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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie

gregnyc2
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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#1
Posted: 8/18/19 at 7:47pm
Im watching MFL now on TCM. Its such sludge. The peonies at the beginning are lovely. The rest.......ugh.

Is this screenplay close to the musical book?

In retrospect, Im guessing it was the luckiest career move ever for Julie Andrews that she wasnt cast? This studio production, so thick and lifeless.

I want to like this, but its just so bad. Audrey is wrong in every moment. The cockney is wrong, and shes gaunt and wan when its the princess mode.

What Im trying to do is insert Julie into this film. I dont think she could have changed this staged dour film. I think she was lucky.

Sorry sorry to those who might love the film.
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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#2
Posted: 8/18/19 at 9:04pm

I disagree with you.  The movie is 'sound'-stage bound, no doubt, but it has other charms.  Hepburn is game but a bit miscast for the Cockney scenes, though her comic timing is terrific and her scene at the racetrack is simply superb.  She's utterly beguiling during her "princess" moments.  Harrison is a bit of a cold fish but so is the role so it works, and Gladys Cooper makes for a chatty and delightfully blunt Mrs. Higgins.  The screenplay retains much of the libretto and much of Shaw, which the libretto interspersed, which means there is a lot of witty dialog.  I do think the direction is rather stodgy and flat, which makes several scenes seem hopelessly stagebound, but the score remains superb and the film is far more entertaining than I was willing to give it credit for when I first saw it.  That's simply my opinion, of course.

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Call_me_jorge
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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#3
Posted: 8/18/19 at 9:10pm
Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if we got a remake of this and other golden era musicals, like The King and I.
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Valentina3
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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#4
Posted: 8/18/19 at 9:45pm

Call_me_jorge said: "Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if we got a remake of this and other golden era musicals, like The King and I."

Both these stories are so deeply problematic by today's sensibilities that any actual movie remake would require a modern perspective. MFL is easier to make feminist (she makes the choice to go to Higgins, and doesn't back down etc.), so with right leads - it can be a fantastic film. Do think they will need to cut it short by a lot.

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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#5
Posted: 8/18/19 at 10:05pm

Of course a few years ago Emma Thompson was enlisted to write a screenplay for a new film version of MY FAIR LADY (reportedly to star Carey Mulligan) but nothing ever came of it.

 

https://www.newshub.co.nz/entertainment/emma-thompson-says-my-fair-lady-shelved-2014040211

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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#6
Posted: 8/18/19 at 11:24pm
God I wish we had her on film in that role though
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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#7
Posted: 8/18/19 at 11:49pm

I've always stood by Robert Osborn's assessment that SOUND OF MUSIC and THE KING AND I are the two most successful Golden Age adaptations, because each uses the grandness of cinema to its advantage. The "smallness" of Mrs Anna and Maria when they enter the homes can't really be shown onstage, and no stage production of Sound of Music has ever been able to capture the thrill of that opening scene or the cinematic freedom of "Confidence" and "Do Re Mi" and "16/17."

MFL's living room scenes feel almost claustrophobic on a soundstage. I don't know if it was Jack Warner, or George Cukor, or someone else who wanted to keep MFL as close to the original Broadway production as possible, but they succeeded.

I also don't think George Cukor really knew how to direct a musical, though he had done a few before including Judy's Star is Born. He didn't get the full potential out of the camera.

gregnyc2
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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#8
Posted: 8/19/19 at 12:31am
Yes, Audrey in the racetrack scene is pretty Great I’ll admit

Someone on this board will know this: Is there really no footage of MFL with Andrews? (Like not the Ed Sullivan or other “formal” tv excerpt stuff but something of an actual performance?).

Can you imagine seeing this show when it was brand new and you were in the audience hearing I could have danced all night with a then essentially unknown Julie?

I still laugh at that famous New Yorker cartoon of the new widow who missed her husband’s funeral because they had MFL tickets......

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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#9
Posted: 8/19/19 at 10:47am

Julie Andrews herself wrote in her memoire Home that the Ed Sullivan appearances are the only filmed record of her performance, so at least at that point if any footage did exist she had never seen or heard about it, and I feel like if any had turned up since Home was published that somebody would have made it known here.

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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#10
Posted: 8/19/19 at 11:02pm

Valentina3 said: "Call_me_jorge said: "Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if we got a remake of this and other golden era musicals, like The King and I."

Both these stories are so deeply problematic by today's sensibilities that any actual movie remake would require a modern perspective. MFL is easier to make feminist (she makes the choice to go to Higgins, and doesn't back down etc.), so with right leads - it can be a fantastic film. Do think they will need to cut it short by a lot.
"

Ooh, deeply problematic by TODAY's sensibilities.  Well, let's just bury 'em then, huh?  Because no audience member can actually see beyond their 2019 noses and understand context, when the shows take place - what a dopey world, but this too shall pass, I guarantee you.

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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#11
Posted: 8/20/19 at 12:58am
My Fair Lady is offensive only to people looking to be offended. Henry Higgins is clearly meant to be a raging a**hole, and the musical in no way condones his behavior. When done right, he’s funny in the same way Larry David is on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

MFL does not need to be “fixed” or rethought. Also, Eliza is a strong female character and a great role. The show is a true classic, as is the movie.
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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#12
Posted: 8/20/19 at 2:00am
My Fair Lady is actually one of my favorite film musicals because they seemed to actually trust the material and just made a film of the musical without making too many changes or cuts. A vast majority of musical film adaptations didn’t receive the same respect and trust.
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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#13
Posted: 8/20/19 at 4:41am

I can't stand the movie because of the lip-syncing. Somehow it works in The King and I but is way too distracting in MFL. That said, I don't think they need to drastically rewrite the story for a new film. They just need to capture the magic that the closing cast with Laura Benanti (minus Harry... I saw it with his alternate) had. That production fully understood how to present the material in 2019 without changing too much. Eliza and Alfred are really the keys to getting it right. 

SisterGeorge
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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#14
Posted: 8/20/19 at 12:39pm

gregnyc2 said: "In retrospect, Im guessing it was the luckiest career move ever for Julie Andrews that she wasnt cast? This studio production, so thick and lifeless."

I agree the movie is a bit of a bore -- I find the last half hour or so interminable. I don't think the quality of the movie itself would have damaged her career as it was one of the biggest box office hits of the year. However, it might have prevented her from being in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music and THAT would have been tragic.

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MY FAIR LADY film :lucky Julie#15
Posted: 8/20/19 at 12:57pm

I'm not asking for the story to be buried or ignored. It's very much a story worthy of being told over and over again - I'm just saying the way they romanticize Henry's character is not something I like about the movie. The current revival (and from what I understand - the original production of the musical) made very deliberate choices to play up Henry's "raging a**hole" attributes, and I think that would be crucial for any new movie adaptation to get right. Eliza's feminism is also downplayed in the movie, IMHO. The revival (more specifically, Lauren Ambrose's portrayal) made me see Eliza's "grooming scenes" as true comic relief moments because she wasn't just cowering, unlike in the movie where I often feel like "oh good God, poor girl get out of there!".

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Updated On: 8/20/19 at 12:57 PM