, and detail, especially with the use of deep-focus photography, is marvelous to look at. The 5.1 English Dolby Digital track is equally impressive. While the surrounds are used more for environment than effect, the sound is still effective in every manner. Dialogue, including the wonderful music and songs from Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, are impeccably reproduced and distortion-free. The sole supplement on the first disc is an exceptional scene-specific commentary track from production designer Gene Allen, Marni Nixon (who was the singing voice for Audrey Hepburn), and preservationists Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz. Much of this track discusses the extensive restoration of the original print and may not interest the casual viewer, but the insights are nonetheless interesting from an historical perspective. Unwisely, though, the film's audio is a touch too loud, occasionally drowning out the participants; otherwise, it's a significant commentary, worthy of listening. The remainder of the supplements, which are on the second disc, are equally worth looking into, although they do contain some repetition. They are broken up into five segments, "More Loverly Than Ever," "The Production," "The Awards," "The Comments," and "The Trailers of Lerner and Loewe." "More Loverly Than Ever" is an hour-long documentary that goes into detail about the production of this film, with significant points about the 1994 restoration. Fans of this classic will not want to miss this, as everything is covered, beginning to end. "The Production" has a number of individual segments, including the 1963 production dinner, interviews with Hepburn, Rex Harrison, and Jack Warner, some audio of director George Cukor working with actress Bina Rothschild, and alternate versions of Hepburn's vocals for "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "Show Me," which are also in the documentary. "The Awards" section includes Rex Harrison's Golden Globe acceptance speech, as well as Warner accepting his statue at the 37th Academy Awards. "The Comments" is far briefer, as director Martin Scorsese and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber make additional comments (they are also heard extensively in the documentary) about the film and restoration in general. Finally, if that all wasn't enough (and there is plenty more, but space here is fairly limited!), "The Trailers of Lerner and Loewe" includes Brigadoon, Camelot, Gigi and the 1964 and 1994 re-release trailers for this film. Fans that purchased the original DVD of My Fair Lady will want to make an upgrade, as this disc offers everything that anyone could every want for this musical classic.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/03/2004
UPC:
0085392888528
Original Release:
1964
Rating:
G
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:53:00

Special Features

Disc 1: Audio commentary by art director Gene Allen, singer Marni Nixon, and restoration team Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz.
Disc 2: "More Loverly Than Ever: The Making of My Fair Lady -- Then and Now"; "The Production," all-new featurette on 1963 production-kickoff dinner; audio of George Cukor directing Baroness Bina Rothschild; Audrey Hepburn's alternate vocals for "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "Show Me"; posters and lobby cards with Rex Harrison radio interview; "The Fairest Fair Lady" making-of featurette; L.A. premiere footage; "Show Me" galleries of black-and-white production stills, production documents, Cecil Beaton costume sketches, and architectural drawings; Rex Harrison's Golden Globe acceptance speech; 37th Academy Awards footage; testimonials from Martin Scorsese and Andrew Lloyd Webber; Lerner and Loewe trailers including Brigadoon ('54), Camelot ('67), Gigi ('58), My Fair Lady (original '64 and '94 re-release).

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

Scene Index

Side #1 -- My Fair Lady
1. Overture and Credits [3:30]
2. The Rain in Covent Garden [2:16]
3. Phonetics in Practice [4:04]
4. Why Can't the English? [2:58]
5. Higgins' Boast [1:38]
6. Wouldn't It Be Loverly? [4:36]
7. Not a Brass Farthing [5:03]
8. Something Better? [2:00]
9. Negotiations [6:19]
10. And the Angels Will Weep [4:59]
11. Bath Time [2:15]
12. I'm an Ordinary Man [5:00]
13. With A Little Bit of Luck [5:54]
14. Gift of Rhetoric [4:31]
15. The Undeserving Poor [4:20]
16. Just You Wait [4:21]
17. As and Hs [2:21]
18. Poor Professor Higgins [4:54]
19. Pep Talk [1:33]
20. The Rain in Spain [4:12]
21. I Could Have Danced All Night [4:04]
22. Ascot Gavotte [3:30]
23. At the Races [1:37]
24. The New Small Talk [4:14]
25. Dover's Bloomin' Arse [2:27]
26. On the Street Where You Live [4:49]
27. The Girl Matters [2:24]
28. Dressed for the Ball [1:04]
29. Intermission [:39]
30. Entr'Acte [1:14]
31. Zoltan Karpathy [1:41]
32. The Embassy Waltz [2:01]
33. Quite Charming [2:07]
34. Abuzz About Eliza [3:52]
35. You Did It [6:09]
36. What's to Become of Her? [7:11]
37. Just You Wait Reprise [1:30]
38. On the Street Where You Live Reprise [1:19]
39. Show Me [3:06]
40. Wouldn't It Be Loverly? Reprise [3:10]
41. Respectable! [3:41]
42. Get Me to the Church on Time [6:03]
43. Eliza's Bolted [2:11]
44. A Hymn to Him [4:52]
45. The Lady's Whereabouts [2:42]
46. Eliza's Future [4:10]
47. Without You [4:51]
48. I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face [4:38]
49. Where the Devil? [3:09]
50. Exit Music/End Credits [1:18]
Side #2 -- Special Features
1. Rescuing a Damsel [3:41]
2. Gala Event [1:15]
3. Broadway Triumph [5:32]
4. Restoration Needed [4:36]
5. A Song Is Born [3:20]
6. Rex Harrison [3:20]
7. Recreating the Sound [1:37]
8. Audrey Hepburn [3:01]
9. Voice Doubles [9:10]
10. Director's Director [2:29]
11. Optical Flaw [1:10]
12. Remarkable Cast [3:17]
13. Shrinkage [1:37]
14. Visual Style [6:52]
15. Post-Production [1:23]
16. Lady's Makeover [4:10]
17. End Credits [1:10]

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My Fair Lady 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
alexphilAU More than 1 year ago
This movie is originally titled Pygmalion. It starred Julie Andrews on broadway, which earned her prestige. Unfortunately Julie was not Jack Warner's choice when he bought the rights on the story for $5M, a whooping amount then. Jack Warner had Audrey Hepburn on mind, to play Eliza Doolittle, though she does not sing in films. George Cukor, the director did a magnificent musical out of the story and Rex Harrison was excellent as Prof. Higgins. The other cast was superb too. Though a studio movie, it was a huge success. Warner Brothers refurbished its studio and made monumental production design for My Fair Lady. Prof. Higgins study was equipped with more than 4000 books and the costumes were made by a fleet of designers and sewers. The movie employed the latest camera bought by Warner Brothers that time. The scenes came to life with interesting characters in each of them. This one of the must see musicals that is a classic by itself. No one should miss Audrey Hepburn's performance in this movie as well as George Cukor's directorship.
PrairieCal More than 1 year ago
What possesses Hollywood to palm off inferior products on an unsuspecting public? This new DVD released 10/6/09 is not a wise buy. Notice in the product description of this Paramount/CBS DVD release no mention is made of the sound. That's because it doesn't have Dolby 5.1, but instead some hokey stereo track of much inferior quality. Likewise, and contrary to the product descriptions online, the original aspect ratio of 2.20:1 has been cut to 16:9 as stated on the DVD sleeve. If you love My Fair Lady as much as I do consider purchasing either of the Warner Home Video releases which are available new online through private sellers at moderate prices. The first Warner release was issued 12/08/98 and reputedly has the best picture. The second Warner release was a 02/03/04 deluxe two-DVD set with expanded special features well worth watching. The quality of this deluxe set is also far superior to the newly released Paramount/CBS DVD version. Both Warner versions have the original aspect ratio and Dolby 5.1 Why does Hollywood issue inferior products like this? And to ad insult to injury their doing a remake of My Fair Lady to be released in 2010. I'd call that a "must miss." The very thought is repulsive.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is good clean family fun with lots of humor and can be enjoyed by everyone in the family without fear of offending anyone!
rayvn More than 1 year ago
I saw the play of this at a college once befor and when I learned that Audrey Hepburn was in this one I knew I had to have it! It was great. Just two little things, Hepburns accent got a bit on my nerves, but I guess that's the point of her character and some of the songs just seemed to go on and on just a little bit too much. Rather than that two thumbs WAY UP!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The purchase was originally for my daughter who is working vocally on "Isn't it Lovely". We had a wonderful time watching My Fair Lady and it took me back to when I was young. Melodious tunes keep you singing right along. The only issue for my children was I had to interpret Eliza's cockney which played havoc on understanding the first 5 - 10 minutes of the movie. But once I translated they found it delightful and fun to watch. It's a classic worth buying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
MY FAIR LADY is a musical adaptation of Bernard Shaw's play PYGMALION. It enjoyed a long and successful run on Broadway with Julie Andrews starring as Eliza Doolittle. Julie was replaced by Audrey Hepburn for the movie. This was of course a major change which was met with much skepticism. Audrey turned in a superlative performance although her singing voice was provided by Marni Nixon. Rex Harrison in the role of Professor Higgins proved to be as good in the film as he was on the stage. Stanley Holloway was superb as Alfred P. Doolittle. The movie walked off with most of the Academy Awards in 1964 winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Rex Harrison), Best Director (George Cukor), Color Cinematography, Color Art Direction, Sound, Adapted Musical Scoring and Color Costume Design. Nominations were also receivedfor Best Supporting Actor (Stanley Holloway), Best Supporting Actress (Gladys Cooper), Adapted Screenplay and Editing. Ironically Julie Andrews won the Oscar for Best Actress in that same year for her appearance in MARY POPPINS.
andrast More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Audrey Hepburn films, wonderful soundtrack, smart script
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am looking for the version with the voice of Audrey Hepburn singing all the songs of the musical...It was show in American Classics....A new copy with the original soundtrack singed by Audrey Hepburn.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
To answer a reviewer below, two of Audrey Hepburn's original vocals have been included on the dvd. Hearing them makes it clear that she needed some help with the more difficult parts of the score...however, I think they should have found someone other than Marni Nixon to do the dubbing. Marni's voice does not match Audrey's in timbre or style at all...and it is jarring to watch. Although not as perfect for the part as Julie Andrews, who originated it...Audrey has undeniable talent, and it shows. Wildly popular in its day, I think this film seems less magical and more overblown when viewed today....But it is gorgeous to look at, and the acting is first rate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like this movie, but I think that Audrey should have sung the part she sounded fine. They should have used her and had someone help with the high notes. Other than that it is a great movie!
2002AM More than 1 year ago
I love it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
'My Fair Lady' is by far the best movie I have ever seen. It's got music, romance...something for everyone. Before I saw this movie, I was sure I wouldn't like it. I was shocked after viewing it. I absolutely loved it! I have never seen a better film.
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