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My Fair Lady (1964)

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Snobbish phonetics Professor Henry Higgins (Sir Rex Harrison) agrees to a wager that he can make flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) presentable in high society.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Alan Jay Lerner (book), George Bernard Shaw (from a play by) (as Bernard Shaw) | 1 more credit »
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2,991 ( 50)
Won 8 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Audrey Hepburn ... Eliza Doolittle
Rex Harrison ... Professor Henry Higgins
Stanley Holloway ... Alfred P. Doolittle
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Colonel Hugh Pickering
Gladys Cooper ... Mrs. Higgins
Jeremy Brett ... Freddy Eynsford-Hill
Theodore Bikel ... Zoltan Karpathy
Mona Washbourne ... Mrs. Pearce
Isobel Elsom ... Mrs. Eynsford-Hill
John Holland ... Butler
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Storyline

Pompous phonetics Professor Henry Higgins (Sir Rex Harrison) is so sure of his abilities that he takes it upon himself to transform a Cockney working-class girl into someone who can pass for a cultured member of high society. His subject turns out to be the lovely Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), who agrees to speech lessons to improve her job prospects. Higgins and Eliza clash, then form an unlikely bond, one that is threatened by aristocratic suitor Freddy Eynsford-Hill (Jeremy Brett). Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

My Fair Lady See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$354,764, 17 February 2019

Gross USA:

$72,560,711

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$72,661,442
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (70 mm prints) (1994 re-release)| DTS (35 mm prints) (1994 re-release)| Dolby Digital (35 mm prints) (1994 re-release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Jack L. Warner originally didn't want Sir Rex Harrison to reprise his stage role as Higgins for the movie version, since he had seen Cleopatra (1963) and thought the actor looked too old to be believable as Audrey Hepburn's love interest. Peter O'Toole was considered for the role of Professor Higgins, but his salary demands were too high. Harrison responded in a letter to Warner Brothers that he had only looked old as Gaio Giulio Cesare because he had been playing an epileptic at the end of his life, and after sending some publicity photographs of himself, minus his toupée, he was eventually cast. See more »

Goofs

At Ascot, Eliza mentions an aunt whose death was first ascribed to influenza. The story is set in 1912, but it was 1918 when the great Spanish flu pandemic swept the world, claiming 50-100 million lives. 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 »

Alternate Versions

When the restored version debuted at New York's Ziegfeld Theater in 1994, the new end credits played over Audrey Hepburn's rendition of "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" (This previously unheard track was found during the restoration of the film.) All other prints have the credits run during an instrumental of "I Could Have Danced All Night." See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movies of the 1960s (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Just You Wait (Reprise)
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by Frederick Loewe
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Performed by Audrey Hepburn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A musical with a brain as well as a heart
28 August 2003 | by eliza-doolittleSee all my reviews

There's a lot of negative things been said about Audrey Hepburn's interpretation of the role of Eliza. Perhaps she's not ideal in the earliest scenes of the movie - her "dirtiness" is never quite believable - but it has to be said that despite this smallish drawback she still glows, and makes an amazing Eliza overall.

The reason for this is simple; Audrey Hepburn brings her "own spark of divine fire", (to quote Higgins) to the role and her vulnerability, mixed with her sweet, naive charm and even her wonderfully juvenile pettishness shown in "Just You Wait" all prove what a talented actress she really is. For an example of this, just watch Eliza's facial expression at Ascot, when she realises her opportunity to demonstrate her new-found mastery of the English tongue - sweetly hilarious.

MFL has been criticized as being too romanticized, too overblown. I disagree; musicals are suposed to be lavish affairs, and none pull it off quite so well as "My Fair Lady" does. It's a momentous film but it has its subtle points: watch the way in which Eliza's eyes are centred on Higgins when she enters at the ball, and the way in which the two of them stare at each other for a few seconds at the top of the stairs a few moments later.

It musn't be overlooked that, thanks to its being based on a Bernard Shaw play, "My Fair Lady" has what the great majority of musicals lack: a deeper meaning and something really quite profound to say.

The actor in the role of Colonel Pickering is a little weak, but it must be said that Rex Harrison IS Henry Higgins. In a lot of ways (in fact, in most ways) Higgins has an objectionable personality: rude, snobbish, impatient and even misogynistic, but somehow Rex Harrison pulls it all off and makes us like Higgins without betraying the character. As to romance, his song "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" is an ode to the kind of love which sneaks up on you. Overall, this movie is romantic, but not too sentimental. It has just enough romance to be dramatically fulfilling, but it never becomes soppy or mawkish. The word "love" is never mentioned at all and the two leads never even kiss. The famous end sequence is perfect and does the movie justice; after all, a big happy bow tied around a perfect romance at the end would simply not fit with everything we have learned about the two protagonists.


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