Definitely Sherlock

     Bernard Shaw's literary work Pygmalion was adapted into two different films. The first one, produced by Gabriel Pascal and directed by Anthony Asquith/Leslie Howard in 1938, was named after the original 1913 play. The second version was director George Cukor's and producer Jack Warner's 1964 cinematic version of the 1956 musical adaptation, My Fair Lady, by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

     The character from these two film versions that stands out to me after viewing each of them is Freddie Eynsford-Hill. One could not have picked two people who are more opposite of each other than this character is when compared between the two versions. In Pygmalion, David Tree plays the part of Freddie Eynsford-Hill. There are many words one can use to describe him; "dork" and "goofball" come to mind. He makes Leslie Howard look more and more attractive as the movie goes along. Tree's Freddie is very annoying the way he would just wait outside Henry's door all day and night waiting for Eliza.

     Then we have another story all together when we look at Jeremy Brett's portrayal of Freddie in My Fair Lady. In my opinion he takes the once misunderstood and annoying characteristics away from Freddie, as played by Tree, and makes him a more charming, more mysterious and handsome young man. In this version, I would clearly choose Freddie over Henry, even when Freddie hangs outside the door and waits for Eliza to come out. His portrayal of the character made him seem flattering and actually kind of cute. Jeremy Brett just seems to have to have this tall, dark, and handsome quality about him that makes one fall in love with him. I do not know if I am biased by my love for Sherlock Holmes; but, for whatever reason, this character alone changes the entire meaning of the play.

     The differing portrayals of Freddie definitely have an impact on whom I would have chosen had I been Eliza.

Amy Houck

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