Skip to content

Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 75. My Fair Lady (1964)

August 6, 2011

75. My Fair Lady [DVD] (1964)

Plot: A chance meeting between two noted British linguists, Prof. Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) and Col. Hugh Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White), leads to a wager that will test Higgins’ skills.

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.

Also Starring: Stanley HollowayGladys CooperJeremy Brett

Genre: Musical/Comedy
Directed by:
George Cukor
Written by: Alan Jay Lerner (screenplay and book)
George Bernard Shaw (play)

170 min
Budget: $17,000,000 (estimated)
Gross Revenue:  $72,000,000 (USA)

The loverliest motion picture of them all! (tagline)

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…

Oscar Count:
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)

And even if you might have seen the movie before, the restoration of the picture/sound and the DVD extras will make it a completely new watching experience.

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)


2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2011 10:59

    Thanks! What you wrote here actually made me happy for living… during these days where you just can’t burst into song and dance in the streets.

  2. August 6, 2011 10:59

    I recently watched this in DVD too – fabulous. Great performances in particular from Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. I loved the sets and the fashions too.

    And on the DVD the old footage interviews with Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn and one of the original Warner Brothers, Jack L Warner.

    And if you want to live in a world where everyone is constantly in song you should consider The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, the 1964 Jacques Demy film – magical.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: