in about 100 words or less
USA 171m, Colour
Director: George Cukor; Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison; Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White
My Fair lady is a lengthy, but beautifully filmed and exquisitely costumed production of the stage musical of the same name and the 1938 film version entitled Pygmalion – based on George Bernard Shaw’s original stage play. Notwithstanding Hepburn’s standout performance as Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady is a rather mean-spirited film, in large part because of the very unlikable character of Professor Henry Higgins, who bullies and disparages Eliza at every turn. Despite, his eventual recognition of her feelings, the film’s lighthearted and often comedic elements are often overwhelmed by the lack of regard for Eliza and women in general. The happy ending is excruciating as the professor realizes that he has “grown accustomed to her face” – after which Eliza forgives him and fetches his slippers like a faithful dog (Klaus Ming March 2010).