Musical Monday: My Fair Lady

Posted on March 26, 2007

Yes, it’s My Fair Lady, that fluffy, candy-colored musical about class distinction and prostitution for people too polite to call it prostitution!

Our story opens in turn of the century Covent Garden in London, where Audrey Hepburn attempts to pass herself off as dirty, poor Eliza Doolittle by wearing a ratty wig and shitty clothes.


As her betters stream out into the street after the opera, she encounters Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins, an expert on language and phonetics who, to the crowd’s delight, berates the ignorant girl for her poor language skills and ridicules her to his heart’s content. The asshole’s hat costs more than she makes in a year.


Higgins meets Colonel Pickering, another language expert who has a slight touch of conscience and mildly rebukes Higgins for treating Eliza badly. Higgins laughs him off, boasts that he could pass her off as a duchess in 6 months and invites Pickering back to his place to listen to his vowel sounds.

They’re not gay; they’re English. It’s easy to confuse the two.


Eliza’s all “Whatever, assholes.” Her dirty drunken father shows up and scams her out of some beer money. At this point Eliza has a moment and decides there’s probably more to life than picking flowers out of the street and enabling your alcoholic father.

Follow along with the bouncing ball! “Wouldn’t it be Loverly” is a catchy, sweet, hum-along kind of tune that Audrey lip-synchs to near-perfection.


Fresh from a session of empowering lip-synching, Eliza shows up on Higgins’ doorstep and demands that he follow through on his boast to pass her off as a duchess.


See, you can tell she’s poor because she’s dirty and loud. Poor people are so icky.


After scaring the shit out of her, Higgins gets her to stay by bribing her with chocolates. Poor people are so stupid and easily swayed.


Meanwhile, Eliza’s father hears that she’s shacking up with a rich guy and decides this is his chance to cash in a little on his daughter’s body.


Back at Chez Higgins, Eliza is strapped into machines and forced to perform.


Higgins and Pickering tell her it’s to improve her pronunciation, but really…


…they’re just fucking with her.

Higgins and Pickering are basically a couple of frat boys.


While Eliza is locked in a closet, forced to yell out her vowels, her father shows up and tries to scam Higgins out of a little money in exchange for his daughter. Higgins is delighted by the man’s complete lack of morals and sends him on his way with a couple of speaking engagements. No, really.


Late one night, after weeks of exhausted vowel-uttering, Eliza accidentally pronounces a word correctly.


Higgins and Pickering are so shocked that all their fun and games at the poor girl’s expense actually worked that they do a couple hits of crystal and freak the fuck out.

Not wanting to share any of their stash, the men head upstairs to smoke in piece and the servants try and get the starry-eyed Eliza to bed.

“I Could Have Danced All Night” is another of the film’s highly sing-able and memorable tunes that Eliza once again lip-synch’s beautifully. This film has one overriding message: It doesn’t matter if you’re poor, uneducated and untalented. If you’re pretty and have money, you can fake the rest.


The boys decide to take Eliza to Ascot, where the order of the day is big hats and spinal deformities.


At Ascot, we meet Henry’s mother, who gets the best line of the movie “Henry. What a disagreeable surprise.” We vow that we will utter this line in real life some day.

Henry fills her in on their little scam and asks her help in passing off a streetwalker as a member of the gentry. Always up for a good game of Fuck With The Poor, she’s all for it, which tells you why Higgins turned out to be such an asshole.


Eliza enters looking stunning.

Here’s the thing about Audrey Hepburn: she couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag, and as this film proves, she couldn’t sing; she wasn’t a sexpot and she had the body of a 12-year-old boy, but the bitch could wear clothes like nobody’s business and had the kind of personality and face that overrode any of her shortcomings in the talent area. She was, in short, the perfect movie star. All looks and personality, not so much talent.


Anyway, she disgusts her betters by telling inappropriate stories about alcoholics and murderers in her family. Pickering and Higgins are appalled, but Freddy – effete, useless Freddy – is smitten.


That night, Eliza’s too embarrassed by the day’s events to even look at them, but the boys are thrilled and plan to polish her up a little more and take her to the Embassy Ball.


Outside, Freddy demonstrates that he’s Eliza’s soul mate by proving that he can lip-synch just as impeccably as she can.

Just a word of advice: you haven’t really heard “On the Street Where You Live” until you sing it in a gay piano bar with a roomful of queens desperately straining to hit the high notes.

So, the night of the ball comes soon enough.

You know, everyone considers the Breakfast at Tiffany’s black gown with a string of pearls to be her signature look, but these two queens always though that this was the most stunning thing she ever wore on film – and that’s really saying something since plenty of top name designers scratched each other’s eyes out to get a chance to dress her.


So of course they take her to the ball and she’s a huge hit. She’s Audrey Hepburn for crying out loud! How could she NOT be a huge hit.


That night, the boys boast and preen in front of the servants. “Haha! Dirty flower girl! They thought she was a duchess! That little scumqueen? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!”


Finally showing a little backbone, Eliza attempts to murder Higgins. He smacks her around a bit and she packs her bags to leave.


Outside, she runs into Freddy, who must really smell at this point since he’s been living on the street for at least a couple weeks. He sings sweetly to her and she almost melts.

Then she remembers that he’s another of those rich English assholes who just likes to fuck with her. If she’d had a knife on her, this would have been a very different movie.


Higgins wakes up the next day completely flabbergasted that Eliza would leave. It was all in good fun! Now strap yourself into that machine like a good girl and say your vowel sounds. He finds her at his mother’s house where she is wearing what has to be one of the ugliest dresses she ever wore. This thing is irritating, it’s so ugly.

Anyway, he begs her to come back and basically wait on him hand and foot and she tells him to go fuck himself. Politely.


So he goes off to pout and talk/sing the most damning-her-with-faint-praise song ever: “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” Seriously, that’s the best he could say about her? This song is not high on the list of most common Prom themes or wedding songs.


Anyway, Eliza comes home to Higgins, he immediately lapses into old habits of ignoring her and ordering her around and she inexplicably seems to love it. These people are fucked up.

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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  • Vic

    This movie has one of my all time favorite songs in it, misogynistic as it is: Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man? Henry Higgins sung it to Colonel Pickering just after Eliza blew up at him after the ball.

    Henry:If I were hours late for dinner, would you bellow?
    PICKERING
    Of course not!
    HIGGINS
    If I forgot your silly birthday, would you fuss?
    PICKERING
    Nonsense.
    HIGGINS
    Would you complain if I took out another fellow?
    PICKERING
    Never.
    HIGGINS
    Well, why can’t a woman be like us?

  • Torrin Paige

    This is one of those movies that I both love and hate. I love Audrey in all her lip-synching fabulosity. The costumes are to die for and the songs are pretty good. And yet. And yet you have the Professor who just may be the most disgusting, repugnant leading man ever. (Except for Michael Douglas, in anything, whom I find inexplicably repulsive for some reason.) Musicals should always have a happy ending, right? Liza going back to Higgins never struck me as a happy ending. I remember watching this with my mom when I was about 10 and asking her, “Why did she go back? That guy’s such a jerk. What’s wrong with her?” She told me that he was supposed to be a grump with a heart of gold, and that Eliza could see past his gruff exterior. Unfortunately, Rex Harrison never managed the whole “heart of gold” aspect and just came off like an a#%hole, so it didn’t really make sense. Le sigh. I shall just cross my finger for some more Gene Kelly in the upcoming weeks. Mmmmm, yummy!

  • madelineanne

    WHile I agree that Audrey in her ball gown was beeeautiful, I am still of the opinion that Audrey in the red dress from “Funny Face” (that she was in for all of 30 seconds) is still the end all be all for gorgeous. :)
    And these Musical Mondays are really reminding me of how strange and misogynistic these old musicals are. And yet, I still kind of love them and all their lip sych-ey glory.

  • yawningdog

    I love the song, ‘On the Street Where You Live’. I used to sing it to my kids when they were babies. Now they just tell me, “Stop Singing!” (but that is from another movie)

    The dogs in my kennel get a rendition every once in a while. They are not music critics at all.

  • The Scarlett

    I always wondered why she didn’t marry the insipid Freddy and use her new-found wealth as a means of revenge.

    Loved the clothing and the hats are the reason my closet shelves are full of hat boxes from Neimans and Saks.

    I vow, as God is my witness, that I will sing ‘On the Street Where She Lives’ in a piano bar filled with queens. And I can’t wait to utter, “What a disagreeable surprise” because I know I will have that opportunity all too soon.

  • snf in va

    “They’re not gay; they’re English. It’s easy to confuse the two.”

    Bwahahaha! How true!

  • Young offender

    “They’re not gay; they’re English. It’s easy to confuse the two.”

    Dayuuuuuumm!

  • BrianB

    I haven’t even made it to the second page and I’m loving this blog entry already! I never liked this movie but I’m definitely seeing it in a new light!

    “They’re not Gay; …….” A new classic quote!

    On to page 2!

    BrianB

  • Cat

    Yes! Why didn’t she just marry Freddy? I never liked the snickering and chortling Higgins/Pickering bullying of Eliza. It’s like she was a bug or mouse they wanted to torment.

  • BrianB

    Oh God, Page 2 did not disappoint! The next time this comes up on TCM, I’ll have a new appreciation.

    The Ball Gown is pretty fabulous, you cannot take your eyes off her in this thing. But everytime the camera pans up from her feet to her face at the Railway Station in Sabrina, my heart does a little flip. Then later, she shows up in that white gown with the black embroidery. OMG! In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I preferred Patricia Neale’s bitchy ensembles.

    Apparently Audrey was devastated that they dubbed her singing voice for the movie and some people say she could have pulled it off. I don’t know, but I love Julie Andrew’s version of “Show Me” much more than what was done in the movie. I wonder if she’d have been any better in it than Audrey.

    Hey, maybe you should blog “Star!”, Julie’s movie bio of Gertrude Lawrence?

    Rex Harrison. How drab.

    BrianB

  • ToddNY

    Fabulous, Boys! This is one of my favorite movies. The gowns are magnificent!

    “What a disagreeable surprise.”

    LOL. Can you imagine saying that to some queen? “Oh my dear, what a disagreeable surprise!”

  • thombeau

    It IS possible to be English AND gay—and that little subplot definitely enhances this picture!

    Great hats, though. And it’s definitely hard not to sing along!

  • Ms. Feasance

    “Yes! Why didn’t she just marry Freddy? I never liked the snickering and chortling Higgins/Pickering bullying of Eliza. It’s like she was a bug or mouse they wanted to torment.”
    In the original play on which My Fair Lady is based, Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw, the author, got so annoyed with so-called “romantic” re-interpretations of his original ending, which showed Eliza leaving to marry Freddy, that he later wrote a scathing essay for inclusion with the play, in which he explained why it was impossible for the story to end with Higgins and Eliza getting married.

    Also, is it just me, or does Audrey look terrifyingly like Adrienne Curry in that first photo?

  • Karen

    Hee! Another great recap and another great musical where several characters need to be smacked.

  • mike.motaku

    Audrey’s racetrack outfit and ball gown almost but not quite top whatever the hell Grace Kelly was wearing during her entrance in Rear Window. Oh. My. God.

    And for more spousal abuse/rape fantasies, y’all should blog Carousel and Oklahoma. Ah! Musicals! So light! So fluffy and carefree!

  • Anonymous

    This movie has one of the most beautiful stalker songs ever, even better than “I’ll Be Watching You” by Sting.

    I have often walked down this street before
    But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before
    All at once am I several stories high
    Knowing I’m on the street where you live

  • Bill

    “The boys decide to take Eliza to Ascot, where the order of the day is big hats and spinal deformities.”

    That's the line that got me this week. Love you, T&L!

    Cecil Beaton’s costumes and hats sent my heart soaring as a little gay boy when I first saw MFL on TV.

    You nailed this movie. It is so mysognistic. I always found it odd that George Cukor, usually such a strong “women’s” director, helmed this movie.

    Rex Harrison played the part so well because he was an abusive asshole in real life, too! Six wives, a few mistresses (one wife and one mistress committed suicide -I’m not saying he was the cause but still…).

    Rex's domineering arrogance is also used to fine effect with Irene Dunn in "Anna & the King of Siam" (the non-musical, dramatic 'King & I' movie) and with Gene Tierney in "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir."

    How big a jerk was Harrison? Lerner & lowe were going to call their musical version of Shaw's Pygmalion "Fair Lady" but Harrison insisted they add the "My" so that the title was more about his character than Eliza.

    When Eliza is presented to the Queen, take a look at her escort. It’s Alan Napier – better known to all as Alfred the Butler from the Batman TV series.

  • PoBaL

    “Then she remembers that he’s another of those rich English assholes who just like to fuck with her. If she’d had a knife on her, this would have been a very different movie.”

    It would be “Repulsion”.

    This is probably my favorite musical I love with a story I hate. Stupid Higgins.

    (I’ve been reading you boys for awhile and telling all my friends how much I love it.)

  • Young offender

    Nicole, you’re right. She does look like Adrienne Curry.

  • Anonymous

    i have too much to say about the lovely audrey, so i will not bother to comment. But when oh when, dear gayboys, may you get to Bing? I have a craving for “Holiday Inn”.

  • macasism

    Why is Audrey always in the updated versions of great works that are totally ruined? (I told my Audrey-loving, homophobic friend about the real story of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and she didn’t speak to me for a week.) Anyway, I LOVE the ascot dress and the songs are so brilliant. Why. the. fuck. did they have to ruin the ending?

    And shout out to Marni Nixon. She’s my hero.

  • Sara Bellum

    I never really got why she went bag to that jerk Higgins either. But then as a kid I always had problems with the misogynistic garbage they passed as entertainment.

    On that note, please do Gigi soon! I’d love to hear your take on that one. I always got Leslie Caron and Audrey mixed up as a kid.

  • Jabes

    When I was a senior in high school, we had to rewrite the ending of Pygmalion. My group came up with Eliza getting her flower shop, and Professor Higgins visiting her in that shop and then getting fatally run over in the street when she kicks him out. Highly satisfying.

  • Anonymous

    Ah the “prostitution” bit at the beginning I can relate to. My parents first showed this movie to me when I was six. When I watched it at fifteen things made much more sense.

    And I’m probably in the minority here, but I’ve ALWAYS loved Rex Harrison in this role.

  • j-yo

    You left out my favorite part, in which Eliza’s dad is getting married and sings that “I’m Getting Married in the Morning” song! I don’t know why, but I always sang it as a kid, even when I had no intentions of getting married.

    Loved the musical but hated the ending, for the superficial reason that Higgins was old and ugly and Freddie was young and hot. Am I the only one who sees a no-brainer here?

  • Anonymous

    PLEASE do Funny Face, from THINK PINK to HE LOVES/SHE LOVES it is a non stop orgasm of fashion and fluff; and if you can’t have fun with lyrics like this you just can’t have fun:
    Go out dancing but just remember one thing
    You can get a little wink
    If you got a little pink
    In your swing.

    MT

  • jlp

    Dear Cecil! I love the clothes in this film. And I covet the hats!

  • Anonymous

    The pairing of a man singing the overly romantic “On the Street Where you Live” with a woman singing the aggressive “do me or don’t bother” “Show Me” is just about the best gender bend in the standard canon of musicals. Few women sing songs of such explicit sexuality in musicals. Anyhoo, always a fun read! Cheers.

  • frogboots

    higgins couldn’t be less attractive, physically or psychologically.

    obviously eliza is really just a dumb tramp or else she’d ditch him and get a fucking life.

    god i wish i could wear hats like that!

  • Anonymous

    Kelsey Grammer (NY Philharmonic with the excellent Kelli O’Hara) brought a lot more humanity to the role; Harrison is just cruel.

  • DanielDC

    “They’re not gay; they’re English. It’s easy to confuse the two.”

    LOL. Fabulous! This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I wish I could’ve seen the original Broadway version with Julie Andrews.

  • Kerry

    I second the request for Oklahoma! Gordon MacRae is HOT and Gloria Grahame is DELLIGHTFUL!!!

    Musical Mondays are my new favorite thing EVER!

  • Anonymous

    Enough about the lovely Audrey and all the beautiful songs and the clothes and the asshole duo of Higgins & Pickering and the dreadful ending –

    Mona Washbourne as Mrs. Pearce.

    She’s brilliant in the brilliant “Billy Liar” (cast includes Julie Christie — Julie Christie! — 1963)

    and she plays 6 or 7 parts in “O Lucky Man!” (where you can also take a gander at Helen Mirren circa 1972 and sing along to the brilliant Alan Price)

    Hmmm. La Mirren in a cage match with …

    – desertwind

    PS – Boys! You must do Carousel.

  • william-holden-caulfiled

    At the risk of committing blasphemy, I have to take this opportunity to recomend the FAR superior non-musical movie-version: Pygmalion /circa 1938 /Wendy Hiller & Leslie Howard.

    Sorry, but Alan Jay Lerner’s lyrics are no match for George Bernard Shaw’s dialogue. And Audrey’s no Wendy Hiller.

  • K.

    Jacqueline, yes, I love Gigi! At least the music and visuals, if not the plot.

    When I was a kid in New Orleans, all the pious French-speaking old ladies in the neighborhood LOVED that movie.

    Which I never understood, because even back then I realized it was about a grandmother and aunt grooming a very young girl to be a high-class whore.

    They must have been blinded by Maurice Chevalier’s charm. Not Louis Jourdan’s. He was way too old for the part.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, Gigi! Can I add my vote, please? I would LOVE to see what you two make of Maurice and co.

  • Anonymous

    oh my do one of these on funny face. and i have to disagree with you, audrey hepburn was both beautiful and a talanted actress

  • Sarah

    Word to the Marni Nixon love.

    She was my voice teacher’s voice teacher. I met her once, briefly, and she is an incredible woman.

  • Angie

    I prefer Hepburn’s costumes in Funny Face also. This is one of those musicals I enjoy when I come across but I will never want to own. Well, I shouldn’t say never! I do love to sing On the Street Where You Live.

    I did spend an evening drinking with my dear departed friend Chris at a piano bar in the West Village in 1986. I don’t remember all the songs we sang but one man’s face when singing Memories has haunted me since.

  • Suzanne

    The twit “starlets” (I love that word) of today could take a lesson or 2 from Miss Audrey. She might not have been able to act or sing, but at least Diva never flashed HER tootie getting out of a cab.

  • Kent

    I love that no one has yet commented on the pseudo blasphemy the gay boys committed when they said Audrey can’t act! She may not have been at her peak in this movie (I would have loved to see Julie Andrews reprise her original broadway role in this) but she certainly acted brilliantly in other things, notably “Roman Holiday” and “Wait Until Dark” (Audrey as a blind girl!)

    Please do Gigi! Lerner/Loewe and fabulous outfits and the French gorgeousness of Louis Jourdan!

  • Allen

    I had to watch this in Senior English class. I found it HILARIOUS!!!

    My old English teacher, Mrs. Hefling, would have LOVED your recap. God bless her Southern soul. :)

  • Bill

    I'll side up with T&L on Audrey's acting…sort of. While Audrey is breathtaking and portrays a very attractive vulnerability in many of her roles, I never found her to be any great shakes as an actress. She was good (see "Two For the Road", "Charade", "A Nun's Story" and "Wait Until Dark") just never particularly great in my opinion. I don't think she ever stretched very far. It doesn't reduce her star status. She'll always have that.

    It’s like Julia Roberts. I love Julia Roberts and will watch in her anything, but I find her to be fairly one note – it’s a very pretty note – but it’s just one note all the same.

  • Marie

    Did you know the actor who played Freddy (Jeremy Brett) is the same actor who played Sherlock Holmes so well so many PBS productions?

  • Dova1965

    I saw Marni Nixon in concert once. She was amazing; she sang for almost two hours and did 30 songs.
    Trouble was, she spent the entire concert behind the curtains.

    Love love love the gay boys and musical Mondays!

  • Anonymous

    Henry:If I were hours late for dinner, would you bellow?
    PICKERING
    Of course not!
    HIGGINS
    If I forgot your silly birthday, would you fuss?
    PICKERING
    Nonsense.
    HIGGINS
    Would you complain if I took out another fellow?
    PICKERING
    Never.
    HIGGINS
    Well, why can’t a woman be like us?

    Because then they would be gay men. Like Higgins and Pickering. Get married already and stop trying to get someone else to clean your house!

  • Lisette

    “what a disagreeable surprise” and I thought I was the only one that said that to family members.

  • Anonymous

    This recap made me sad. Usually your Musical Monday recaps are snarky, but not sadistic. I did not feel the usual warm sense of nostalgia that I often do when I read your recaps. Back to fun please, next week–how about Guys and Dolls? or Oklahoma? It is obvious that you love musicals, and this recap missed the “sweet but snarky” mark.

  • Gigi

    Great recap, as always! You boys are so freaking hysterical. :-)

  • Kathryn

    I would love to see Funny Face if only because I’m a relative newb when it comes to Audrey and can’t get enough of her. However, I do agree with the blogger two above me who wants you to Guys and Dolls – that would be AMAZING and you two would just be hilarious! Please?? ♥

  • Anonymous

    T&L:

    I too love this film, and am always sad that Julie Andrews was not able to reprise her stage role. Marni Nixon has a splendid voice, but Julie Andrews was an extraordinary actor–I completely visualize her whole performance just listening to the original cast album!

    Also–as Nicole said–Shaw never intended it to be a happy ending. In his essay “What Happened Afterwards,” he says “Eliza, in telling Higgins she would not marry him if he asked her, was not coquetting: she was announcing a well-considered decision. When a bachelor interests, and dominates, and teaches, and becomes important to a spinster, as Higgins with Eliza, she always, if she has character enough to be capable of it, considers very seriously indeed whether she will play for becoming that bachelor’s wife, especially if he is so little interested in marriage that a determined and devoted woman might capture him if she set herself resolutely to do it. Her decision will depend a good deal on whether she is really free to choose; and that, again, will depend on her age and income. If she is at the end of her youth, and has no security for her livelihood, she will marry him because she must marry anybody who will provide for her. But at Eliza’s age a good-looking girl does not feel that pressure: she feels free to pick and choose.”

    Vanessa

  • Anonymous

    I almost forgot–what he says about Freddy–

    ” Almost immediately after Eliza is stung into proclaiming her considered determination not to marry Higgins, she mentions the fact that young Mr. Frederick Eynsford Hill is pouring out his love for her daily through the post. Now Freddy is young, practically twenty years younger than Higgins: he is a gentleman (or, as Eliza would qualify him, a toff), and speaks like one; he is nicely dressed, is treated by the Colonel as an equal, loves her unaffectedly, and is not her master, nor ever likely to dominate her in spite of his advantage of social standing. Eliza has no use for the foolish romantic tradition that all women love to be mastered, if not actually bullied and beaten….what is Eliza fairly sure to do when she is placed between Freddy and Higgins? Will she look forward to a lifetime of fetching Higgins’s slippers or to a lifetime of Freddy fetching hers? There can be no doubt about the answer. Unless Freddy is biologically repulsive to her, and Higgins biologically attractive to a degree that overwhelms all her other instincts, she will, if she marries either of them, marry Freddy. And that is just what Eliza did.”

    There is more of Eliza and Freddy’s future that you all can find on the internet–but I have taken up too much bandwidth already and will leave it here.

    Vanessa

  • william-holden-caulfield

    Audrey was always lovely to look at, but irritating to listen to– her highly affected speech had the same ersatz, put-on quality as Grace Kelly, or Anglophilic Madonna (bedraggled guttersnipes- the lot- conjuring their best impressions of Ladies).

  • Linda Merrill

    One of my favorite lines:

    “Oozing charm from every pore, he oiled his way across the floor.

    Every trick that he could play, he used to strip her mask away.”

  • K.

    william holden caulfield, i don’t know if her accent could be described as put-on, but it was a composite — her father was british, her mother was a dutch baroness, she was born in belgium, lived in london, then in nazi-occupied holland. she didn’t have to pretend to be blue-blooded, she was to begin with.

  • william-holden-caulfield

    k: My manners are exactly the same as Colonel Pickering’s: he treats a flower girl as if she was a dutchess, and I treat a dutchess as if she was a flower girl.

  • Ms. Feasance

    My favorite part of this whole movie came from watching it in a high school humanities class, when Higgins is starting, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”:
    “HIGGINS: Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.
    FOOTBALL JOCK SITTING BEHIND ME: I wonder what that song is called.”
    Gets me. Every. Freakin’. Time.

  • mike

    com’on Dover… The Ascot scene (with the mulitple near misses, fab clothes and huge hats) is my favorite from this film

  • lia

    This is, quite possibly, both the worst and best movie musical of all time (I’m ignoring the fact that Hair was ever produced) and ya’ll make it that much better.

  • Da Nator

    Fabulous.

    And everything that Vanessa said about Julie Andrews and Pygmalion, because she got to say it before I did.

    Honestly, I am fond of Audrey, but I think she was miscast here (despite the clothes). Julie would have kicked the whole thing up several notches.

    Wow. It’s sad how easily I become bitter.

  • Anonymous

    But you don’t have a word to say about the one and only George Cukor? “The Women” director himself? Given the honorary Oscar for this film, which is embarassing.

  • Red Seven

    My one problem with MY FAIR LADY was the new ending. GB Shaw got it right the first time.

    Another hilarious “Musical Monday,” boys!! Hey, have you done THE SOUND OF MUSIC yet? Nuns and Nazis and liederhosen; how can you possibly go wrong??

  • Sara Bellum

    As for Gigi, I couldn’t *stand* Louis Jourdan (or rather the character of Gaston) as a kid. But that’s for the Gigi topic, if we get one. Please!

  • Magadocious Rex

    You did my FAVORITE MOVIE!
    I love you guys.

  • Anonymous

    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers next!! I’m embarassed to say that I was watching this earlier in the year on HBO and realized for the first time that all seven brothers are gay. LOVE that one, in all its mysoginistic glory!

    Anne

  • Happy Mama to Three

    The epitome of “talent isn’t necessary when your a star” movie/musicals. This is one of my all time favorites and I have proudly passed that on to my now 12 year old daughter. There is nothing like watching your then 3 year old belting out the songs right along with Audrey dressed in her “costumes”. Thanks kindly for the walk down memory lane.

    C

  • Reeya

    I maintain that it’s a travesty Jack Warner refused to cast Julie Andrews as Eliza (despite her having originated the role so brilliantly) on grounds that Audrey was more famous and more of a draw. If you listen to the Broadway cast recording and hear Julie’s amazing voice on “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Show Me” (and, oh, every other song)…it’s just gut-wrenching. Marni Nixon had a good voice, but it was odd hearing it out of Audrey’s mouth, and there’s no contest: Julie is far more talented.

    I agree with anonymous earlier–I must be in the minority who LOVES Rex Harrison in this role. He’s so repugnant, but he does it with such relish that it’s just too fun to watch. An awful character, brilliantly played. I think my favorite moment in the whole film is where Mrs. Pierce tries to remind him that Eliza does have feelings and he just says “No, I don’t think so,” with such earnestness. Followed by when he goes to his mother’s house, discovers Eliza there, listens to Eliza talk shit about him to his mother, and settles into a corner to grumble and sulk like a teenage boy. Henry Higgins: SO IMMATURE AND SO MYSOGYNISTIC, but I can’t get enough of him. And so I adore Rex Harrison. I’m a bad feminist, clearly.

  • Batwings

    That. Was. Hysterical.

    I’m now your biggest fan.

  • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gabriella M

    Oops wrong place.

  • Adriana_Paula

    Mr. Holmes!

  • LadyLuck777

    Actually, Audrey sang it live in the desperate hope that they wouldn’t dub her, but they did. Marni Nixon did an outstanding job of singing to match Audrey.

    That being said, I’m on an all night Musical Monday marathon, and you guys have me cracking up so much I nearly woke the baby.

    • RoseJB

      I am doing the exact same thing! And I managed to get the baby to watch Easter Parade with me. He loved it.