When they are comparing the 1938 film Pygmalion to that of the 1964 film My Fair Lady, both based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, Pygmalion, there is one thing most viewers are asked. Do you prefer the musical version of the 1964 film My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor or the classic original cinematic version Pygmalion made in 1938 by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard? I personally preferred watching the musical version My Fair Lady. However, there are subtle differences these two films have.
The most obvious is simply the fact that My Fair Lady is the musical adaptation of the original 1938 film Pygmalion. What I like about musicals is the way they tell the story. They do so in such a unique and appealing way that it captures the viewer's attention and actually makes it easier for them to follow the film.
One main reason I like the musical version better is that I performed in my high school musicals. I know what it is like to audition for a part, practice for months, and get up on stage and perform in front of a crowd. It gave me a greater appreciation for the film. Only performers, like me and Rex Harrison, who played Henry Higgins, and Audrey Hepburn, who depicted Eliza Doolittle, and those supporting them really realize the amount of time and effort that goes into a production, especially one that involves music.
On the other hand, there are some people that believe the music takes away from the story and thus prefer the earlier cinematic version, with Leslie Howard portraying Henry Higgins and Wendy Hiller acting Eliza Doolittle. However, I believe the music gives the story and the actors life and energy. It gets the viewer, like myself, excited and interested.
In conclusion, I have to give a standing ovation to those actors
and actresses who had to sing. Getting in front of an audience and singing is not a simple thing
to do. It takes getting over a lot of nerve and shows self confidence when one is able to perform.
There are not many people in the business that can both act and sing while acting. This is what
differentiates those actors and actresses in musicals from those of others in the film and theater business. They are individuals who are able to diversify themselves from others with their ability to multitask when playing a role.