Eliza (Audrey Hepburn) is a poor Cockney from London who sells flowers on the street and speaks in a dialect that clearly distinguishes her as a commoner to the upper classes. Professor Higgins (Rex Harrison), an expert in phonetics and dialects, bets with Colonel Pickering (Wilfred Hyde-White) that within six months he can take the street girl and pass her off as a duchess.
During the training period Higgins takes Eliza into his home, to live with him and the visiting Pickering. It's not long before the two are butting heads, as Higgins criticizes Eliza almost constantly in his quest for perfection. When Eliza finally gets the hang of it, she's invited to a royal ball where she's got to convince everyone that she herself is royalty. But will the teacher still consider Eliza a common flower girl, or will he treat her as the lady she's grown into?
Within 18 days it would have been George Cukor`s (Director) 114th birthday.
* July 7, 1899
† January 23, 1983
Release date: October 21, 1964
The movie was completely shot at the Warner Bros. Studios, California, USA.
Best Actor -> Rex Harrison
Best Director -> George Cukor
Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment -> André Previn
Best Picture -> Jack L. Warner
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color
Best Cinematography, Color
Best Costume Design, Color
Best Actor in a Supporting Role -> Stanley Holloway
Best Actress in a Supporting Role -> Gladys Cooper
Best Film Editing
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium -> Alan Jay Lerner
Audrey Hepburn’s singing was partly dubbed by Marni Nixon “The Voice of Hollywood” (1930).Source / More (Web)
My fair lady ranks number 51 in the box-office rankings.
Grossing adjusted for inflation -> $384 mSource / More (Web)
Playwright Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) was puzzled by the huge success of the albums with the songs: “The songs of My fair lady are good songs, I know they are, but the quality still falls short of explaining why its popularity ascended to such an unprecedented height”Source / More (Book)
Rex Harrison wanted Julie Andrews for the role of Eliza, since they had played together in the Broadway version.
The play has a different ending than both film versions (1938 / 1964). At the end of the play, Eliza leaves Higgins to marry the aristocrat Freddy Eynsford-Hill.
The original stage play Pygmalion (1913) shocked audiences by Eliza’s use of the swear word “bloody”.
Writer George Bernard Shaw based his book Pygmalion on the character Pygmalion from the Roman poet Ovid. This is the story of a sculptor who created such a beautiful statue (named Galatea) that he fell in love with it, and prayed to the gods to bring it to life. Shaw updated the story to late 19th-century London, and turned it into the saga of a linguist who attempts to turn a cockney flower seller into a lady by teaching her to use better diction.
My Fair Lady was the most popularly successful musical of its era. It ran 2,717 performances from 1956 to 1962.Source / More (Book)
Pygmalion has been filmed ten times:
In 1909 / 1935 / 1937 / 1938 / 1948 / 1963 / 1968 / 1973 / 1981 / 1983
Audrey is the English form of the Dutch name Edda.
May 4, 1929
Audrey Kathleen Ruston
January 20, 1993
Audrey was the daughter of an English banker and a Dutch baroness. She was discovered by French writer Colette , who gave her the lead in Gigi on Broadway (1951). This success led to a starring part opposite Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953).
By the 1960s, Hepburn had outgrown her ingenue image and began playing more sophisticated and worldly characters in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and Charade (1963). For My Fair Lady (1964) Audrey had to play a Cockney flower, but many viewers had trouble accepting Hepburn in a role they felt belonged to Julie Andrews, who had created the part on stage.
She became a special ambassador for UNICEF until her death in 1993.
1993 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
1968 Nominated Best Actress for: Wait Until Dark (1967)
1962 Nominated Leading Role for: Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
1960 Nominated Leading Role for: The Nun's Story (1959)
1955 Nominated Leading Role for: Sabrina (1954)
1954 Won Oscar Leading Role for: Roman Holiday (1953)
Jerry Vermilye -> The Complete Films of Audrey Hepburn (1995)
Alexander Walker -> Audrey: Her Real Story (1994)
Barry Paris -> Audrey Hepburn (1996)