Friday, November 11, 2011

My Fair Lady (1964).

My Fair Lady (1964). Musical film adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical, of the same name. The film was directed by George Cukor and starred Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.

Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins, believes that a person's accent determines their place in society. He tells, Colonel Hugh Pickering, another phonetics expert, that he could teach any woman to speak "properly" so that he could pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball. For example the flower seller, Eliza Doolittle.

Eliza goes to Higgins for speech lessons. All she can afford to pay is a shilling per lesson. Pickering, who is staying with Higgins, loves the idea of passing a common flower girl off as a duchess and offers to pay for her lessons.

Also, down-on-his luck Eliza's father, Alfred P. Doolittle, shows up three days later, wanting Higgins, to pay him for using his daughter for his experiment. Eliza, begins her speech training and enduring Higgins' harsh approach to teaching. She makes little progress, but as they are all about to give up, Eliza finally "gets it" and she instantly begins to speak with an impeccable upper class accent.

As a test, Higgins takes her to Ascot Racecourse, where she makes a good impression, only to ruin it by a sudden lapse into Cockney while encouraging a horse to win a race. Higgins, hide a grin behind his hand.

Eliza, attends the embassy ball and dances with a foreign prince. Also, at the ball is Zoltan Karpathy, a Hungarian phonetics expert trained by Higgins. After having a conversation with Eliza, he certifies that she is of royal blood. All the praise goes to Higgins which angers Eliza and she walks out on him..

Eliza returns to her home, but finds that she no longer fits in. She meets her father, who has been left a large fortune by the wealthy Higgins and he is off to marry Eliza's stepmother. Eliza, goes to visit Higgins' mother, who is incensed at her son's behaviour.

Higgins finds Eliza and tries to talk her into coming back with him. Eliza, then announces that she is going to marry Freddy and become Karpathy's assistant. Higgins, now realizes that he needs her in his life.

This is a magnificent musical with a magnificent cast. The costumes are absolutely beautiful.

Dame Gladys Cooper(18 December 1888 – 17 November 1971). In 1913 she performed in her first film, The Eleventh Commandment, she then went on to make many more silent films. She also continued to perform on stage for many years. Later Cooper, performed in character roles and was mostly cast as the snobbish, society woman, although.. she sometimes played friendly characters, as she did in the film, Rebecca (1940).She was nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performances as Bette Davis's domineering mother in one of my favorite films, Now, Voyager (1942). Gladys, plays a wonderful supporting role as the skeptical nun in, The Song of Bernadette (1943). Gladys, also performed as Rex Harrison's mother, Mrs. Higgins, in My Fair Lady (1964). Other well known film performances include: The Green Years (1946), The Secret Garden (1949), Separate Tables (1958), The Happiest Millionaire (1967). She also had numerous television roles in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1967, at the age of 79, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

1 comment:

  1. Audrey Hepburn is a total delight in My Fair Lady. That is a movie that gives our family several movie quotes. I am not a Rex Harrison fan, and I cannnot stand Henry Higgins, so the ending of the movie bugs me...I always wish she'd chosen Freddy.

    As for Gladys Cooper, she was fabulous in Now, Voyager. As you know, that is my all-time favorite movie, so I've watched it many times. I never cease to be impressed by Glady's portrayal of Mrs. Vale.