Starring: Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Wilfrid Lawson, Marie Lohr, Scott Sunderland
Director: Anthony Asquith & Leslie Howard
Summary: A linguistics professor bets he can turn a flower girl into a lady by teaching her to speak properly
Other Nominations: Actor (Howard), Actress (Hiller), Screenplay*
-Howard and Hiller gave some of the best performances I’ve seen so far as Prof. Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle, with Howard embodying this entertaining and hypocritical arrogance and Hiller’s performance evolves as the character does.
-All the original themes from the play are well-preserved and the way it treats power (in all its aspects) in a relationship was not only remarkable when the play debuted in 1914, but still works really well for contemporary audiences
-There are a couple of montage sequences that are fantastic-they give you all the information and exposition you need to know in a short and entertaining package.
-I thought the score was creative and bold, sometimes going in the opposite direction that you would expect because it fits with what the character is feeling even if the audience feels the opposite at the time
-I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. The play as originally written clearly goes one way, most every version after it (even during it’s original West End run) goes the opposite direction, and this movie is somewhat ambiguous but the most logical interpretation is that it will ultimately go towards the opposite direction. I think the original ending is the most faithful towards the characters and would have preferred it, but the film’s ending isn’t outright bad either.
-I think the “coming out ball” scene is overly long and could have been trimmed considerably; in fact, it didn’t exist in the original play at all and was only alluded to.
Wonderful adaptation of Shaw’s classic play with stellar lead performances. If you’ve only seen My Fair Lady, then check out this predecessor that is considered to be its equal if not it’s better.