Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 75. My Fair Lady (1964)
75. My Fair Lady [DVD] (1964)
After they hear a cockney flower girl talking in the street, Higgins proposes to transform the girl, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), into a refined Victorian lady with an aristocratic accent. After some hesitation Eliza agrees to become their test case.
Directed by: George Cukor
Written by: Alan Jay Lerner (screenplay and book)
George Bernard Shaw (play)
Length: 170 min
Budget: $17,000,000 (estimated)
Gross Revenue: $72,000,000 (USA)
The loverliest motion picture of them all! (tagline)
Review: I bought this DVD mainly as part of my Best Picture Oscar Collection and not so much for the movie itself. I remember seeing it on TV when I was a kid but forgotten pretty much everything about it.
Then I re-watched it and got hooked!
This is a lovely movie. Sure the movie is older than most of the other ones on this list, but it has such charm, great songs and characters it deserves to be on here.
Heck, just the fact that Audrey Hepburn stars in it makes it deserving. …well, and the 8 Academy Awards it won of course…
8 Wins: Best Picture (Jack L. Warner) Best Actor in a Leading Role (Rex Harrison) Best Director (George Cukor) Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color (Gene Allen, Cecil Beaton, George James Hopkins) Best Cinematography, Color (Harry Stradling Sr.) Best Costume Design, Color (Cecil Beaton) Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment (André Previn) Best Sound (George Groves) (Warner Bros. SSD)
4 Losses: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Stanley Holloway) Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Gladys Cooper) Best Film Editing (William H. Ziegler) Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Alan Jay Lerner)
I won’t get into the details, but you’ll get the full story on the “Audrey Hepburn doesn’t do her own singing” debacle, along with the “Julie Andrews”- beef. To put it in context, it was as big as the recent “Natalie Portman doesn’t do her own dancing in Black Swan”-chocker.. Yeah, I know.. It was THAT HUGE!!
Man, I wish I was around back in the sixties so I could meet Audrey Hepburn. I think she is just lovely… Or for that matter back in whenever time this movie is set in. It would be fun to live in a time where people burst out in song and dance in the streets.
Nerdiest Movie Trivia: James Cagney was originally offered the role of Alfred Doolittle. When he pulled out at the last minute, it went to the man who played it on Broadway, Stanley Holloway. Peter O’Toole, Cary Grant, Noel Coward, Michael Redgrave and George Sanders were all considered for the role of Higgins before Rex Harrison was finally chosen to reprise his Broadway role.
When asked why he turned down the role of Henry Higgins, Cary Grant remarked that his original manner of speaking was much closer to Eliza Dolittle.
PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 76. Clueless (1995)