Sign in to follow this  
HoldenIsHere

The "other actress" considered for the MY FAIR LADY movie

44 posts in this topic

Good to see we have common ground here. I should also mention that I had a built in bias when I first saw MFL. I had seen Roman Holiday and Sabrina before MFL and those two movies and her screen persona in those movies made me fall hard for Audrey. In my mind she was a princess!

 

So when I saw MFL I just couldn't picture Audrey as the Cockney street vendor. This is princess Audrey with a bunch of phony looking make-up!

 

Note that I also get a similar vibe from the beginning of Funny Face. The first time I saw it I was yelling at the T.V. "can't you see this bookstore girl has more IT then all those other models!.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> Miss Parsons stated that Miss Hepburn wasn't so believable as a cockney; but that she was wonderful in the latter half of the film.

 

In The Story Of Cinema David Shipman wrote that every Eliza from Wendy Hiller on is always more convincing after the transformation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In _The Story Of Cinema_ David Shipman wrote that every Eliza from Wendy Hiller on is always more convincing after the transformation

 

RichardKimble, I was going to make the same point.

 

On the MY FAIR LADY Broadway cast recording, Julie Andrews's songs sung as the pre-transformation Eliza are beautiful, but they do not sound like they are sung by a Cockney but rather by a woman with a "posh" English accent altering a few of her vowels:

 

 

Georgia Brown, on the other hand, is completely convincing as a Cockney in OLIVER! It is a shame she did not get to re-create her role in the film version.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Julie Andrews was never considered for the film version of MY FAIR LADY, no matter who was doing Higgins. Not only did Warner feels she wasn't a big enough name for his film, he also didn't think she was attractive enough for film. Had Hepburn turned him down, Liz Taylor or Shirley Jones would have gotten the role, regardless of the Higgins.

 

Had Julie Andrews done MY FAIR LADY, she would have been able to do MARY POPPINS, as well. POPPINS principal photography was pretty much finished, when MFL's principal photograph began. That was because there was so much post-production work on MP, that MFL didn't require (animation, special effects). MFL's principal photography was happening during filming of THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. So, it is those two films Andrews wouldn't have been able to do. Unless, of course, they waited. For all of Warner's concern the Andrews wouldn't be big enough box office, he was 100% wrong. Her two films MP and TSOM, that went head to head with MFL, buried it at the box office. I saw Julie Andrews in MFL, in London, with Alec Clunes as Higgins, and she and the show were magnificent. About a billion times better than that horribly dull and plodding film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> When Julie Andrews won her Golden Globe for MARY POPPINS, she closed her acceptance speech by thanking Jack Warner for making "all this possible."

 

 

Beautiful! And here I thought I couldn't possibly have more respect for JULIE ANDREWS.

 

 

> Jack Warner, of course, would never have even considered a Peter O'Toole/Julie Andrews pairing for his production as neither had enough "box office clout" in his eyes.

 

 

I saw O'Toole do Higgins in an HBO, or some cable production of PYGMALION back in the '80's sometime. He was actually pretty good.

 

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you believe them thinking about using Doris Day and Rock Hudson as The My Fair Lady couple?

 

Talk about dodging a pair of dum-dum bullets. Those two would have made more credible leads in Gun Crazy or Born To Kill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya think THAT'S bad, do ya Andy?!

 

Well, while searchin' the net about this whole casting thing for this flick, I ran across someone who claims even Jerry Lewis was at one time considered for the Higgins part!

 

(...and supposedly with the working title set to be...wait for it..."HEY, My Fair LADY"!!!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always felt it was Elizabeth Taylor, Hepburn was referring to in that interview. She and Audrey were the top female stars at that time. And I dont think she meant she (Taylor) was unacceptable,but agree with your opinion, if they are going to offer it to her, why not me then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It should also be pointed out that although Jack Warner was proved wrong about Julie Andrews' potential at the box-office he did not take any lessons away from the experience. He again passed over Andrews for the female lead in CAMELOT which she had also originated on Broadway. Of course by that time he may not have wanted to pay the huge salary she commanded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, that's not true. Warner became obsessed with getting Julie Andrews for CAMELOT (any film, actually). He offered her $1.2 million (a record at the time), plus director approval for CAMELOT. She declined, when Burton did not sign-on, due to film commitments with Liz. She officially stated that her schedule did not permit it. I know Logan says in his biography that he talked Warner out of it, but that's just not the truth. He also makes a claim of convincing them not to use Doris Day on SOUTH PACIFIC, which is also, untrue. Andrews could have had him replaced, and most-likely would have. Even Redgrave, when asked what it's like to take a role away from Julie Andrews, said "I'm sure she would be doing the role, if she wanted it."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Thewy would have needed not only a ghost singer for Hudson, but a ghost speaker

 

IIRC he actually toured in Camelot in the late '70s/early '80s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's true. I forgot about that. On the 20th Century too......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>IIRC he actually toured in Camelot in the late '70s/early '80s

 

He also toured (with Carol Burnett) in "I Do! I Do!"

 

I also disagree with his needing a guest speaker. He had a fine voice, one used for that 360-degree travelogue at the Disney parks and that Marilyn Monroe documentary of 1963.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if Warner even had doubts about Harrison's "name" for film, what would he have said about Alec (Who?) Clunes?

 

I'm sure Jack Warner had no clue who Alec Clunes was. Considering he made my least favorite musical film, I actually have no interest in what he would have said about him. Clunes replaced Harrison in the London production, when Harrison left the show. We just happened to see it, after Harrison, but just before Andrews left the show. Clunes did most of his performances with Anne Rogers, as Eliza.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>He also toured (with Carol Burnett) in "I Do! I Do!"

 

I vaguely remembered he was connected to IDID somehow, but couldn't recall if he'd done it onstage. Did they do a TV version?

 

> I also disagree with his needing a guest speaker. He had a fine voice.

 

Yes, there was nothing wrong with the tonal quality of his voice. Even as early as his Indian chief in Winchester '73 he sounds like a radio announcer in the Ronald Reagan-Hugh Marlowe-Reed Hadley tradition (indeed you can make a case his voice was actually better than Reagan's or Marlowe's). The problem with these guys wasn't their voices, but getting them to show a little emotion.

 

Robert Middleton is one example from the smooth announcer school who learned to emote at least a little.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see an adaptation with Lee Remick and Hal Linden. Somehow, I had it in my head also that it was filmed or taped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us