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My Fair Lady
Audrey Hepburn




Overview -
A priceless classic, MY FAIR LADY has become one of the most popular musicals of all time. Based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play PYGMALION, the film swept the Academy Awards. Cecil Beaton's lavish sets and costumes and Lerner and Loewe's winning score became the background for George Cukor's striking mix of styles that ranged from the fantastic to the abstract in his telling of the tale of a waif who's educated into being a lady. Egotistical linguist Professor Henry Higgins (Oscar-winning Rex Harrison) bets his friend, Colonel Hugh Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White), that he can transform Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) in time for an important society ball. His gamble could pay off--but the spirited Eliza is more of a handful than the Professor could have predicted. As she slowly becomes more refined, and less reliant upon him, Higgins realizes, to his confusion, that he can't live without her. The film was nominated for 12 Oscars and won eight, including Best Picture and Director.

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More About My Fair Lady

 
 
 

Overview

A priceless classic, MY FAIR LADY has become one of the most popular musicals of all time. Based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play PYGMALION, the film swept the Academy Awards. Cecil Beaton's lavish sets and costumes and Lerner and Loewe's winning score became the background for George Cukor's striking mix of styles that ranged from the fantastic to the abstract in his telling of the tale of a waif who's educated into being a lady. Egotistical linguist Professor Henry Higgins (Oscar-winning Rex Harrison) bets his friend, Colonel Hugh Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White), that he can transform Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) in time for an important society ball. His gamble could pay off--but the spirited Eliza is more of a handful than the Professor could have predicted. As she slowly becomes more refined, and less reliant upon him, Higgins realizes, to his confusion, that he can't live without her. The film was nominated for 12 Oscars and won eight, including Best Picture and Director.

Awards:
1964 - Academy Awards - Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (Color) Winner
1964 - Academy Awards - Best Costume Design (Color) Winner
1964 - Academy Awards - Best Picture Winner
1964 - Academy Awards - Best Sound Winner
1964 - Academy Awards - Best Actor Winner
1964 - Academy Awards - Best Adapted or Musical Song/Score Winner
1964 - Academy Awards - Best Director Winner
1964 - Academy Awards - Best Cinematography Winner

Main Cast & Crew

George Cukor - Director
Audrey Hepburn
Rex Harrison
Stanley Holloway
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Gladys Cooper
Jeremy Brett
Theodore Bikel
Isobel Elsom
Mona Washbourne
John Alderson

 

Details

DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 171
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 097368719644
  • Genre: Musical
  • Rating: G (MPAA)
  • Release Date: December 1998

Related Categories:
Movies > Musical & Performing Arts
Movies > Musicals

Related Keywords:
Classic
Romance
Rags To Riches
Recommended
Period Piece
Gentry
Theatrical Release
Essential Cinema

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Synopsis:
An insufferably arrogant linguist, Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison), bets a colleague that he can transform a flower-selling Cockney guttersnipe into a regal lady. His quarry, the irrepressible Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), accepts his offer for diction lessons in good faith, hoping to improve her station with a career as a shopgirl. This quintessential musical, scored by Lerner and Loewe, was based on the 1913 play PYGMALION by George Bernard Shaw, and virtually swept the Academy Awards, winning, among others, Best Picture, Director, and Actor (Harrison).

Notes:
Theatrical release: October 21, 1964. Filmed at the Warner Bros. Studios. One of the most expensive musicals ever, the estimated budget was $17 million. Jack Warner reportedly paid $5.5 million to the Shaw estate for the rights to the musical; additionally, the owners of the stage property were to receive 47.5% of all proceeds after the first $20 million. The Broadway musical MY FAIR LADY was staged by Moss Hart, produced by Herman Levin, and starred Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison, and Stanley Holloway. Warner didn't want to cast Julie Andrews in the film because she wasn't known enough in the U.S. at the time. Vincente Minelli was the studio's first choice for director. MY FAIR LADY was named Best Film by the New York Film Critics and one of the 10 Best Films of the Year by the National Board of Review. Marni Nixon, who dubbed Audrey Hepburn's singing voice, had previously dubbed Natalie Wood's singing voice in WEST SIDE STORY and Deborah Kerr's in THE KING AND I. Many speculated that Hepburn was passed over for an Academy Award nomination because she did not do her own singing. The voice for Jeremy Brett, who played Freddie Eynsford-Hill, was supplied by Bill Shirley. Dr. Peter Ladefoged from UCLA served as phonetics advisor. Actor Wilfrid Hyde-White served as "Ascot" advisor. Cecil Beaton's screen credit reads Costumes, Scenery, and Production Designer, which in actuality referred to his work for the stage version of MY FAIR LADY. For the film, he was responsible for Costumes, Makeup and Hair. George Bernard Shaw's straight play PYGMALION was adapted for the screen in 1938, starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller.

Reviews:
"...Glorious....Features [Beaton's] astounding costumes, [Cukor's] stately direction, the best-loved, most hummable of all Broadway scores and a sublime cast headed by [Harrison and Hepburn]..." - 09/21/1994 New York Times, p.C13


"...One of the most joyous musicals ever written....Cukor's film is a pleasure to behold..." - 09/23/1994 Chicago Sun-Times, p.40


"Eliza Doolittle’s transformation from flower girl to princess in MY FAIR LADY is, of course, one of the great moments of musical theater..." - 11/18/2011 New York Times


"[Hepburn is] an absolute gem as cockney Brit Eliza Doolittle given a high-class makeover..." - 04/08/2021 USA Today

 

BAM Customer Reviews