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My Fair Lady (1964)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Family, Musical  |  25 December 1964 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 61,603 users  
Reviews: 253 user | 78 critic

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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(book), (from a play by) (as Bernard Shaw) , 1 more credit »
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Title: My Fair Lady (1964)

My Fair Lady (1964) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 8 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

More Loverly Than Ever! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rex Harrison wanted Julie Andrews for the role of Eliza, since they had played together in the Broadway version. He was concerned that Audrey Hepburn, whose mother was a Dutch baroness, would not be able to play a "guttersnipe" effectively. However, after finishing the film, Harrison had the highest regard for Hepburn's performance, and later referred to her as his favorite leading lady of them all. (It should also be mentioned that Harrison was appalled by Andrews during initial rehearsals for the original Broadway production of "My Fair Lady". Andrews was having a lot of trouble with the characterisation of Eliza Doolittle, and the Cockney accent. So much so, that Harrison was once quoted as saying: 'If that girl is here on Monday giving the same goddamn performance, I am out of this show!') See more »

Goofs

During "The Rain in Spain", you can hear Audrey Hepburn's voice mixed with Marni Nixon's voice. It's especially obvious the first time she properly sings, "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain," after Higgins' line, "I think she's got it, I think she's got it." 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

The Rain in Spain
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by Frederick Loewe
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Performed by Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White, and Audrey Hepburn (dubbed by Marni Nixon)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"I could have danced all night."
15 February 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Until now, I didn't know that a simple musical could be quite so epic. From the opening moments, it's obvious that producer Jack L. Warner threw a bucket-load of money into the project, paying a then-unprecedented $5.5 million for the adaptation rights alone, with a total production budget of around $17 million. Warner placed this money into the respected, capable hands of veteran director George Cukor – well known for producing "women's pictures" – and Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn {in the role played on stage by Julie Andrews} were cast as the leads. Featuring extravagant set and costume design, and countless lengthy and elaborate musical sequences written by Alan Jay Lerner, the film tells a relatively straightforward story in just under three hours. Some have referred to the film as "vacuous," which is a justified description, considering how very little happens in 170 minutes. However, more importantly, the story is rarely dull and 'My Fair Lady' remains a memorable, albeit rather exhausting, cinema experience.

We first come across Eliza Doolittle (Hepburn) as a poverty-stricken lady selling flowers on a crowded London street, her dishevelled hair and thick Cockney accent deeming her as unattractive as it is possible for Audrey Hepburn to appear {to such an extent that, for the first few minutes, I didn't realise who the actress actually was}. Huddled beneath a building pillar sits Professor Henry Higgins (Harrison), one of the world's leading linguists, an arrogant and impatient misogynist who bets Colonel Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White), a fellow specialist from India, that, given just six months, he can pass off the pathetic flower vendor as an articulate, aristocratic duchess simply by teaching her how to properly speak the English language. Initially repulsed by the egotistical professor, Eliza is reluctant to spend six months in his company, but the promise of a better lifestyle proves overwhelming, and she arrives at his lonely mansion the following morning. Eliza's drunkard father, Alfred P. Doolittle (a wonderful Stanley Holloway) is at first insulted by the "abduction" of his primary source of whisky money, but is ignobly dissuaded from intervention by the payment of a mere five dollars.

The storyline of 'My Fair Lady' is nothing particularly remarkable, and the simple tale of Eliza's Cinderella-like transformation could quite easily have been told – in non-musical form – in less than 90 minutes. However, the musical numbers, of which there are many, are among the most extravagant that I've seen. Songs such as "With A Little Bit of Luck" and "Get Me to The Church on Time" continue for far longer that you'd anticipate, but the optimists among us will maintain that this is simply offering the audience more of a good thing, and I'm rather inclined to agree. My favourite number would undoubtedly be Rex Harrison's passionate rendition of "An Ordinary Man," a joyfully misogynistic {if misguided} love-letter towards the female sex. The continual alternation between a fast and slow tempo makes the song highly entertaining to follow, and Harrison's distinctive vocal style – a curious balance of traditional singing and conversation – appeals to his character's professional, educated background. George Cukor's film proved more successful than even Jack Warner could have hoped, sweeping the 1965 Academy Awards with an incredible eight wins from twelve nominations.


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