AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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My Fair Lady
Director: George Cukor (Dir)
Release Date:   Oct 1964
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 21 Oct 1964; Los Angeles opening: 28 Oct 1964
Production Date:   began 13 Aug 1963
Duration (in mins):   170
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Cast:   Audrey Hepburn (Eliza Doolittle)  
    Rex Harrison (Henry Higgins)  
    Stanley Holloway (Alfred Doolittle)  
    Wilfrid Hyde-White (Colonel Pickering)  
    Gladys Cooper (Mrs. Higgins)  
    Jeremy Brett (Freddie Eynsford-Hill)  
    Theodore Bikel (Zoltan Karpathy)  
    Mona Washbourne (Mrs. Pearce)  
    Isobel Elsom (Mrs. Eynsford-Hill)  
    John Holland (Butler)  
    John Alderson (Doolittle's crony)  
    John McLiam (Doolittle's crony)  
    Veronica Rothschild (Queen of Transylvania)  
    Marjorie Bennett (Cockney with pipe)  
    Barbara Pepper (Doolittle's dancing partner)  
    Owen McGivney (Man at coffee stand)  
    Betty Blythe (Ad lib at ball)  
    Henry Daniell (Prince of Transylvania)  
    Alan Napier (Ambassador)  
    Jack Greening (George)  
    Ron Whelan (Algernon/Bartender)  
    Dinah Anne Rogers (Maid)  
    Lois Battle (Maid)  
    Jacqueline Squire (Parlor maid)  
    Gwendolyn Watts (Cook)  
    Charles Fredericks (King)  
    Lily Kemble-Cooper (Lady ambassador)  
    Moyna MacGill (Lady Boxington)  
    Ben Wright (Footman at ball)  
    Oscar Beregi (Greek ambassador)  
    Buddy Bryan (Prince)  
    Nick Navarro (Dancer)  
    Jennifer Crier (Mrs. Higgins' maid)  
    Olive Reeves-Smith (Mrs. Hopkins)  
    Miriam Schiller (Landlady)  
    Ayllene Gibbons (Fat woman at pub)  
    Grady Sutton (Ascot extra/Guest at ball)  
    Major Sam Harris (Guest at Ball)  
    Queenie Leonard    

Summary: Phonetics professor Henry Higgins gets involved in an altercation with Cockney flowergirl Eliza Doolittle as he is taking notes on her accent outside of London's Covent Garden in 1912. Colonel Pickering, another language enthusiast, quiets the argument, and Higgins boasts to him that after training Eliza for 3 months he could pass her off as a duchess. The next day Eliza arrives at Higgins' house, prepared to pay for diction lessons so that she may realize her dream of obtaining a position in a shop. With Pickering's help, Higgins begins a complete transformation of Eliza. Her first public appearance at the Ascot horseraces is a dubious success. A few months later, Eliza is a greater success at the season's biggest social event. After the affair, Higgins and Pickering congratulate each other on Eliza's transformation, completely ignoring her and her part in the process. She leaves Higgins' house in anger. Finding her father preparing to marry, Eliza seeks refuge with Higgins' mother. She is paid court by Freddie Eynsford-Hill, a young admirer. Higgins finds Eliza at his mother's, but they quarrel and he returns home. Sitting alone in his study, Higgins realizes that he cannot be happy without Eliza. As he sits listening to recordings of her voice made during her diction lessons, Eliza quietly enters the room through the door behind him. 

Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Brand Name: A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Director: George Cukor (Dir)
  David Hall (Asst dir)
Producer: Jack L. Warner (Prod)
Writer: Alan Jay Lerner (Scr)
Photography: Harry Stradling (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Cecil Beaton (Prod des)
  Gene Allen (Art dir)
Film Editor: William Ziegler (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Cecil Beaton (Scenery des)
  George James Hopkins (Set dec)
Costumes: Cecil Beaton (Cost des)
Music: André Previn (Mus supv and cond)
  Frederick Loewe (Addl mus)
  Alexander Courage (Orch)
  Robert Franklyn (Orch)
  Al Woodbury (Orch)
  Robert Tucker (Vocal arr)
Sound: Francis J. Scheid (Sd)
  Murray Spivack (Sd)
Dance: Hermes Pan (Choreog)
Make Up: Gordon Bau (Makeup supv)
  Jean Burt Reilly (Supv hairstylist)
Production Misc: Sergei Petschnikoff (Unit mgr)
Stand In: Marni Nixon (Singing voice for Audrey Hepburn)
  Bill Shirley (Singing voice for Jeremy Brett)
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "Why Can't the English?" "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" "I'm an Ordinary Man," "With a Little Bit of Luck," "Just You Wait," "The Servant's Chorus," "The Rain in Spain," "I Could Have Danced All Night," "Ascot Gavotte," "On the Street Where You Live," "The Embassy Waltz," "You Did It," "Show Me," "The Flower Market," "Get Me to the Church on Time," "A Hymn to Him," "Without You" and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," music by Frederick Loewe, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner.
Composer: Alan Jay Lerner
  Frederick Loewe
Source Text: Based on the musical My Fair Lady , music by Frederick Loewe, book and lyrics by by Alan Jay Lerner, as produced on the stage by Herman Levin (New York, 15 Mar 1956), which was based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (London, 11 Apr 1914).
Authors: Frederick Loewe
  Alan Jay Lerner
  George Bernard Shaw
  Herman Levin

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. 23/4/1964 dd/mm/yyyy LP33509

PCA NO: 20570
Physical Properties: Sd:
  col: Technicolor
  gauge: 35mm & 70mm
  Widescreen/ratio: Super Panavision 70

 
Genre: Musical comedy
 
Subjects (Major): Class distinction
  Cockneys
  Elocution
  Flower vendors
  Linguists
  London (England)
  Professors
  Romance
 
Subjects (Minor): Ascot Racecourse (England)
  Balls (Parties)
  Colonels
  Courtship
  Fathers and daughters
  Horseracing
  Housekeepers
  Impersonation and imposture
  London (England)--Covent Garden
  Marriage
  Mothers and sons
  Orators
  Recorders of deeds
  Reputation
  Unrequited love
  Wagers

Note: Cecil Beaton's onscreen credit reads: "Costumes, Scenery & Production Designed by Cecil Beaton." George Bernard Shaw is credited onscreen as Bernard Shaw. My Fair Lady was ranked 8th on AFI's 25 Greatest Movie Musicals list.  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   13 Dec 1963.   
Daily Variety   22 Oct 1964.   
Filmfacts   1964   pp. 230-35.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Oct 1964   pp. 3-4.
Life   20 Nov 1964   p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   28 Oct 1964   p. 12.
New York Times   22 Oct 1964   p. 41.
New Republic   14 Nov 1964   p. 32.
New Yorker   31 Oct 1964   pp. 134-35.
Newsweek   2 Nov 1964   p. 96.
Saturday Review   14 Nov 1964.   
Time   30 Oct 1964   p. 106.
Variety   28 Oct 1964   p. 6.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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