2021 Blind Spot Series: My Fair Lady (Girl Week)

 

What I knew going in: The drama with casting.

Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) is a full of himself professor who bets a colleague he can turn crude flower seller, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) into a well spoken lady.

Once again, the movie I had planned to watch this month (Jungle Fever) fell through, but thankfully Dell's Girl Week blogathon was there to give me some inspiration. I've been wanting to expand my Audrey films lately, and this one is currently streaming on Netflix.

I know a lot of people kind of hate Audrey in this role. Marni Nixon dubs all of Audrey's singing because she didn't have the range required for the music. Julie Andrews didn't get to reprise her stage role which angered everyone. However, all these years later I feel I can unequivocally say that Audrey and Marni are the best part of this movie and it's utterly dull every moment they're not on screen.

Audrey plays Eliza like she's on stage. Her movement are very over the top and at first I wondered if that was the best choice, but as the film went on, I realized she was the only thing working for me. I think I expected a bit more music. Higgins is an insufferable twat so he's never very engaging on screen. Rex Harrison is great at playing this role, don't get me wrong, but I expected this to be more about Eliza than Higgins.

The costumes and sets are gorgeous, and Marni has such a lovely voice, but I didn't love this. As it's Girl Week, it's fitting that the only person in the film I found tolerable is the titular girl. That's the power of women.

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "Move your bloomin' arse!" - Eliza (Audrey Hepburn)


Comments

  1. Oh, it was Julie Andrews who created the role. You just have had Christie in your brain but cool because I just re-watched Dr. Zhivago. I knew the story so I knew Higgins was a big part. Rex Harrison originated the role of the musical version of this tale. I think you caught on to who Sexy Rexy was in real life. He was a real snot in person and not very nice to women. He was married to Lili Palmer but had affairs and one was with Carole Landis. He broke it off, like a jerk does, and she ended up committing suicide as a result. It hit the papers and they ended up calling him Sexy Rexy which he despised.

    I think I like this film better than you and would give it a B. I think Julie Andrews would have been better in the role. I prefer the 1938 British version, non singing, with Leslie Howard as Higgins and the wonderful Wendy Hiller as Eliza. This is a much, much better film and often now overlooked because of the flashier musical. I hope you see Pygmalion instead and compare it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG You're right. Thanks for catching that. It must have been because I was talking to someone about Away From Her recently. I'll blame that. I'll have to look out for that version!

      Delete
  2. This is actually one of my favorite movie musicals, not for the songs or the cast or even the story, but because it's about linguistics, my first and truest academic love.

    The characters can go scratch. Just give me those vowel sounds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Linguistics aspect of this was really interesting. And we always love someone who enunciates well when they sing. lol

      Delete
  3. I LOVE THIS FILM!!!!! It is so comical and the songs are just amazing. I knew it wasn't Audrey singing but I didn't care as I just loved her performance with the Cockney accent and then the more refined accent. Plus, I could've danced all night... I could've danced all night...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ouch! I haven't seen this one yet, but I plan to. Hate to hear that it didn't live up to expectations. I'll tread lightly. Thanks again, Brit!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I fall somewhere in between you and thevoid99. The film is beyond sumptuous and I can just get lost in that or the glorious songs but Higgins is insufferable. It's to Harrison's credit that you don't find him repulsive just infuriating and clueless. When Jack Warner bought the rights (for an exorbitant amount of money) he wanted some box office assurance and offered the part to Cary Grant but Cary cut him dead saying "If you don't cast Rex Harrison I won't even go SEE it!" That of course cost Julie Andrews Eliza since she was only known at the time in theatre circles.

    It should have been Julie Andrews as Eliza-I know it's fixed now but the idea of Julie Christie as Eliza is an intriguing one. Though she couldn't sing either she would have been able to carry off both sides of the role, but when the film was made she hadn't broken through yet though she was on the cusp. Ironically the year following this she won the Oscar for that very breakthrough picture Darling beating Julie Andrews for The Sound of Music. She brilliant in Away from Her (and should have won her second Oscar) but man is that a tough picture to sit through.

    Back to this picture. Even if she doesn't sing Audrey nails the emotional notes of the performance which is a huge key to making the picture work. The film isn't one I return to often but I did enjoy it. I second Birgit's suggestion to seek out the origin film Pygmalion for comparison.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, flop on my part lol. I think Away From Her is why I had her on my mind. I think Audrey does too. I'm not mad that Marni dubbed her because she has a lovely voice.

      Delete
  6. Audrey always gets a bad rap but I thought she was flawed but lovely. Rex Harrison, on the other hand, seems a little bored. Plus, Higgins is a bit of a jerk -- I never understood what Eliza saw in him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, for the amount of crap Audrey gets for this movie, I was expecting her to be way worse, and she was the best part IMO.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by, let's talk movies!
(comments are moderated to reduce spam)

Popular posts from this blog

Random Ramblings: The Radio Flyer Conundrum

Thursday Movie Picks - Oscar Edition: Best Cinematography and Visual Effects

Thursday Movies Picks: Based On A True Story