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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2004
If you're considering buying this DVD, the chances are that you are already familiar with this fabulous film and don't need a synopsis. However, for those who aren't: This Lerner & Loewe musical is based on Shaw's Pygmalion and is the story of Eliza, a common flower girl, who, wanting more out of life, enlists the services of a professor of phonetics to train her to talk like a lady. Professor Higgins takes up the challenge, planning to pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball. But the results are not as either anticipates ...
Now for the important bit: As I said, you're probably already familiar with the film, having seen it on countless bank holiday TV broadcasts. So, why buy the DVD? The answer is simple: Firstly, it has been restored to full-colour wide-screen splendour ... and the difference compared to standard terrestrial broadcast is significant. If you have an interest in set/stage design, the full view of the marvellous interiors is breath-taking; Higgins' library, Mrs Higgins' stunning white Macintosh-style conservatory and breakfast room, and if costumes are your passion, the Cecil Beaton dresses in the ascot scene are dazzling. All need to be seen in full restored wide-screen splendour to be fully appreciated.
Secondly, the extras make this DVD well worth having. The documentary is slightly dated, but well worth seeing; the commentaries are a little dry but interesting enough; but the rare opportunity to see Audrey Hepburn singing her own songs makes this DVD a must-have. It's common knowledge that Audrey Hepburn's voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon, but if you've ever wondered why, this DVD allows you to judge for yourself whether the decision was right or not. Although some vocal weaknesses are evident, her lively rendition of 'Wouldn't it be Loverly' is delightful ... and I'm personally glad that these recordings have not been lost, but are available for all to enjoy.
Buy this DVD now and sing along to your heart's content!
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on 17 December 2006
This DVD sat on my shelf a long time waiting to be watched - I never had the inclination to sit through 165 minutes (2 hours 45 mins!) of a musical I had seen rather too often at Christmas when younger. Well, I eventually did, and am I glad I did! The careful restoration of the original Panavision 70mm film has paid dividends in the quality of what you see on screen - a lavish, colourful, stunning musical which bears very little resemblance (thankfully) to the grainy faded TV screening I remember from years ago.

The sound quality is also fantastic (the .1 of the 5.1 Digital even gets used once), and for those who wish, you can even listen in the 'Extras' to Audrey Hepburn singing two of the numbers herself, rather than the dubbed voice used in the film proper.

A 55 minute documentary on the making of My Fair Lady (and the painstaking restoration of the nearly-lost-for-ever film) makes for interesting viewing.

All in all, well worth every minute spent watching, and certainly deserving of a place on the DVD shelf.
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on 31 May 2005
Let's face it you're buying this film because you have already seen it and like so many others you love it to bits.
The reason to specifically buy this version of the film are entirely based around the extras. Audrey Hepburn's vocal track and the documentary of the making of My Fair Lady (fronted by Jeremy Brett who played Freddy) are the highlights for me. For those with the home TV equipment to allow them to view it properly the restored picture and sound are a delight.
For those that aren't interested in what went in to making this film, save some money and get the basic version for £6-7.00. But for me this is more than worth the extra money.
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on 28 April 2014
I have been a fan of My Fair Lady since I first saw the film in the 1960's. I have owned it in VHS and in an American import DVD that was made to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
I just bought the Blu ray edition with DTS 7.1 sound and HD.
The cover of the disc is written in Italian but that doesn't matter as the set up allows you to play the language of your choice. I'm not sure why Amazon UK sells this disc with the cover in Italian but as I am Italian speaker it does not matter to me, I suppose it ought to be made clear in the description though.
You can of course see that the cover is in Italian if you zoom it.
On to the disc: the sound has been polished and the colours of the flowers around Covent Garden flower market in the initial introduction show off beautifully as do the costumes.
I noticed that an American Blu ray import is also for sale at a slightly higher price and I wonder if anybody has seen the film on this disc and whether it is better than the European version.
Sometimes there is a difference.
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on 19 March 2003
I was always slightly suspicious of people who enjoyed musicals.
My ambivalence, however, was thrown off within minutes - "Oh wouldn't it be luvverly?" - the story's glorious opener that hurls you into the funny-ridiculous world inhabited by chimney sweeps, costermongers and gents in top hat and tails, prancing around Covent Garden. Thereafter, a medley of toe-tapping classics are infused into the story. This may explain why many people at work are now no longer talking to me, having upset them with incessant humming...
Rex Harrison is excellent playing the domineering (if not rancorous) Professor Higgins whose will and blinding ego drive him to turn a street urchin into a lady using elocution as the key hallmark of social climbing. Audrey Hepburn glows as Eliza. Forever will she remain the benchmark for beauty and grace. Here she gives a wonderful performance and, though most of her singing scenes have been dubbed, commands her time on scene using her stature and honey voice.
A film you should watch if you need a change of pace and atmosphere to contemporary pictures.
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on 12 April 2007
My sister and myself are studying George Bernard Shaw's superb play Pygmalion for our upcoming English Literature exam and are both enjoying it. We thought we would watch My Fair Lady just out of interest and to see how the play does.The film does not do justice to Shaws view on womens rights, education and class differences but it is not ment to. It does however do justice to Shaws witty dialogue and excellent characters. Audrey Hepburn is superb as Eliza Doolittle, and so is Rex Harrison as the short tempered Henry Higgins(in spite of his awful singing but that also does justice to his character as Higgins is an unfeeling person).Great performances from Stanley Holloway, Wilfred Hyde-White, Jeremy Brett and Gladys Cooper who play their roles well. The songs also do justice to Shaw. Eliza singing Wouldnt It Be Luverly? reflects the ambition she feels, Alfred singing With A Little Bit O Luck shows his carefree amoral nature and Higgins singing I`m Just an Ordinary Man shows his cold nature all of which are evident in the play. The rest of the songs are also brilliant so are the costumes and sets.

This is not a fully accurate adaptation of the play but it is not meant to be; its just a fun, entertaining film.

Favourite songs are Wouldn't It Be Luverly, On The Street Where You Live and Get Me To The Church on Time.
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on 22 November 2015
This 50th Anniversary remastered Blu Ray is in a single word STUNNING!....If you are going to buy the blu ray of this classic musical PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU GET THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY REMASTER and NOT some of the other foreign blu ray versions available (at the moment this is not available in the UK - but this US import is REGION FREE) as they are reported to have a dreadful picture image.

The 2:40:1 image is as sharp as a pin, the colour pallette is rich, smooth, vivid and lush with no obvious DNR and the smallest amount of filmic grain that only adds to the pleasure. In short this together with "Hello Dolly", "The Sound of Music" and the remastered 4k "Oklahoma" are probably the 4 best looking blu rays one could own and makes one realise how good HD can and should look - if only other distributers would take the time to ensure their releases looked as good.

The soundtrack too has been given a make-over into 7.1 Dolby True HD sound and is full bodied and enveloping and a joy to the ear. However whilst the film is claimed to be in 7.1 and my THX shows that there are indeed 7.1 channels present there is no sound at all from the side speakers - just the 3 front and 2 rear making it in reality just 5.1. and as the 7.1 Dolby True is the only option there is no way for the amp to upscale to a higher number of channels. Not even on the famous wraparound Ascot race sound effect do the sides kick in. Its a shame ....but what we do have here is a fantastic soundtrack anyway. Also upon viewing it there appeared to be a sync problem with the sound but on closer inspection and comparing it to the standard DVD this appears to be only when Audrey Hepburn (well Marnie Nixon) sings - not a case of poor lip syncing by the star as Marnie Nixon's vocals were added AFTER Audrey had sung on the original soundtrack - its simply a case of the sound team not being able to sync the two stars up very well - in The King And I, Nixon was on set with Deborah Kerr the whole time so was more able to match her vocals to perfection - to the point where many beliewved that it was actually Deborah Kerr singing. In the case of My Fair Lady, Rex harrrison's vocals and synced image match perfectly - as does everyone else.

This Steelbook release contains the blu ray of the movie plus a region 1 DVD and a blu ray containing a wealth of extra documentaries and features that are most interesting. Most have apeared before on DVD releases but there are one or two new additions I think (sorry I have not had time to fully check with my Standard DVD version).

Audrey Hepburn never looked as beautiful and Rex Harrisson can "walk down that street again" knowing full well that one of his most treasured performances has been given the classy treatment it deserves.
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on 26 December 2014
Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) is a Cockney Girl trying to make a meagre sum by selling flowers to the Rich in the West End of London. Her Father Alfred (Stanley Holloway) doesn't work and only visits her to try and get any money he can to spend on beer. She meets Colonel Pickering (Wilfred Hyde-White) and during this conversation Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) overhears them and is intrigued by her purely on how she talks and is horrified to hear English spoken in such a way "this is the language of Shakespeare, Milton and The Bible". Higgins bets Pickering that in 6 months he could pass her off as a Duchess at the Embassy Ball by giving Eliza extensive vocal training by bribing her with Chocolates and a luxurious room in his home at Wimpole Street, She begins to dream of a better life and leaves for his home.

As the months pass Higgins tries multiple methods to teach her pronunciation (Some of which are verging on cruelty) while Col. Pickering watches on and warns him not to push her too hard. After a breakthrough he decides that she is ready and should go to his mothers (Gladys Cooper) box at Royal Ascot and initially impresses the upper-class there including Freddy Eynsford-Hill (Jeremy Brett) who falls in love with her, however the façade fails in a humorous way and Eliza is left devastated.

its the day of the ball following a few weeks of hard work and Pickering by now is convinced that the bet was a big mistake and they should stop before all 3 are embarrassed but Higgins is cocksure and has every faith in his ability and methods. His confidence is vindicated when she is a big success and passes the ultimate test along the way, When they return Higgins' ignorance leads to tension between him and Eliza mainly because having become a lady she is left trying to deal with an identity crisis and the uncertainty over her future, You have probably seen this already or you could guess how it ends but suffice to say its a moving ending with one of the greatest songs ever written for a musical.

It features some memorable performances from the two leads. Rex Harrison deservedly won an Oscar for his portrayal of Prof. Higgins I do agree with people who say that the professor does not hate women alone. he even admits it in the film that he treats everyone with the same disdain (apart from Pickering). Being incredibly biased I have to say that the star of the show is definitely Audrey and she is the definitive Eliza Doolittle. Some people knocked her character before the transformation but you cant help but love the roguish charm she gave her ("GARN!") and personally her accent is fine because its set in a romanticized Edwardian England so its immaterial really. When she becomes a lady however few people will argue how spectacular her performance is, Audrey was always modest about her acting but the elegance and vulnerability she brought to it made you feel that she played two separate characters .The cheerful Cockney flower girl and the insecure, fragile educated woman. As good an actress and singer that Julie Andrews is I don't think she has the ability to perform the last few acts like Audrey did. Its a shame she did not win an Oscar because she deserved it for the last scenes alone..quite ironic that Julie won the best actress Oscar (Mary Poppins) when this should have been nominated. Gladys Cooper plays Mrs Higgins with aplomb and Jeremy Brett is wonderful as the lovesick Freddy, its amusing to see Sherlock Holmes in such a different light!

The production was huge and you have to be impressed by the sheer amount of work put into it, if you look at the sets and costumes (provided by Cecil Beaton) the attention to detail is immaculate to the gloves the ladies are wearing. Andre Previn creates a memorable score for this mammoth picture, the modern DVD has a rich video and the sound really gives it justice.

Settle down on a dark night with a cup of something warm and enjoy this audio/visual treat now wouldn't that be loverly?!
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on 15 July 2006
In case there's anyone considering purchasing this film who doesn't already have some idea of what it's about: it's about a poor flower-girl ("a prisoner of the gutters, condemned by every syllable she utters ... who should be taken and hung for the cold blooded murder of the English tongue") and how she was lurned to speak proper and behave like a lidy, by a rich gentleman who specialised in linguistics. The songs are clever and funny, the music is wonderful, the costumes are fabulous and the film is pure entertainment from beginning to end. I used to hate it when I was a child, because my mother loved it so much she tormented the whole family by playing he record over and over again. That was a long long time ago and when I came across this DVD it made me think about my mum (sorely missed), so I bought it and, to my astonishment, thoroughly enjoyed it - even Audrey Hepburn's appallingly dreadful imitation of a cockney accent. The music that had me grinding my teeth as a child, had me singing along (just as I remember my mother embarrassingly doing) as an adult. Thank goodness the film restoration boffs managed to rescue this film from oblivion. Modern technology has its uses. The picture quality is as fresh and bright as I remember when the film was new. It's a treasure. I recommend you add it to your horde.
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on 7 June 2007
"The rain in spain falls mainly on the plain" - so says Audrey Hepburn in this musical as Rex Harrison tries to get her to speak the right way.

Almost everything in My Fair Lady was done the right way and as one of the people who worked on the film said, the only mistake that was made creating it,was that Audrey didn't sing the songs herself - with her imperfect voice the singing by Eliza would have seemed more realistic .A musical that has perhaps only been equalled by The Sound Of Music for its overall quality.
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