Now Out on DVD

         The next DVDs I would love to purchase are My Fair Lady and A Streetcar Named Desire. These two films would good to watch over and over.

         The 1964 film My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor and based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion, is performed beautifully. The main characters are portrayed by outstanding actors and actresses: Audrey Hepburn as Eliza, Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins, and Wilfrid Hyde-White as Colonel George Pickering. The DVD would include bonus features such as bloopers, behind-the-scenes interviews, a director's interview, and interviews about the costume designs. Bloopers are found in many of today's DVDs, and they illustrate that actors and actresses are not perfect. I would enjoy watching Hepburn, Harrison, and Hyde-White goof up in some of the scenes. For example, I am curious how many times Hepburn did not laugh or giggle in her speech lessons with Harrison. Also, I am curious if those three had to perform the scene wherein Eliza says the sentences correctly and starts singing "The Rain in Spain." That particular scene is my favorite in the film.

         Another bonus feature would be behind-the-scenes interviews. The interviews would include Hepburn, Harrison, and Hyde-White. They would tell their favorite and least favorite scenes, why they chose to perform in a musical, and what their plans for the future are. Any viewer would be curious to hear why Hepburn chose this role and what she had to endure when practicing dialects and singing.

         Also, the director, George Cukor, would have his own interview. Hearing from the director's viewpoint is a great way to understand the film even better. Any viewer or fan of My Fair Lady would be anxious to hear how Cukor chose the cast and how much he based My Fair Lady on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. Another question would be why Cukor decided to place the actors in a horse-racing scene at Ascot instead of Shaw's version, in which Eliza meets Higgins' mother at her house. The last question would involve his interaction with Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, who were responsible for the lyrics and musical aspect.

         The last extra feature of the DVD would involve the way costumes were designed. Cecil Beaton's design work with fascinating, elaborate costumes and makeup is outstanding. Hepburn looks beautiful as she grows into the mannerly Eliza. For example, the costumes Eliza wears at the horse races and ball are detailed and intricately styled. Hepburn looks particularly breathtaking in those two scenes.

         A Streetcar Named Desire would make another unique DVD. This 1951 film, directed by Elia Kazan and based on the 1947 play by Tennessee Williams, is considered a classic in today's society. A DVD extra would include an interview with the film's famous director. Kazan passed away in September 2003, having accomplished so much. Hearing an interview regarding the way he worked with the main characters, such as Stanley (Marlon Brando), Stella (Kim Hunter), Blanche (Vivien Leigh), and Mitch (Karl Malden) would better illustrate Kazan's responsibilities as a director. Another question would be why he decided to bring A Streetcar Named Desire to the big screen after it was produced as a Broadway play. The viewer might wonder if Kazan was worried about adapting the play to film. The director's work with Marlon Brando would be the focus of the next question. Brando is very famous in Hollywood due to his early involvement with Kazan. Kazan discovered Brando and saw great potential in him. The question would involve why and how he knew Brando would make such a terrific actor. Brando has the great looks of Hollywood; however, he had fine acting abilities as well.

         Another bonus feature of the DVD would include deleted or added scenes. Many viewers might not have seen the theatrical production of Streetca; and wonder about differences or changes the play went through in production as a film.

         These two great films, My Fair Lady and A Streetcar Named Desire are very famous, and owning them on DVD is certainly desirable. The bonus features would only enhance the film even more. The viewer would receive a better understanding of the cast and director. I hope that in the future, these two classics will be on my DVD shelf.

Kyla DeHay

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