Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|My Fair Lady |
Two-Disc Special Edition
Actors: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Jeremy Brett, Gene Allen, Julie Andrews
Directors: George Cukor, Suzie Galler
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 11/11/2008
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How do you do? And which DVD version to buy ...
William | Australia | 07/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"MFL is a marvellous film about a professor who turns a common flower girl into a lady. It is full of sing-a-long songs and funny moments. It is basically a classic for all the right reasons! Plenty of re-watch factor makes it a film to own.
In 1994, the film was restored and thank the lord they did! The film's negative was almost lost forever. In fact, the film had become yellow-tinged and full of scratches, blotches and all the rest! It would have been a very sad day for the movie industry if a flim like this had been lost.
The original DVD that featured this new restoration was released in the late 90's. This DVD included a 9 minute featurette, actor profiles, audio commentary, and Audrey Hepburn singing in 2 scenes.
This original 1-disc DVD has since been updated to a special 2-Disc Edition. Which one to get? I have both so I feel qualified to answer this. The new DVD includes all the features found on the original DVD, except the actor profiles. The new DVD once again includes the restored print but is apparently a new transfer from the restored print. However, according to a report that I have read, the new transfer is not perfect and has aliasing problems throughout. The average watcher probably won't pick up on this detail. If this is an issue to you, purchase the original edition DVD where the transfer has been given two thumbs up!
The advantage of the special 2-Disc Edition DVD is that it includes a 58 minute 1994 documentary hosted by Jeremy Brett (Audrey's love interest in the film). Jeremy is no longer with us, so it's nice to have this as a piece of nostalgia. On top of this, there are many more features on this disc that aren't included on the original DVD such as footage from the film's premiere, production dinner, as well as discussions with Rex and Audrey.
The choice is easy. If you're a fan of the film and don't care for all the extras, buy the original DVD. You at least get the best transfer. If you do care about having all the extras, buy both!"
A flower girl blossoms into an exquisite woman
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 02/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The opening scenes of the rain-drenched cobblestone roads and theatrical backdrop lend a stage feel to a film adaptation of the Lerner & Loewe musical. Since it was based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play "Pygmalion", you won't mind the occasional "stage" echoes. In fact, that adds to the appeal.
We find Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) selling flowers and spewing out the most dreadful words in a Cockney accent. It is really almost unbearable, but don't turn the movie off as it doesn't last too long. Audrey Hepburn is perhaps the most beautiful actress to ever grace the screen in my humble opinion. Here, she shines and is only a wall flower for the first part of the movie. Later she blossoms into an exquisite woman who could win the heart of any man. It is truly her best acting.
Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) and Colonel Pickering discover her selling flowers and after Professor Higgins throws money into her flower basket we expect the two will never meet again. Eliza has other ideas and proudly marches up to the professor's home and demands to be taught to speak like a lady.
Colonel Pickering then makes a bet with Professor Higgins and says that if he can turn this uncultured "gutter snipe" with a "simply ghastly" accent into a sophisticated, elegant duchess, he will pay for all the expenses. (Reminiscent of "Trading Places" to give a modern example) It is just irresistible to the professor and so he takes on a challenge for six months.
Higgins arrogant attitude will make you laugh. He is humerously as unaware of other's feelings as he is of his own. He is at first very unlikeable, yet made me laugh through the whole movie. You will enjoy his eccentric view of life and cunning attitude as he tempts Eliza with chocolates.
When you hear "I Could Have Danced All Night," you will know why this will become one of your favorite musicals. "On the Street Where You Live" always makes me cry. The script is superb and humorous in so many places. you will find yourself crying, laughing, and becoming increasingly enchanted as the movie progresses. I love this line:
"The great secret in life is not a question of good manners or bad manners, or any particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls." -Professor Higgins
Higgins and Eliza have quite a few passionate verbal exchanges which are quite amusing. Eliza says: "I want a little Kindness" and we immediately know that love is the only aspect missing from this relationship. Higgins has to learn to love and that to me is the undercurrent in this movie. While Eliza learns to speak well, Higgins learns to love well.
This unlikely romance is food for the soul. The ending is unpredictable and cute. The movie is sumptuously filmed and it is undeniable witty and sophisticated. The costumes and hair styles are the most elegant I have ever seen. If you enjoy ironic, intellectual comedy, be prepared to also fall in love with the most irresistible songs of all time. This enduring classic could not have been pulled off without Audrey Hepburn. No one could have played Henry Higgins like Rex Harrison!
There is a beauty about this movie which is just as eternal as love. You will want to own your own copy so you can watch it again and again. It has never lost its charm for me.
~The Rebecca Review"
More than fair, it's luverly
Daniel | 02/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a extremely elegant and stylish movie - the kind of spectacle that you just don't see any more, in a certain type of Technicolour that just isn't duplicated these days. Extremely witty and classic songs, a swish script, and gorgeous costumes. Admittedly, it is eye candy, but what eye candy! George Cukor directs it with true aplomb, turning "Titanic-era" London into a stylised and colourful melée, bringing out the humour and joyfulness of the screenplay, and Cecil Beaton's extravagant and yet, somehow, chic costumes and sets form a perfect setting for the actors - and the actors themselves are superb. Rex Harrison is totally believable as Henry Higgins, mixing crustiness with a very dry humour, whereas Audrey Hepburn looks just right as Eliza Doolittle. One is forced to ponder what Julie Andrews would have done in the role, following her playing the part on stage, but I just can't see Eliza played by anyone other than Audrey Hepburn, who is, quite simply, delicious. From the mawkish, ramshackle flower-girl, to the rebellious pupil, to the cool and composed "lady" of the title, she is perfectly credible, whether throwing a Cockney temperament, or floating through the conservatory, calmly sending Professor Higgins about his business. I am told her Cockney accent is awful, but being deaf, I cannot comment; no more than I can comment upon the fact that apparently her recording of "Oh Wouldn't It Be Luverly" has been reinstated upon the soundtrack. The appeal for this film lies in its spectacle - I saw it at the cinema once, in an arthouse revival, and it was utterly amazing - and in the speech therapy storyline, which has a lot of relevance to me. "My Fair Lady" is simply... a cinematic glory of a particular type that would be impossible to duplicate ever again. The Ascot scene is worth the money alone, a refreshing, gliding harmony of black and white, choreographed and stylised escapism, totally summing up the essence of a musical.Ah, it's lu-ver-ly - Lu-ver-ly - Lovely!"
2-disc or not two discs
Dr. Chuang Wei Ping | Singapore | 05/26/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"WARNING: All the five stars refer to the movie itself, and does not address the issue of whether paying for the second disc is a rip-off. Five stars for the single disc version was richly deserved. I had half expected the 2 disc version to have DTS since they shifted virtually all the extra features from disc 1 to disc two. The only thing left on disc 1 was the movie, same commentary, same subtitles and audio track. If they had an audio track with Audrey singing in place of Marni Nixon, it would have been a dream dvd. For some inexplicable reason, the single disc version was among the Amazon top 100 discs in 2002 for some time, although it has been out since the mid-90s. Amazon's editor was correct when he said the main attraction of the 2nd disc was the 58 minute Documentary hosted by Jeremy Brett. Move along folks, folks, nothing to see here, nothing really new unless you are time warped back one or two decades. A concise version of this documentary would be "The Fairest Fair Lady" which is already in the single disc version.
You already HAVE the Audrey Hepburn Vocals in the single disc version. The rest of the stuff in disc 2 is usually given away FREE, like in Gladiator, Last Samurai, Master and Commander, where one viewing of the stills is more than enough.
Now, the sellers of the 2-disc set have actually REMOVED the CAST AND CREW section found in the one disc version. This Cast and Crew with filmographies and biographies contain a huge chunk of valuable information including the fact that Audrey's given name was Edda, not Audrey. Do not throw away your one disc version. If you bought the 2 disc version, you might want to buy the single- disc version to find out where Audrey Hepburn was born, won the Oscar and got nominated. What were the other actors like Wilfred Hyde-White doing other than My Fair Lady.
I tell you what I like about the 2 Disc version:
1. the interviews with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison at the 1963 production Kickoff Dinner, with a couple of jokes from Mr Warner.
2. George Cukor directing Baroness Rothschild: a Henry Higgins coaching Eliza Doolitle parody. The audio track ran for only a few minutes, and I had a new found respect for Directors. Even a Baroness needs lessons in elocution. When I watch the movie again, I will imagine George Cukor speaking using the actors and actresses as his instrument. It explains how Cukor's actresses got their Oscars.
3. The Los Angeles Premiere in B&W is a few minutes of glitterati distraction.
The rest of Disc 2 is really scraping the floor of the store-room. For those who already own the single disc edition, and do not have disposable income to burn, get the 2 disc edition of the TEN COMMANDMENTS instead. For the price of 5 commandments (about half the price of the 2 disc My Fair Lady), you will get more than double the enjoyment, making it look like "the TWENTY COMMANDMENTS". That is where a second disc is not purely a money making exercise: thou shalt not steal from gullible covetuous dvd buyers.
Rex Harrison Golden Globe Acceptance is a clip from the Andy William's show, where he apologised for not being at the real event, so he accepted it on AW's show. Shame.
Academy Awards Cermony Highlights: just one minute or less of Mr Warner accepting the oscar for best picture. Not one bit of the other awards at all.
So two stars for the additional info on disc two. I would buy anything remotely related to my favourite musical, but if I were to search my heart for value added, I would say two extra stars is very very generous. Now, if ever they come out with a DTS version, we will have to throw the whole TWENTY COMMANDMENTS at this bunch of crooks for not putting DTS into this version.
Do you really need Martin Scorsese and Andrew Lloyd Weber's comments on My Fair Lady to supplement your own? What is their connection to My Fair Lady anyway, that we must hear what they have to say about this musical in the "Special Features". When we do not hear from Andre Previn who was responsible for the score, there is no need to hear from Andrew Lloyd Webber."