My Fair Lady
Director: George Cukor
Writers: Alan Jay Lerner (also his play), George Bernard Shaw (play - "Pygmalion")
Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper, Jeremy Brett, Theodore Bikel
Music by: Frederick Loewe
Photography by: Harry Stradling Sr.
Runtime: 170 min.
About: Gloriously witty adaptation of the Broadway musical about Professor Henry Higgins, who takes a bet from Colonel Pickering that he can transform unrefined, dirty Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a lady, and fool everyone into thinking she really is one, too.
¤ Hepburn's singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon, despite Hepburn's lengthy preparation for the role.
¤ James Cagney was originally offered the role of Alfred Doolittle. When he pulled out at the last minute, it went to the man who played it on Broadway, Stanley Holloway. Cary Grant, Peter O'Toole, Noel Coward, Michael Redgrave and George Sanders were all considered for the role of Higgins before Rex Harrison was finally chosen to reprise his Broadway role.
¤ Harrison wanted Julie Andrews for the role of Eliza, since they had played together in the Broadway version.
¤ Julie Andrews was the first choice for the role of Eliza Doolittle, but Warner Brothers, which had paid $5.5 million for the rights to the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical, didn't want to risk a stage actress in the central role of a $17-million film, despite lobbying from Lerner himself. It is also reported that Jack L. Warner didn't think Andrews would be photogenic enough.
¤ When asked why he turned down the role of Henry Higgins, Cary Grant remarked that his original manner of speaking was much closer to Eliza Doolittle.
¤ Audrey announced the assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy to the devastated cast and crew immediately after filming the number "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" on the Covent Garden set on 22 November 1963.
¤ The role of Eliza Doolittle was originally played on Broadway by Julie Andrews. However, she was denied the role because the film's producers didn't think she was "known" enough as a film actress. Many felt that this snub as well as Audrey Hepburn's singing being dubbed led to Hepburn's not being nominated for the Best Actress Oscar nomination. The Oscar in that year went to Andrews for "Mary Poppins".
¤ Hepburn herself revealed years later that had she turned down the role of Eliza, the next actress to be offered it would not have been Julie Andrews but Elizabeth Taylor, who wanted it desperately. Also Shirley Jones was one of the actresses to whom Jack L. Warner planned to offer the role of Eliza Doolittle if Audrey (his first choice) turned it down.
¤ The original choice to direct the film was Vincente Minnelli but when his salary demands were too high, the job went to Cukor.
Oscars: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration - Color, Best Cinematography - Color, Best Costume Design - Color, Best Director, Best Music - Scoring of Music - Adaptation or Treatment, Best Picture, Best Sound; nominations: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Film Editing, Best Writing - Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.
Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture - Musical/Comedy, Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy, Best Motion Picture Director; nominations: Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy (Audrey Hepburn), Best Supporting Actor.
BAFTA: Best Film from any Source; nominations: Best British Actor.
Laurel Awards: Musical Performance - Male, Road Show, Comedy Performance, Female (3rd place - Audrey Hepburn); nominations: Supporting Performance - Male.
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