One Fair Lady for Mr. Higgins

         In the 1964 George Cukor film My Fair Lady, based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 Pygmalion, we see a film yearning for a truly theatrical audience. This film appeals to those who view movies as a great spectacle or a play without the limitations of a live show. This film allows the viewer to think back to the beauty and grace of the first time they say a film of this caliber with its catchy musical numbers and gorgeous set design. We see great performances that are both comical and endearing.

         This film featuring the beautiful and sometimes over-animated Audrey Hepburn is a film that your parents enjoyed, you enjoy and your kids will enjoy. It has the unique ability to transcend time and generation the same way that Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of OZ, both directed by Victor Fleming in 1939, are able to. We see characters that are rarely weighed down by emotions but in the rare instance they are troubled they are only a good musical number away from happiness.

         One of the best additions to this work over the 1938 film Pygmalion, directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, is that we see far more of the loveable Mr. Doolittle character, as depicted by Stanley Holloway. Eliza's father is a drunken moralist weighed down by middle class morality, but that does not keep him from singing in the streets with his friends. This is a love story at heart but decides not to explore that aspect of the relationship between Eliza and Henry Higgins. It is very restrained in that aspect as if the movie consists primarily of cutaways from the subplot that lies beneath the surface for the cynics and the romantics to debate, though I do not think this is on the most watched list of most truly cynical people.

         This film takes you back to a time when people dressed up to the movies and were mesmerized by the mysterious beautiful people that were able to light up the screen every time they appeared.

Corey McBee

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