My Fair Lady

"Essential"

My Fair Lady Review


This is the cinematic version of Alan Jay Lerner's and Frederick Loewe's musical (the longest-running Broadway show of the 1950s), which was based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (both of which, of course, are still mainstays of theater and high school drama) -- though it has been stripped of its mildly socialistic overtones and turned into a musical romance. Nevertheless, this version of the play/musical is a film classic, which has entertained millions of people since its release.

The plot is familiar: Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) is a professor of linguistics and a pompous, contented bachelor. On a wager with a colleague, Higgins undertakes to teach an illiterate Cockney, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), to speak the King's English. Shaw's message was that, as the human mind is a blank slate, anyone in England could be aristocracy if they only had the right education. Lerner's screenplay dispenses with Shaw's dubious ideology, and instead turns the story into a smart romantic comedy satirizing various levels of British society. And like most musicals, the final message of My Fair Lady is love conquers all -- even misogynistic, pompous blokes like Higgins.

With all great movies, the greatness lies not in the premise, but in what the actors and writers do with it. Hepburn was a controversial casting choice, because Julie Andrews had played Eliza on stage and Hepburn had to lip-sync all of her famous songs (which were dubbed by an uncredited singer). But Hepburn's versatile performance makes the controversy irrelevant. Harrison's portrayal of Henry Higgins not only succeeds in making the character lovable and hate-worthy at the same time, but he also creates an almost archetypal personification of the upper-middle-class Englishman, conceited but ultimately discerning.

Perhaps the best recommendation about this movie is that it transcends its conventions and almost anyone, not just fans of musicals or romances or classics, may find it entertaining.



My Fair Lady

Facts and Figures

Run time: 170 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th December 1964

Budget: $17M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Fresh: 40 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Jack L. Warner

Starring: as Eliza Doolittle, as Professor Henry Higgins, as Alfred P. Doolittle, as Colonel Hugh Pickering, as Mrs. Higgins, as Freddy Eynsford-Hill, as Zoltan Karpathy, as Mrs. Pearce, Isobel Elsom as Mrs. Eynsford- Hill, John Holland as Butler

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.