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My Fair Lady (1964)

Approved | | Drama, Family, Musical | 25 December 1964 (USA)
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A misogynistic and 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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Writers:

(book), (from a play by) (as Bernard Shaw) | 1 more credit »
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2,718 ( 8)
Won 8 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Mona Washbourne ...
Isobel Elsom ...
John Holland ...
Butler
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Storyline

Gloriously witty adaptation of the Broadway musical about Professor Henry Higgins, who takes a bet from Colonel Pickering that he can transform unrefined, dirty Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a lady, and fool everyone into thinking she really is one, too! He does, and thus young aristocrat Freddy Eynsford-Hill falls madly in love with her. But when Higgins takes all the credit and forgets to acknowledge her efforts, Eliza angrily leaves him for Freddy, and suddenly Higgins realizes he's grown accustomed to her face and can't really live without it. Written by Tommy Peter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most loverly motion picture event of all! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi bella dama  »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$72,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Audrey Hepburn was first informed that her voice wasn't strong enough and that she would have to be dubbed, she walked out. She returned the next day and - in a typically graceful Hepburn gesture - apologized to everybody for her "wicked behavior". See more »

Goofs

When Higgins first asks Eliza to recite the verse, "In Hertford, Hereford..." and he makes the mirror rotate, you can see the camera and the crew at times as it is reflected in the mirror. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[sounds from crowd, occasionally a word or phrase, indistinct and mostly not associated with a character]
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.
See more »

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". See more »


Soundtracks

I Could Have Danced All Night
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by Frederick Loewe
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music played during the opening credits
Performed by Audrey Hepburn (dubbed by Marni Nixon), Mona Washbourne, and chambermaids
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
My Fair Movie
25 October 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Very few movies are letter-perfect. Not perfect in the sense that goofs and gaffes don't exist here and there, but perfect as in pure entertainment. Especially in long movies, the squirm element is always a threat. "My Fair Lady", bringing the most tuneful of Broadway scores to the big screen (really big, at the time) was as perfect as movie entertainment could be. The old furors over Audrey Hepburn seem silly in hindsight. Hepburn replaced Julie Andrews, a wonderful singer-actress who had created the role, not only on Broadway but in London. But Andrews was not a familiar face to movie-goers and no one knew if she'd hold an audience in the movies as in the live theaters. Too, Hepburn was an inspired choice, since her background probably would make Eliza Doolittle's transformation from flower-selling gutter-snipe into a lady of quality more believable (Hepburn's mother was a baroness). As far as her singing voice, the new DVDs of "MFL" have her acting to her own recordings of a few of the songs, and while it's not bad, at this level of film-making expense and prestige, "not bad" is no good.

Surrounding her are a magnificent cast. Stage and screen pros Rex Harrison (Henry Higgins) and Stanley Holloway (Doolittle) were carried over from Broadway (after some initial and rather foolish questions about both). Joining them were veteran droll actor Wilfred Hyde-White as Col. Pickering and an amazingly youthful Jeremy Brett ("Sherlock Holmes") as Freddy.

The book and lyrics were by Alan Jay Lerner and the music by Frederick Loewe ("Brigadoon", "Camelot", "Gigi", etc.) based on George B. Shaw's best play. A fully "integrated" musical where the songs advance the story or reveal character, the nonpareil line-up of songs include "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face", "The Rain in Spain", "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "On the Street Where You Live".

Because of its theatrical origins there is an unavoidable stage-bound look to some scenes. But the designers have done their best to keep this from being a detriment. The interiors look like real houses, the Covent Garden set is a masterpiece of openness. Only the Ascot scene retains its staginess, but its black and white palate and stylized look adds variety to the movie.

The restored DVD version looks great. I saw a print of this movie in a revival theater in the early 1980s; it was blurry and broken and the colors were faded and inaccurate. Yet the designers used a rich tapestry of colors and wood tones, giving every corner of the movie's wide screen something worth seeing. "MFL" was a spectacle well worth the struggle and expense of restoration.

Everything about "MFL" was first-class, the cast, script, costuming, sets, music. For someone who enjoys musical there's not a dull moment.


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