Pompous phonetics Professor Henry Higgins (Sir Rex Harrison) 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 (Audrey Hepburn), who agrees to speech lessons to improve her job prospects. Higgins and Eliza clash, then form an unlikely bond, one that is threatened by aristocratic suitor Freddy Eynsford-Hill (Jeremy Brett).Written by
U.S. television viewers had something of a Sir Rex Harrison film-fest on Thanksgiving week, 1973. Doctor Dolittle (1967) aired on Thanksgiving Eve on ABC, followed by this movie on NBC on Thanksgiving Day. This was the U.S. commercial television premiere of both movies, and was probably not a coincidence. See more »
At Ascot, Eliza mentions an aunt whose death was first ascribed to influenza. The story is set in 1912, but it was 1918 when the great Spanish flu pandemic swept the world, claiming 50-100 million lives. 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 »
In the remastered version of the film, some of the scene changes are changed from sudden cuts to wipe outs, as they probably were when the film was released. When CBS Fox released it on video originally, they were changed to sudden cuts. See more »
The character of Henry Higgins is greatly misunderstood by many and so is the film.
I have read in a great many places (including the IMDb) that Henry Higgins is a misogynist. It has also been said that the film is a misogynist's fairy tale. Anyone saying this has clearly not watched this film too closely.
First, Higgins is not a misogynist. A misogynist hates women. What Higgins is, in reality, is a misanthrope. A misanthrope basically dislikes and distrusts everyone! Watch the film and you'll notice that Higgins treats everyone with the same disregard-Col. Pickering, Eliza's father, his own mother-everyone receives his rather cynical disdain. Some of the minor characters come off being treated worse than the principals do. It's simply more noticeable with Eliza because it's more frequent, it's newer with Eliza because the other principal characters have known Higgins longer and thus take it in stride. The myth that Higgins is a misogynist is perpetuated by the song, "Why Can't A Woman Be More Like a Man?".
Second, it can hardly be called a misogynist's fairy tale. If that were the case, I doubt Alfred Doolittle would have cause to sing, "Get Me To the Church On Time", as he'd hardly be getting married. His life is just as "ruined" as Eliza's by his encounters with Higgins, just as altered as her life has been.
This is a great musical, a good movie and it was even better as the original play by Shaw. Well worth seeing. Recommended.
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