Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|My Fair Lady|
Actors: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper
Director: George Cukor
Genres: Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
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... more »
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Samuel K. (Solvanda)
Reviewed on 9/24/2018...
1964 musical inspired by the stage musical which was inspired by the 1913 stage play "Pygmalion" by George Bernard Shaw. I've always appreciated this film for the human lesson residing at it's core. Personally I think Pygmalion Projects are some of the worst atrocities human beings can commit against another, whether small or large in scale. How many people in the last century alone did things for "the people's own good," paving a road to hell instead? Although, the film is much lighter in fare, the lesson of the original tale is still there underneath:
In Greek legend, a brash young sculptor named Pygmalion found the women of Cyprus so impossibly flawed that he resolved to carve a statue of his ideal woman, embodying every feminine grace and virtue. For months he labored with all his prodigious skill (and also with a strange compulsion), rounding here, smoothing there, until he had fashioned the most exquisite figure ever conceived by art. So exquisite indeed was his creation that Pygmalion fell passionately in love with the statue, and could be seen in his studio kissing its marble lips, fingering its marble hands, dressing and grooming the figure as if caring for a doll. But soon, and in spite of the work's incomparable loveliness, Pygmalion was desperately unhappy, for the lifeless statue could not respond to his desires, the cold stone could not return the warmth of his love. He had set out to shape his perfect woman, but had succeeded only in creating his own frustration and despair.
In our closest relationships, we all behave like Pygmalion to some extent. Many of us seem attracted at first to creatures quite different from ourselves, and seem to take pleasure in the contrast. But as we become more involved and start to vie for control of our relationships, we begin to see these differences as flaws. No longer satisfied with our loved ones as they are, we set about to change them, to transform them into our conception of what they should be. No longer able to appreciate out loved ones' distinctive ways of living, we try to shape them according to our own values or agendas. Like Pygmalion, in short, we take up the projects of sculpting them little by little to suit ourselves. We snipe and criticize, brow-beat and bully, we sculpt with guilt and with praise, with logic and with tears -- whatever methods are most natural to us. Not that we do this ceaselessly, nor always maliciously, but all to often, almost without thinking, we fall into this pattern of coercive behavior.
And like Pygmalion, we are inevitably frustrated, since our well-intentioned efforts to make over our loved ones bring us little more than disappointment and conflict. Our loved ones do not -- cannot -- comply meekly with our interferences in their lives, and even if they were to surrender to our pressure, they would have to destroy in themselves what attracted us in the first place, their individuality, their distinct breath of life. Our Pygmalion projects must fail; either our loved ones fight back, and our relationships become battlegrounds; or they give in to us, and become as lifeless as Pygmalion's statue. In this paradoxical game, we lose even if we win.
In the legend, as it turns out, Venus took pity on Pygmalion and brought his statue to life, and he and "Galatea," as he name her, blushed, embraced, and married with the goddess's blessing. The rest of us, however, cannot rely on such miraculous intervention. Living in the real world, we are responsible ourselves for the success of our relationships, and this means we must find a way to abandon our Pygmalion projects, by learning, if we can, to honor our fundamental differences in personality. For only by respecting the right of our loved ones to be different from ourselves -- to be perfect in their own ways -- can we begin to bring the beauty of our own relationships alive. And, to put a positive and forward-gazing spin on this, an upward calling -- if we're perceptive and appreciative enough -- we may even nurture and feed these natural strengths, enabling those around us to reach their inherent potentials.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jennifer H. from REDONDO BEACH, CA
Reviewed on 5/5/2010...
A wonderful classic!
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
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!"