Essential Classic Musicals (2007)





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MY FAIR LADY: A priceless classic, MY FAIR LADY has become one of the most popular musicals of all time. Based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, PYGMALION, the film swept the Academy Awards. Cecil Beaton's lavish sets and costumes and Lerner and Loewe's winning score became the background for George Cukor's striking mix of styles that ranged from the fantastic to the abstract in his telling of the tale of a waif who's educated into being a lady. Egotistical linguist Professor Henry Higgins (Oscar-winning Rex Harrison) bets his friend, Colonel Hugh Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White), that he can transform Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) into a proper society lady in time for an important ball. His gamble could pay off--but the spirited Eliza is more of a handful than the professor could have predicted. As she slowly becomes more refined, and less reliant upon him, Higgins realizes, to his confusion, that he can't live without her. The film was nominated for 12 Oscars and won eight, including Best Picture and Director.SINGIN' IN THE RAIN: After years of honing his skills on the vaudeville stage, hoofer Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) has finally reached the top and become a swashbuckling star of the silent silver screen. Then the self-satisfied celebrity has his confidence shattered when ingenue Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) dismisses film actors as "shadows" without substance. After getting over the insult, he falls hard for her--much to the consternation of his costar, the sexy, selfish Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), who wants Don all to herself.But Don has career troubles too. The wild popularity of THE JAZZ SINGER has studios scrambling to move from silent films to talkies, and Lina's shrill voice and Don's stiff acting left the preview audience roaring with laughter. There's only one way to save the movie and their careers: turn THE DUELLING CAVALIER into a musical, with Kathy secretly dubbing in Lina's lines and songs. But can they hide the truth from Lina?
Musical & Performing Arts
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