Pompous phonetics professor Henry Higgins 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, who agrees to speech lessons to improve her job prospects. Higgins and Eliza clash, then form an unlikely bond -- one that is threatened by an aristocratic suitor.Written by
In the scene where Eliza is practicing her "H's", she sits down in front of a spinning mirror attached to a flame. Every time she says her "H's" correctly, the flame jumps. If you look closely at the paper she is holding in her hand when it catches fire, you will see handwritten upon it the dialog that she and Prof. Higgins have been saying previous to this. "Of course, you can't expect her to get it right the first time," is the first line written on the paper. See more »
The "King of England" character is meant to be any historical king. He represents Eliza's dream of what a king should look like. See more »
[sounds from crowd, occasionally a word or phrase, indistinct and mostly not associated with a character]
Don't just stand there, Freddy, go and find a cab.
All right, I'll get it, I'll get it.
See more »
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 »
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 »
During the first two hours of this movie, I had thought that it was the greatest musical ever brought to film. It's only during the last hour that it begins to languish and plod. If the first two hours are a solid 10/10, then the last hour is about a 4/10. It brings the average to about 8/10, which is exactly what I gave the movie, but it's fun to think about how great the movie could have been had the producers decided to find a better ending to an otherwise superb story.
It goes to show that film is a tricky medium, and regardless of how great musicals can be, live action simply isn't as interesting when it's recorded. 'My Fair Lady' could have used a bit of trimming, especially in Stanley Holloway's pieces, WITH A BIT OF LUCK and GET ME TO THE CHURCH ON TIME. Although they may have been spectacular to see on stage, movie audiences will yearn to see more about Eliza and wonder why the director spends so much time on her father.
On the brighter side, I believe that I have never seen Audrey Hepburn in a more perfect role. Eliza Doolittle is a lot like she, in their rise from poverty. And watching Audrey is like being invited to see a person shine in their most perfect niche. She isn't gorgeous in a modern sense, but even a decade after her death, her image still carries that immortal appeal. Some critics call it the "it" factor. We don't know what "it" is but we know it's there.
Billy Wilder once said, "God kissed her face, and there she was." For me, I just like her smile, and my smile when I watch her exuberance in one of the defining roles in her career.
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