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Archive for September 29th, 2011

by Judy Geater

Director: George Cukor

Producer: Jack Warner

Music: Frederick Loewe

Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner

Screenwriter: Alan Jay Lerner (adaptation of George Bernard Shaw)

Choreographer: Hermes Pan

Cinematographer: Harry Stradling Sr

Studio: Warner Brothers

Main actors: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper, Jeremy Brett

****

My Fair Lady has one of the greatest scores of any musical, by Lerner and Lowe, with many songs which have become standards, such as With a Little Bit of Luck, Wouldn’t It Be Loverly and On the Street Where You Live. It is also one of the most gorgeous musicals to look at, making full use of Super Panavision, with its dazzling Cecil Beaton costumes and colourful sets. It wasn’t filmed on location in London, but Covent Garden flower market and the dingy back streets look convincing enough to me, while scenes like the Embassy ball and Ascot have all the visual flamboyance you’d expect from director George Cukor, aided by art director Gene Allen. Yet this celebrated film was allowed to deteriorate into a sorry state and needed full-scale restoration by the mid-1990s. The DVD I have, part of an Audrey Hepburn box set, features the restored print, looking great, plus several special features – and there are also a couple of different two-disc special editions available,with a region 1 blu ray in the pipeline. But what I’d really like would be to see this on the big screen some day. (more…)

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