My Fair Lady

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The film is based on the story Pygmalion (1912) by George Bernard Shaw (the name refers to the King of Cyprus who fell in love with a statue of his own making). Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) is an English Linguistics Professor who takes on Eliza Doolittle (a beautiful Audrey Hepburn) under his tutelage to change her from an unrefined flower girl with a Cockney accent to a genteel who brings forth the majesty and grandeur of the English language (which hasn't been used in America for years) with every utterance. Higgins is a misogynistic bachelor who pushes Eliza day and night, while wondering why a woman can't be more like a man, so she can learn to speak properly. Riding on Eliza's success is a bet Higgins makes with his friend, Colonel Hugh Pickering (Wilfred Hyde-White), wherein Higgins claims he will be able to pass Eliza off as a Duchess in six months. As Eliza and Higgins train together, they become accustomed to each other even though it is an abusive relationship on Higgins' part. Finally the inevitable confrontation occurs: Eliza has surpassed the teacher's expectations, but the teacher still considers her a common flower girl. How does one move forward in such a situation? The script, by Alan Jay Lerner, retains Shaw's acerbic wit and delicious irony and succeeds for that reason. Both the dialogue and the song lyrics are crafted extremely well. The music itself has a few high points but there are plenty of low ones as well. The acting is impeccable: Rex Harrison's role as a happy-but-cynical misanthrope (his excuse for treating Eliza badly is that he doesn't treat anyone any better) is played out extremely well. Audrey Hepburn's transformation from a common girl to a cultured lady is extremely convincing, particularly in terms of her accent (although her songs were dubbed by Marni Nixon). The supporting cast is excellent: Eliza's father Alfred P. Doolittle is played in a irreverent and charismatic manner by Stanley Holloway who gets some of the coolest...
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