MY FAIR LADY (1964)
Pygmalion is a 1913 play by George Bernard Shaw adapted into a stage musical in 1956 by Lerner and Loewe, titled My Fair Lady. It tells the story of a poor flower seller named Eliza Doolittle who overhears a phonetics professor’s casual wager that he will be able to teach her “proper” English, thus enabling her to fit in with the high society of Edwardian London.
“Why Can’t the English?” is an essay written by Professor Henry Higgins, a phonetics scholar; who believes that the accent and tone of a person’s voice determine their prospects in society. Despite Eliza Doolittle’s cockney accent, Higgins claimed she could learn how to speak proper English as well as a duchess at an embassy ball.
Eliza shows up at Higgins’ house the following morning. Pickering is intrigued and offers to cover Higgins’ expenses if he succeeds. “Women ruin lives, ” Higgins says. Eliza does not progress despite Higgins’ aggressive methods and gross disrespect.
Pickering, Higgins, and here are about to give up when she starts speaking with an impeccable accent. Elizabeth is delighted to find that she can suddenly communicate with a perfect accent.
The Movie’s Success
My Fair Lady became the second highest-grossing movie of 1964 and won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.