In this timeless movie made half a century ago, Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) accepts a bet from Colonel Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White) to teach a flower girl, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) proper English diction and pass her off in high society. Daunting as the task may be, the professor begins training Eliza. His immense passion for the English language as it should be spoken not only does justice to the language but is a fantastic tribute to it.
Professor Higgins is blunt and conceited. After Eliza achieves glorious success at the Embassy Ball which was to be her testing time, the professor takes all the credit to himself. This greatly hurts Eliza who leaves the professor. The professor soon realises that he can’t do without her. He has got accustomed to her face. He goes in search of her and tries to get her to come back.
Will the professor succeed in this? It makes for an interesting finale to the movie. The dialogues in the movie are interesting. Take for example, Well, I haven’t. I find that the moment a woman makes friends with me she becomes jealous, exacting, suspicious, and a damn nuisance. And I find that the moment I make friends with a woman I become selfish and tyrannical. So here I am, a confirmed old bachelor and likely to remain so.
The music is simply delicious and the lyrics wonderful. One never blinks an eyelid throughout the movie. There are numbers like Wouldn’t It Be Loverly, On the Street Where You Live and many more that have stood the test of time and even with the passing of many decades still manage to charm the viewer.
Rex Harrison plays Professor Higgins flawlessly. Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle is gorgeous. And Wilfrid Hyde-White enacts the role of Colonel Pickering with perfection and shows due respect to Eliza. One so falls in love with all the characters and particularly Eliza that the movie remains entrenched in one’s mind long after one has watched it.
As one of the classic musicals of the yesteryears, My Fair Lady, is a must watch for any movie lover not necessarily of a particular genre. One must try and procure a DVD and watch it with the entire family as it is a delightful entertainer. The costumes and sets will leave you in awe. As the final credits roll by, one wishes the movie to continue to cast its spell on the viewer much longer.