If I were given the opportunity to present the laurel wreath award to the best adaptation of a play, I would give the award to the director of My Fair Lady, George Cukor. I think this 1964 film is not only entertaining, but it also captures the essence of the original work. George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion was a popular success, but I found it to be rather boring at times, until I watched its film versions. I think Pygmalionis good, but I feel that watching the play on screen brings the characters to life. The best adaptation of this play is the film version where Eliza Doolittle is portrayed by Audrey Hepburn. There are many reasons why I would choose this film as the best.
One reason I would give it the laurel wreath award is the cast. The cast in this film does a remarkable, accurate job of helping the audience truly understand, and relate to, the characters. When I watched the film, the cast looked exactly how I had imagined when reading the play. The casting choices for the film are amazing. My favorite character in this film is Eliza. Not only is Audrey Hepburn beautiful; she is also a fantastic performer. The best part of her performance is being able to see her transformation from a flower girl to a sophisticated woman. I also feel that Henry Higgins, portrayed by Rex Harrison, does an excellent job. He and Audrey Hepburn have great chemistry, and this aids in making the play so entertaining.
The next reason I would give this film a laurel wreath award is because of the setting. Cukor and the art and costume director, Cecil Beaton, do a great job of keeping the film consistent with the play. The props and costumes are very accurate and beautiful. The costumes and dresses worn by Eliza are very beautiful and help the audience to witness her transformation into an elegant, independent woman. The scenery throughout the film is good and makes the film come to life.
Although the endings in My Fair Lady and Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard's 1938 film version of Pygmalion are different, I still feel that Cukor's is the best adaptation. My Fair Lady is one of the only films that I feel does not take away from the source material but actually enhances it and makes it more enjoyable to watch.