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
When Eliza Dolittle demands to see what Henry Higgins has been writing about her, in the beginning of the film, he shows her his notebook, which she cannot read. The notation in the notebook is "Visible Speech", a phonetic notation invented by Alexander Melville Bell (father of Alexander Graham Bell) and extended and used heavily by Henry Sweet, a real-life phonetician and apparently the basis of the Henry Higgins character. See more »
When Prof. Higgins sings "An Ordinary Man" he turns on several phonographs, seconds later he turns off one of them but all of the sounds stop. 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.
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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 »
I first saw this film when I was eight years old, after receiving it as a first communion present from my mother. For months I watched the movie on an almost daily basis, and it was quickly a favorite. I thought it was absolute perfection.
Now that I am a bit older.. I notice that is does have quite a few flaws. It doesn't really capture the essence of Shaw's Pygmalion, but I don't think that should really take away from the movie; they should be treated as separate entities. Some of the sets are a little, well, cramped, but consider what they had to work with, they did a pretty good job.
And then there is the dubbing issue. I recently special on MFL on AMC, and they showed "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "Show Me" with Audrey's voice, and though Audrey may not have the perfect melodic voice of Marni Nixon, her voice was much more "Eliza". I really do think they should have just used her voice. If you watch "Funny Face", you get a good feel for voice, which I think is beautiful in a unconventional way.
Then, there is the question of whether Julie Andrews should have played Eliza in the film version of MFL. I've gone back and forth on this issue. Now, Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress of all time, and Julie Andrews is a close runner-up, so it really is hard to "choose". Of course Julie's voice is much better than even Marni Nixon's... but like I said before, I don't think a perfect singing voice really would suit Eliza. And as for which would play a better Eliza overall.. I really don't know. I wasn't alive to see MFL on Broadway, so I really can't compare the two. What I do know is that Audrey gave an amazing performance. Anyway, as someone else said, if Julie had played Eliza, who would have played Mary Poppins? ;)
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