Pygmalion Rises above My Fair Lady

     Pygmalion was a story that I enjoyed very much this semester. It was entertaining to me because, although it contained everything a "classic" film would contain, it also was comedic to me; and that is one thing that is present in all of my favorite movies. Pygmalion, a 1913 play by George Bernard Shaw, was head and shoulders better than My Fair Lady, the 1964 musical film of the same content, directed by George Cukor and based on the 1956 musical play by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe. I loved the story line in both movies. It actually had a purpose for once! Teaching Eliza the language properly and then showing her progress with added bits of comedy was genius, and Pygmalion proved this.

     One thing that I must say, though, is that My Fair Lady had a better casting in some ways than Pygmalion. It is hard to beat Audrey Hepburn in a movie, but I honestly could not portray her as a street rat in my head. Although Pygmalion's Wendy Hiller did a much better job with that, Hepburn blossomed better as the new and improved Eliza. Leslie Howard did a fine job as Professor Higgins in Pygmalion, but once again I feel My Fair Lady had the better casting call with Rex Harrison. He just seemed a more believable "Professor."

     Although both movies did a fine job with the story, the main reason that I feel Pygmalion is far better is that it is actually lacking in one aspect of the movie: MUSIC! Personally, I hate musicals. Honestly, I would say I despise them and maybe even fear them, so when we were told My Fair Lady was a musical, my vote could have been cast right there on the spot.

     I just cannot see how singing throughout the entire movie could not seem just entirely lame to everyone; but I am not the voice of all; just myself, and that is the reason I am stating that Pygmalion was the better of the two films.

Thomas Oliverio

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