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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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"My Fair Lady"


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4 replies to this topic

#1 johnm001

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:18 AM

MY FAIR LADY is essentially, a bad film.  It takes this monumental stage musical (and I saw the original London production and it was, indeed monumental), and even in 70MM, turns it into this staid, dull-as-dishwater, almost dreary period piece.  Sans great choreography (the stage play's "Get Me to the Church on Time" was an incredible dance number, with superb music, cut from the film), magnificent sets that looked real (the film has big sets that look like sets), and a leading lady that had audiences on their feet at her triumpant "The Rain in Spain" and "I Could Have Danced All Night" (there were three standing ovations during the perform, in a time when they were a rarity).   While I think Audrey Hepburn is absolutely dire in the role of Eliza, I don't entirely blame her.  The direction of the entire thing is wretched.  When I saw the film, I mourned for the loss of what Moss Hart had given us, and what it had become with George Cukor.  It is my number 1 least favorite film, ever made.  Mostly, because the source material was so spectacular, innovative.  The complete opposite of what the film is. MFL was a popular film, because it was a popular title.  The original Broadway cast recording was the biggest-selling album (any genre) of all-time.  Even if you had not seen the show, you knew it and you had the record.  However, Jack Warner predicted that it would be the most successful film of all-time (like the show was), and it wasn't even the most successful film of 1964!  He was wrong about the leading lady, the director, and the production, in general; and, while he turned a profit, it was nowhere near the profits of MARY POPPINS or A HARD DAY'S NIGHT or GOLDFINGER.


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#2 TopBilled

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:36 AM

I agree with Bob on that.

I know a lot of people like MY FAIR LADY, and I like parts of it too-- but it comes up short on several important counts. Audrey Hepburn makes a valiant effort, but is trying TOO hard (probably to prove to her critics that she was not miscast). Unfortunately, despite how convincing she seems as a malnourished waif, she still seems wrong for the part.
 
Meanwhile, Rex Harrison lacks the looks needed to be a romantic lead. He is no Leslie Howard-- and we certainly would not buy him as Romeo or Ashley Wilkes, so why should we buy him as Henry Higgins?  If the producers had been able to get Cary Grant (whom director George Cukor wanted for the film version), I think it would have been better. And I don't mean Cary with Audrey, but Cary with Julie Andrews. Andrews would certainly have been able to pull off both the frumpy and more glamorous scenes. Plus, she would not need to have been dubbed.

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#3 ValentineXavier

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:14 PM

 

I agree with Bob on that.


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#4 Shee

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 09:31 PM

Sometimes I think Robert is just losing it . He hasn't been the same since he was ill several years ago, especially when it comes to The Essentials. I think Robert uses other peoples opinion in the industry and passes that opinion on as his own sometimes. He sure didn't have a whole lot of conviction about why he didn't think why MFL shouldn't be an Essential. His reasoning sure didn't make sense. Dubbing voices was a very common practice. Audrey Hepburns voice could have never carried those songs and he knows it! If he was a Julie Andrews fan - which is why I think he borrowed someone else's opinion, no offense to Julie, great, great voice. She was perfect for Sound Of Music but NOT My Fair Lady. She just wasn't pretty enough - come on Robert, even you must know that! I don't get Robert these days, the things he says, the shows he picks.....Freaks and oh, the so very B movie Gun Crazy are Essentials but My Fair Lady is not!!! I never bought into the fact that he knows how to pick movies any better then you or I can and boy, does this ever prove it!!!!! And if the continue showing Lawrence Of Arabia, Dr Zhavaigo and On the Waterfront 4-5+ times a year I think I shall go bonkers. Thousand and thousands of movies and they continuously show these three movies plus a few others. Don't we all know the dialogue of each by now??? I think Robert is just getting old and possibly lazy.

#5 mr6666

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 10:28 PM

so didya hear R.O. say he DIDN'T think MFL should be considered an 'Essential' ?!

Disagreeing with DB, (paraphrasing here) he could appreciate the production, liked having Harrison's great performance on record, but just couldn't 'buy' Hepburn's (though he loves her) performance, or the fact she couldn't handle(although her voice was 'pleasant enough') the musical numbers.

My sentiments exactly!

Woo-hoo & good for him!! 

(& a brave critique on such a popular film)

 

05-13_MyFairLadyDrawnByHirschfield.jpg


"A small elephant is not a rabbit."





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