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My Fair Lady

Director: George Cukor; Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison; Release Date: January 16, 2007

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loverly new "Fair Lady" release

  • Aug 24, 2009
Rating:
+5
This is Paramount's first chance to release MY FAIR LADY on DVD; following a lapse in the distribution/copyright formerly controlled by Warner Brothers. No doubt they'll later include it in an Audrey Hepburn box-set with their other Hepburn titles ("Roman Holiday", "Funny Face" and "Sabrina" among them).

MY FAIR LADY is a true cinema classic; one of the last major Hollywood musicals and the film which finally netted director George Cukor a belated Academy Award for 'Best Director'. Based on the long-running Broadway musical and G.B. Shaw's "Pygmalion", the story follows the grooming of Cockney flower-seller Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) into a lady of refinement by linguistics professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison). These two opposites could hardly be more different, until the day that Higgins admits he's "grown accustomed to her face"...

With a star-studded supporting cast (Wilfred Hyde-White, Jeremy Brett, Gladys Cooper and Stanley Holloway chief among them) and the soaring score of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, MY FAIR LADY is the glittering jewel which capped off the era of the great Hollywood musicals. Seldom again would audiences be treated to such a sumptuous spectacle on the screen.

Despite a huge critical backlash (concerning Julie Andrews not cementing her most acclaimed stage role on film), Audrey Hepburn gives a spirited performance as feisty Eliza. She worked hard to get her limited singing voice into the necessary shape to meet the demands of the score, yet at the 11th hour was replaced by noted Hollywood "ghost singer" Marni Nixon. Rex Harrison, having starred in both the Broadway and London productions of the show, was confident enough in his performance to sing his songs live (via a hidden microphone). Stanley Holloway--another veteran of the stage show--also triumphantly reprises his role for the screen.

Warner's previous double-disc Special Edition release (using the 1997 restored print of the film) was quite definitive. I can't imagine how Paramount is going to top that release--unless they perform a new remaster of the 1997 print. Still, MY FAIR LADY is one of those movies which deserves to always be in circulation, constantly enjoyed and discovered by new audiences. I can only hope a shiny new Blu-ray release is just around the corner...

EXTRA FEATURES:
* Audio commentary with restoration experts Robert Harris and James Katz, art director Gene Allen, and singer Marni Nixon
* Vintage featurettes, footage and audio
* Alternate Audrey Hepburn vocals
* poster and lobby card galleries (with Rex Harrison radio interview)
* "Comments On A Lady" interviews with Martin Scorcese and Andrew Lloyd Webber
* trailers

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More My Fair Lady reviews
Quick Tip by . August 24, 2010
Loved this film, and I am not a lover of the musical genre. Probably my favorite musical, I listen to the soundtrack in the car every so often. Even got my 30 yr. old daughter into it. Great acting by all, the music and score is just superb!!!
Quick Tip by . August 24, 2010
Loved this film, and I am not a lover of the musical genre. Probably my favorite musical, I listen to the soundtrack in the car every so often. Even got my 30 yr. old daughter into it. Great acting by all, the music and score is just superb!!!
review by . May 25, 2009
Many people know of the classic movie My Fair Lady. Few people watched it every night throughout their high school tenure as yours truly.  There is something about this movie that makes me see new aspects every time. I love how each character molds the other, how Eliza Dolittle becomes a "tower of strength." Something many young women need to see. I love the witty dialogue. You know it's good when you start to laugh before they say the line, even though you have heard in a hundred times you …
About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Ranked #147
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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A priceless classic, MY FAIR LADY has become one of the most popular musicals of all time. Based on George Bernard Shaw?s 1913 play PYGMALION, the film swept the Academy Awards. Cecil Beaton?s lavish sets and costumes and Lerner and Loewe?s winning score became the background for George Cukor?s striking mix of styles that ranged from the fantastic to the abstract in his telling of the tale of a waif who?s educated into being a lady. Egotistical linguist Professor Henry Higgins (Oscar-winning Rex Harrison) bets his friend, Colonel Hugh Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White), that he can transform Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) in time for an important society ball. His gamble could pay off--but the spirited Eliza is more of a handful than the Professor could have predicted. As she slowly becomes more refined, and less reliant upon him, Higgins realizes, to his confusion, that he can?t live without her. The film was nominated for 12 Oscars and won eight, including Best Picture and Director.
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