1964 • My Fair Lady

 

My Fair Lady, 1964

About time I see it!

Lauren and I are back to the Best Picture project after taking the summer months (and some fall months) off to concentrate on watching baseball and TV series on DVD like Six Feet Under and House.

But on Monday night, we popped in the next movie from our queue, My Fair Lady, the popular stage musical-turned-movie starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.  As is the case with anything we start watching after 9pm, I fell asleep halfway through and had to finish it on my own Tuesday.

My Fair Lady is the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young flower selling girl from the slums of London with a thick Cockney accent.  She becomes the subject of a bet between a pair of phonetics professors.  Henry Higgins bets Hugh Pickering that he can turn her into a presentable lady with a proper English accent.

The movie is packed with catchy memorable musical numbers, many of which I had heard before but didn’t realize where they were from.  Throughout the movie, I kept recognizing scenes that were spoofed or mentioned in other shows, specifically Family Guy and Seinfeld.

I’m not very good at giving in-depth reviews of movies as I don’t particularly watch a great number of movies.  But I can compare it to the other musicals we’ve seen to this point in the project (An American in Paris, Gigi, West Side Story) and say it blew them away!  My Fair Lady very easily transitioned from speaking to singing.  The story flowed well for the most part and I was rarely confused (which itself is rare as I often find myself confused with some older movies).  The costumes were lavish and authentic looking, but the set had a stage-like appearance, as if they had a fixed amount of space to work with.  And the acting was all-around top-notch, especially from Harrison and Stanley Holloway.

This is one of those movies that remains very popular to this day and seems to be referenced all the time in pop culture.  My biggest gripe is the length (just shy of three hours), and some scenes that seemed to drag on.  I think I would have rather seen this as a stage production than watching the movie.

In the end, I’d give My Fair Lady a score around 7 or 8/10.  Next up, we backtrack to 1960 for The Apartment, which just became available on Netflix.

 

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