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From the TCM notes I like what film critic Pauline Kael said:  "The film seems to go on for about 45 minutes after the story is finished. Audrey Hepburn is an affecting Eliza, though she is totally unconvincing as a guttersnipe, and is made to sing with that dreadfully impersonal Marni Nixon voice that has issued from so many other screen stars. Rex Harrison had already played Higgins more than a bit too often." - Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies.             I think she has a point.

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1 hour ago, Pastiche said:

From the TCM notes I like what film critic Pauline Kael said:  "The film seems to go on for about 45 minutes after the story is finished. Audrey Hepburn is an affecting Eliza, though she is totally unconvincing as a guttersnipe, and is made to sing with that dreadfully impersonal Marni Nixon voice that has issued from so many other screen stars. Rex Harrison had already played Higgins more than a bit too often." - Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies.             I think she has a point.

I grew up listening to the perfect London original cast recording of "My Fair Lady" starring Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews and Stanley Holloway.

It's hard to believe that Rex Harrison and Stanley Holloway are even better in the movie than what I can remember from the original cast recording.

   Gladys Cooper is perfect for that role, she was born to play, Henry Higgins' mother. If you look on the wall at Higgins' house near the door you'll see a portrait of her as a beautiful young girl when she was the toast of the London Edwardian stage.

And Wilfred Hyde White-- an affable Pickering who is effortless, as comfortable as an old friend who is delightful but always straightforward.

Which leaves us with Eliza. I've always been a tremendous devotee of Audrey Hepburn and I think she does more than a credible job with the non -singing part of this role.  It's very unfortunate that the qualification for this role is 50% singing Operetta type Arias. Julie Andrews got her reputation in this musical on Broadway, not just because of her acting but also because of her singing.

It's very disappointing when it comes time for a song, and of course there are so many for Eliza to sing. When it comes to that point, if there aren't other participants in the song, I usually fast-forward the DVD and go on to the next scene.

I can't fault Marni Nixon entirely because she was forced to sing as close as possible to what one might imagine Audrey Hepburn would sound like if she was able to sing on that level. So let's give Marni Nixon a break - - she probably could have done a better job had she been allowed to sing this entirely as Marni Nixon would have sung it.

There's no excuse for Rosalind Russell stealing Ethel Merman's role in "Gypsy" from posterity and there's no excuse for Audrey Hepburn stealing, not just Julie Andrews' great opportunity in cinema, but the world's great opportunity to see Julie Andrews in this role with two of the original cast members.( We don't all have time to name all of the lead musical miscastings but,  we'll leave you with just one word--"Mame".)

The only person who really benefited from this whole mess was Walt Disney. He astutely saw  what Julie Andrews was on the brink of and he cut himself in on the action.

The irony of Oscar night 1965 was that Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews,  the original Stars  of Broadway's My Fair Lady are standing before the press as the winners of the Oscars for the best acting awards. 

How in the world did that happen?

 Well, it must have been a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious fate.

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Broadway audiences are different than movie audiences. (Duh.) What one will accept & applaud, the other can't or won't.  Movie audiences want well-known, box-office-proven stars for the price of their ticket. Whether they can actually sing or not is irrelevant.

An actor or an actress has to 'look' the part for most movie audiences as opposed to theater crowds who tend to be more invested in the true, actual talent of the performer where camera tricks and dubbing can't overcome the actor/actresses shortcomings.

Andrews would have been viewed by movie audiences as too wholesome and not potentially glamorous enough when morphed from common cockney flower girl to elegant, bejeweled & gowned lady. Hepburn was made for that part of the role at least. Conversely, Andrews was tailor made for her role as Maria in "The Sound of Music" and won an Oscar to prove it.

Roz Russell was still reaping the box office benefits & critical accolades of her fantastic portrayal of "Auntie Mame", which ushered her easily & predictably into the role of Rose in "Gypsy". Ethel Merman hadn't been movie box office since "There's No Business Like Show Business" in 1954, and that was eight years before "Gypsy".  An eternity in sustaining popularity & box office appeal in any form of show business.

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