At one time the longest-running Broadway musical, My Fair Lady was adapted by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe from the George Bernard Shaw comedy Pygmalion. Outside Covent Garden on a rainy evening in 1912, dishevelled cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) meets linguistic expert Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison). After delivering a musical tirade against “verbal class distinction,” Higgins tells his companion Colonel Pickering (Wilfred Hyde-White) that, within six months, he could transform Eliza into a proper lady, simply by teaching her proper English. The next morning, face and hands freshly scrubbed, Eliza presents herself on Higgins’ doorstep, offering to pay him to teach her to be a lady. “It’s almost irresistable,” clucks Higgins. “She’s so deliciously low. So horribly dirty.” He turns his mission into a sporting proposition, making a bet with Pickering that he can accomplish his six-month miracle to turn Eliza into a lady. This is one of the all-time great movie musicals, featuring classic songs and the legendary performances of Harrison, repeating his stage role after Cary Grant wisely turned down the movie job, and Stanley Holloway as Eliza’s dustman father. Julie Andrews originated the role of Eliza on Broadway but producer Jack Warner felt that Andrews, at the time unknown beyond Broadway, wasn’t bankable; Hepburn’s singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon, who also dubbed Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961). Andrews instead made Mary Poppins, for which she was given the Best Actress Oscar, beating out Hepburn. The movie, however, won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Harrison, and five other Oscars, and it remains one of the all-time best movie musicals. —Paramount
George Cukor (July 7, 1899 – January 24, 1983) was an Academy Award-winning American film director who mainly concentrated on comedies and literary adaptations. His career flourished at RKO and later MGM, where he directed a string of impressive films including What Price Hollywood? (1932), A Bill of Divorcement (1932), Dinner at Eight (1933), Little Women (1933), David Copperfield (1935), Romeo and Juliet (1936), and Camille (1937).
His career suffered a temporary setback when he was replaced as the director of Gone with the Wind (1939), but he continued to direct classic films with The Philadelphia Story (1940), Adam’s Rib (1949), Born Yesterday (1950) and A Star Is Born (1954). His last major success was My Fair Lady (1964), but he worked into the 1980s.
He was born George Dewey Cukor on the Lower East Side of New York City, the younger child and only son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants Victor, an assistant district attorney, and Helen Ilona (née Gross) Cukor. His parents… read more
watched it with my daughter - it surely had it lenghts andwasn't easy at all, but we did marvel at the colors, at the set design and the static tableaus. and at audrey hepburn.
although I often tried to offer her some explanations, she just wouldn't understand why Professor Higgins treats Eliza the way he did. He was a pure antagonist in her eyes. And she was very tensioned during the ball, fearing Eliza might be discovered as a fraud. The Moment she is invited by the transilvanian queen, until the prince opened the dance with her, was pure suspense.
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