My Fair Lady

Critics Consensus

George Cukor's elegant, colorful adaptation of the beloved stage play is elevated to new heights thanks to winning performances by Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.



Total Count: 54


Audience Score

User Ratings: 186,986
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Movie Info

My Fair Lady is now more "lovelier" than ever with a breathtaking new restoration playing in cinemas nationwide for a limited time only. In honor of its 50th Anniversary, this eight time OSCAR winning musical has been restored frame-by-frame from the original 65mm negative and scanned utilizing start-of-the-art technology under the supervision of Robert Harris (the famed film historian).


Rex Harrison
as Henry Higgins
Audrey Hepburn
as Eliza Doolittle
Stanley Holloway
as Alfred Doolittle
Wilfrid Hyde-White
as Col. Hugh Pickering
Gladys Cooper
as Mrs. Higgins
Jeremy Brett
as Freddie Eynsford-Hill
Theodore Bikel
as Zoltan Karpathy
Mona Washbourne
as Mrs. Pearce
Isobel Elsom
as Mrs. Eynsford-Hill
Veronica Rothschild
as Queen of Transylvania
Henry Daniell
as Prince of Transylvania
Alan Napier
as Ambassador
Oscar Beregi
as Greek Ambassador
Moyna MacGill
as Lady Boxington
Ben Wrigley
as Costermonger
Clive Halliday
as Costermonger
Richard Peel
as Costermonger
Eric Heath
as Costermonger
James O'Hara
as Costermonger
Kendrick Huxham
as Elegant Bystander
Frank Baker
as Elegant Bystander
Walter Burke
as Main Bystander
Queenie Leonard
as Cockney Bystander
Laurie Main
as Hoxton Man
Owen McGiveney
as Man at Coffee Stand
Marjorie Bennett
as Cockney with Pipe
Britannia Beatey
as Daughter of Elegant Bystander
Hilda Plowright
as Bystander
Jacqueline Squire
as Parlor Maid
Kai Farrelli
as Juggler
Joe Evans
as Cockney
Marie Busch
as Cockney
Andrew Brown
as Cockney
Dick Thomas
as Cockney
James Wood
as Cockney
Joy Tierney
as Cockney
Bill Shirley
as Freddy [singing]
Donna Day
as Cockney
Corinne Ross
as Cockney
David Robel
as Cockney
Iris Bristol
as Flower Girl
Alma Lawton
as Flower Girl
Ron Whelan
as Algernon/Bartender
Roy Dean
as Footman
Lillian Kemble-Cooper
as Lady Ambassador
Barbara Pepper
as Doolittle's Dance Partner
Ayllene Gibbons
as Fat Woman at Pub
Baroness Rothschild
as Queen of Transylvania
Ben Wright
as Footman at Ball
Oscar Beregi Jr.
as Greek Ambassador
Grady Sutton
as Ascot Type
Orville Sherman
as Ascot Type
Harvey B. Dunn
as Ascot Type
Barbara Morrison
as Ascot Type
Marni Nixon
as Eliza [singing]
Natalie Core
as Ascot Type
Helen Albrecht
as Ascot Type
Diana Bourbon
as Ascot Type
Colin Campbell
as Ascot Gavotte
Marjory Hawtrey
as Ad Libs at Ascot
Paulle Clark
as Ad Libs at Ascot
Allyson Daniell
as Ad Libs at Ascot
Betty Blythe
as Ad Lib at Ball
Tom Cound
as Footman
Geoffrey Steele
as Taxi Driver
Jennifer Crier
as Mrs. Higgins' Maid
Victor Rogers
as Policeman
Brendan Dillon
as Leaning Man
Olive Reeves-Smith
as Mrs. Hopkins
Elzada Wilson
as Ad Libs at Church
Jeanne Carson
as Ad Libs at Church
Buddy Shea
as Ad Libs at Church
Jack Goldie
as Ad Libs at Church
Sid Marion
as Ad Libs at Church
Stanley Fraser
as Ad Libs at Church
George Pelling
as Ad Libs at Church
Colin Kenny
as Ad Libs at Church
LaWana Backer
as Ad Libs at Church
Monika Henreid
as Ad Libs at Church
Anne Dore
as Ad Libs at Church
Pauline Drake
as Ad Libs at Church
Shirley Melline
as Ad Libs at Church
Wendy Russell
as Ad Libs at Church
Meg Brown
as Ad Libs at Church
Clyde Howdy
as Ad Libs at Church
Nick Wolcuff
as Ad Libs at Church
Martin Eric
as Ad Libs at Church
John Mitchum
as Ad Libs at Church
Phyllis Kennedy
as Cockney/Ad Lib at Church
Sam Harris
as Guest at Ball
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News & Interviews for My Fair Lady

Critic Reviews for My Fair Lady

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (3)

  • Mr Alan Jay Lerner has done a brilliant screenplay from his own brilliant stage play.

    May 31, 2019 | Full Review…
  • One of those rare, rare occasions when everything goes right, when it keeps going right and it moves and takes the spectator along, enchanted and enthralled.

    Oct 22, 2018 | Full Review…
  • For those who've seen the stage show, My Fair Lady give complete satisfaction and those who will see and hear the musical for the first time will be enchanted by it.

    Feb 24, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • In this literal, beautiful, bountiful version of the most gilt-edged attraction in theater history, Jack Warner has miraculously managed to turn gold into gold.

    Feb 24, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Despite all reservations expressed, I must make clear that his fantastically successful show has been converted into a generally entertaining film.

    Feb 6, 2013 | Full Review…
  • A marvelous restoration of the 30-year-old musical, precisely the kind of high-class popular entertainment that Hollywood can't seem to make these days.

    Jan 16, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for My Fair Lady

  • Aug 22, 2014
    Lerner and Loewe tried to turn Gigi into a proper Frenchwoman, and now they're trying to turn some Cockney gal into a proper Englishwoman, so they seemed to be as into formal gals as George Cukor was into glamorous gals, though not exactly to be attracted to. Cukor saw the birth of a star, and now he's back with "A Proper Lady is Born", and if that's not good enough news for you, well, it's even longer! Seriously though, sorry, Cukor, but in 1964, Billy Taylor beat you to an adaptation of "My Fair Lady", although your interpretation quickly drove the "My Fair Lady Loves Jazz" album into obscurity. I better remember this film if it's going to take three hours to try and burn into my brain, so it's a good thing that these songs are so catchy, because this isn't exactly a complex epic. Well, this story at least feels kind of thin, because it's so much less convoluted than this film's origin as an adaptation of a musical that is an adaptation of a film that is an adaptation of a play, although we can at least take comfort in the fact that this chain of adaptations is still less confusing than the original property's title, "Pygmalion". For the record, that title is referring to the Pygmalion effect, which states that the greater the challenge, the greater the reactive performance is, although I may only know that because my watching this film and, well, looking into jazz deeply enough to know about Billy Taylor's "A Proper Lady is Born" reflect that I have a lot of time on my hands to look up inconsequential stuff. So yeah, "A Proper Lady is Born" is plenty decent and all, but it's no more compelling than "A Star is Born", even in concept. The film does so many things well, to where it might have achieved the reward value of such epic musicals of its time as "The Sound of Music", or "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (Forget "West Side Story"! I just had to get that out), or of the delightful "Gigi", but what challenges it right away is the natural shortcomings to its simple premise of good-hearted street trash receiving an education on formality for the potential of a more respectable, better life, because as interesting as this story is, it's thin, like certain areas of the characterization which needs to carry plenty of depth to make up for the lack of depth to make up for the lack of depth to the plot. Well, the leading Eliza Doolittle character is very layered, albeit not entirely convincingly, but certain more so than her peers, particularly Doolittle's random romantic admirer, and the thin Henry Higgins character whose background is slim, and whose gradual exposition comes much too late to feel the humanity within the often, maybe mostly unlikable role, which still isn't too much more obnoxious than the extremes in either grating informality and pompous class which exacerbate subtlety issues. Frankly, I don't know how much subtlety there is at any point in this melodrama, as its plot is driven by histrionics, and its script is heavy-handed, particularly with fluffier aspects of humor and lively set piece drawing which have become dated and just had to have always been some prominent degree of cheesy. I suppose there's no way around some prominent degree of cheese if this film is going to be celebratory of musical theatrics, forcing in more than a few numbers which are plenty entertaining, but not always, for there are some lyrical shortcomings, formulaic touches and draggings in a few numbers which remind you of just how expendable the musical aspects of the film are. Honestly, I'll take them, for their liveliness does a better job of coloring up the storytelling than the excess narrative material, because with all of my going on about how inconsequential this story concept kind of is, the final product still flirts with a whopping runtime of three hours which is simply not reasonable, reached at a brisk directorial pace, and with script that goes aimlessly bloated. The film kicks off with a hook, and it's not long before momentum settles too much for the final product to transcend underwhelmingness, because as fun and aesthetically competent as this epic of a glamorous musical is, it's too thin, too unsubtle and, of course, too blasted long to truly reward. Nevertheless, the final product entertains thoroughly enough to hold one's patience, and prove aesthetically solid. As celebratory of musical style as this film is, its visual style is one of the most outstanding aspects, for Harry Stradling's Oscar-winning cinematography plays with lighting in a manner which ranges from handsomely heavy in its coloration, to crisply dreamy, and with a scope which all but justifies the length of an epic through a fine balance between sweep and intimacy which immerses you into Edwardian England, with a great deal of help from Gene Allen's, Cecil Beaton's and Malcolm C. Bert's outstandingly diverse and, with the help of Beaton's and Michael Neuwirth's costume designs, lavish art direction. The film looks plenty grand, and, of course, it also sounds plenty grand, with André Previn delivering on a formulaic, but either sweeping or tender, and consistently lovely score which keeps musical liveliness up in between the musical numbers by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, more than a few of which are simply forced and exhaustingly overlong, with a couple feeling under-inspired and conventional, only to be far outweighed by thoroughly catchy, near-symphonically well-orchestrated tunes whose being backed by often simple, but always somewhat energetic choreography make some genuinely memorable and very fun cinematic theatrics. The film is a beauty, both visually and musically, and I wish the substance was up to par with the style, although the style is still so solid that it carries the film a fair distance, at least before it loses a good bit of momentum that George Cukor never really allows to fall all that much. As director, Cukor can get overstylized, and rarely puts all that much of an effort into making up for scripting shortcomings through thoughtful storytelling, but it's as if Cukor has a better understanding of what kind of film this is than Lerner and George Bernard Shaw, as writers, keeping pacing smooth and pacing lively in order to establish an entertainment value and charm which endears throughout this film's challenging course. The onscreen charmers also do a better job with their duties than the writing, which draws thin characters who are hard to buy into and even rather obnoxious, if not unlikable, yet are, in fact, endearing, thanks to the thorough grounded charm of Wilfrid Hyde-White and Rex Harrison, and to the theatrical, if cheesily overdramatic charm of the lovely Audrey Hepburn. The performers entertain and charm about as much as Cukor does, and it helps that Lerner and Shaw are never terribly flat with their writing material for the onscreen and offscreen talents, bloating the film's structure and thinning developmental depth, to where engagement value gradually slips, but keeping consistent with witty dialogue and plenty of amusing comic set pieces which, at the very least, hold the potential to entertain. The film stands to hold more potential in other areas, but when it comes to that potential for fun, it is thoroughly fulfilled by solid style, lively storytelling and colorful performers, who hold your attention, even if they can't firmly secure your investment. When the rain finally passes over Spain, the natural shortcomings of this thin story go too intensely stressed by thin characterization, obnoxious aspects, serious subtlety issues, cheesy spots, some forced musical numbers, and, of course, an excessive length to transcend underwhelmingness, but your patience ought to be secured firmly enough by beautiful cinematography and art direction, grand score work and musical numbers, lively directorial storytelling, charming performances, and clever, if overblown writing to make George Cukor's "My Fair Lady" a fun affair of limited consequence and great excess. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Jan 14, 2014
    I prefer the non musical version but Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn breathe life into the tale of Eliza Doolittle. You would love to have these characters in your own day to day life.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2013
    Henry Higgins bets that he can turn cockney Eliza Doolittle into a lady. The play on which this musical is based and the film are profoundly interesting. The conception of rhetoric and its relationship to identity are thoroughly explored. By changing Eliza's language does Higgins change who she is? Is that form of education robbing her of her independence and identity? Is that even what we mean by "education?" Should language be changed to fit societal norms? The film and play poses these questions and answers very few. Audrey Hepburn is delightful as always, and Rex Harrison is the perfect conceited intellectual. The love plot is charming and made me smile more than once. The only problem I had with the film's performances is Harrison's singing. He more spoke his words in rhythm than sang them, but after a while, this delivery grew on me. *Spoiler Alert* I wish the story ended differently. There wasn't enough humility on the part of the love-vanquished Professor Higgins, and the final shot of Eliza getting his slippers made me think that neither of these characters learned enough. Overall, this film is very good, a fine representation of its source material.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 04, 2013
    Pygmalion is a great film but not as charming as this My Fair Lady, an adorable musical version of the same play with delightful songs and a splendid cast - but even so, Doolittle's change doesn't seem as gradual here, and the film ends with a rather vexing, sexist conclusion.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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