Directed By: George Cukor
Written By: Alan Jay Lernor
Based On The Play: George Bernard Shaw
Staring: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper, and Jeremy Brett
I’ve grown accustomed to her face! She almost makes the day begin! I’ve grown accustomed to the tune that she whistles night and noon. Her smiles, her frowns, her ups, her downs, are second nature to me now, like breathing out and breathing in… I was serenely independent and content before we met! Surely I could always be that way again… And yet… I’ve grown accustomed to her looks, accustomed to her voice, accustomed… to her… face. -Professor Henry Higgins
Audrey Hepburn is both beautiful and hilarious in My Fair Lady. The music captivates you, the performances were spectacular, and the play was transformed exceptionally onto film. This is one of my favorite musicals of all time. There is a magic, overall enthusiasm and excitement about My Fair Lady that we don’t often see in today’s musicals or film period. Without question this is a looooong movie, but it is one well worth every second of pleasure while viewing it.
A street rat vagabond becomes the subject of a debate between two socialites. One believes that his skills are so high that he could even transform one of the street people into a well spoken, well mannered elitist. The bet is on and Eliza becomes the guinea pig. Of course both Eliza and Henry get much more than they bargained for. Henry realizes what a spitfire and Eliza’s stubborn nature will do to inhibit her progress while Eliza has to constantly stuff who she below the cuff for outwards appearances, thus having her feelings tremendously stomped on regularly. All the while something more develops between the two that neither really realize until it seems too late.
Hepburn’s transformation as Eliza Doolittle from crazy vagabond to elegant socialite is an amazing and invigorating evolution. Even as the loud, foul mouthed Eliza Hepburn is charming. Her character will make you laugh, even cringe at times, but she is so charismatic you can’t turn away from the screen. When she takes on the role of a soft spoken intellect she become enamoring, beautiful on the outside just as she already was on the inside. The conflict of balancing her true personality and the liberation of knowledge and social enlightenment becomes a compelling character arc to watch unfold, especially when her feeling for Henry become confused as well.
The romance seems an impossible prediction at the beginning, but a natural solution by the finale. We fell in love with Eliza so why shouldn’t Henry as well? It by all means seems like an impossible relationship, but the unfolding of it was such a natural and slow creation it somehow seemed to make all the sense in the world. When Henry realized he loved Eliza for not who she had become but for who she was it was the best part of the movie.
My Fair Lady is a classic for a reason. Staring the glamorous and enthralling Audrey Hepburn she was at her very best with the delightful Rex Harrison. Each moment they were onscreen together was a moment you couldn’t peel your eyes away from it. This was a movie that showed musicals when they had passion and excitement and heart that is so different in today’s perception. It truly is like taking a trip in a time machine as it really captures the essence of that time and era. I adore this movie.