Does Music Do More, or Doolittle?

     The 1964 musical film My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor and starring Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Stanley Holloway, and Jeremy Brett, is a wonderful adaptation of the original 1913 play Pygmalion, written by George Bernard Shaw, and the 1956 musical play, written by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

     Audrey Hepburn plays the main character of Eliza Doolittle, an under-educated, poor, flower-selling guttersnipe. She becomes the interest of the cocky Professor Henry Higgins, who claims he can turn that flower-selling guttersnipe into a regal lady. Professor Higgins area of expertise is the structure of the human language. The story is the classic tale of a sow's ear transforming into a silk purse. The musical takes the story even one step further with the addition of many catchy tunes and a number of dance routines.

     Sure enough, Higgins is a man of his word. He takes that "flower-selling guttersnipe" and turns her into a graceful, well-spoken and well-carried lady. The task of changing Eliza almost became an obsession for Higgins. Night after night he repeats the same things over and over, "Say it again Eliza!" The story had all the great components of a good story--and with the musical just adding more to the story with the catchy tunes that I seemed to hum for weeks after I had watched the film.

     I feel one of the high points of the story that the book seemed to miss and the musical picked right up on is the character of Eliza's father, who fully lives down to his name of "Doolittle." I felt the song "With a Little Bit of Luck" was one of the best in the musical. He brought a whole new aspect of comedy to the story and lightened things up, while it highlighted his Doolittle character.

     The story is classic literature at its best. It was very well represented in the musical with also a touch of their own unique style to better the story. The story is one that can be enjoyed by all races, sex, and ages.

Ryan Jenkins

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