Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.
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
Although her singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon, Audrey Hepburn's singing does actually appear in the form of the first verse of "Just You Wait, Henry Higgins". However, when the song heads into the soprano range (one minute and sixteen seconds in), Nixon takes over vocals. Hepburn sings the last thirty seconds of the song as well as the brief reprise. She also sings the sing-talking parts for "The Rain in Spain". Overall, as Hepburn reportedly said, about ninety percent of her singing was dubbed. That was far more than what she expected, as she was initially promised that most of her vocals would be used. According to Nixon, Hepburn was upset that she could not play the role vocally, and always blamed herself for that. See more »
During the song "Why Can't The English?" Higgins sings 'Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning'. Actually, Arabians learn Arabic. 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 »
In the remastered version of the film, some of the scene changes are changed from sudden cuts to wipe outs, as they probably were when the film was released. When CBS Fox released it on video originally, they were changed to sudden cuts. 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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