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My Fair Lady Blu-ray Review

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Movies don’t get much better than “My Fair Lady.”

Based on George Bernard Shaw’s stage play “Pygmalion,” “My Fair Lady” tells the story of a phonetics Professor (Henry Higgins) who bets a fellow phonetics expert (Colonel Pickering) that he can teach a poor Cockney flower saleswoman (Eliza) to speak like a prim and proper lady who could pass as a Duchess. Amidst his teachings, Higgins begins to grow fond of Eliza while another upper class man (Freddy) also has eyes for Eliza. Eliza herself begins to wonder what her future will be now that she has got a glimpse of a different world as it were.

Paramount has re-released the 50th anniversary edition of “My Fair Lady” on Blu-ray (although it’s been 55 years at this point) and, I’m happy to say, it still remains one of the best movie musicals ever made. The film (which has arguably become even more iconic than its source material all these years later) simply has the perfect combination of talent. Alan Jay Lerner wrote a clever and poignant script about class, family, misogyny and love that also happens to include classic songs such as “With A Little Bit Of Luck,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On The Street Where You Live,” the list goes on. George Cukor (who won an Academy Award for his directorial work) created a deeply cinematic movie in which he coaxes brilliant performances out of the cast (more on them shortly). Cukor also created the type of movie you just don’t see anymore- a big old fashioned Hollywood musical spectacle complete with lavish production values.

Of course, there are four incredible performances that undoubtedly make this movie better in every way. Audrey Hepburn was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and this movie shows why. Her performance as Eliza Doolittle is one of her very best roles as she shows such range with her character’s depth and transformation. Rex Harrison arguably steals the show as the egotistical and sometimes cruel Henry Higgins, but he also manages to make the character human (although I still don’t buy the ending to be honest). Stanley Holloway as Eliza’s father Alfred has some real showstopping cinematic moments namely with the “With A Little Bit Of Luck” number. Finally, Marni Nixon (who dubbed Hepburn’s singing voice) deserves praise for her extraordinary work.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.20:1 1080p. How does it look? The movie has never looked better. Not only is it presented in the proper aspect ratio, but the colors are also rich.

Audio Track: 7.1 Dolby TrueHD. How does it sound? In a word, perfect.

Extras:
* DVD copy
* 7 trailers including reissue trailers.
* Footage of Rex Harrison’s Golden Globe speech and his BFI honor along with footage from the 1965 Academy Awards.
* Still galleries for Cecil Beaton sketches, B&W images, color production, and documents and publicity.
* 3 theatrical featurettes titled “The Story Of A Lady,” “Design For A Lady,” and “The Fairest Fair Lady” which cover the stage musical’s journey to the big screen, the sets and costumes, the and more.
* A Rex Harrison radio interview.
* Production tests for lighting, make-up, rain on set, and acting.
* Alternate Audrey Hepburn Vocals for “Show Me” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?”
* “Comments On A Lady”- Martin Scorsese talks about film archives and Andrew Lloyd Webber chats about Alan Jay Lerner.
* Footage from the British Premiere and the L.A. Premiere in 1964.
* “George Cukor Directs Baroness Bina Rothschild”- An audio recording (with photos) of the director and actress in action.
* 23 ½ minutes of silent footage of the 1963 production kick-off dinner.
* “More Loverly Than Ever: The Making Of My Fair Lady Then And Now”- An old school 58 minute featurette that contains film clips, interviews, talks about the film’s production and legacy, and so much more.

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March 13, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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