Best Picture Winners Part 37 (of 87): My Fair Lady

myfairlady1963

Title: My Fair Lady
Year: 1963
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway
Runtime: 2 hr 50 mins

What It Is: A musical adventure in which a young street rat flower girl named Eliza (Hepburn) who runs in to phonetics professor Henry Higgins (Harrison) on the street. He gets into a bet with Colonel Hugh Pickering about Higgins’ ability to turn Eliza from street to chic. Right down to her cockney accent, which Higgins will attempt to refine. Finding it challenging he nonetheless pushes her towards that “perfection” in this winner of 7 other Academy Awards. This is a film that continued the trend of the musical winning Best Picture. This is a trend that literally has no end.

Memorable Quote: Professor Henry Higgins: There even are places where English completely disappears; in America they haven’t used it for years. 

Competition: Stiff. There were some good films here, some were better than My Fair Lady. First up was Becket, a historical account of the relationship between King Henry II and Thomas a Becket. After being appointed Archbishop of Canterbury their relationship becomes strained. Becket refuses to compromise the integrity of the church in order to satisfy the King’s wishes. Peter O’Toole absolutely kills it…again. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is Stanley Kubrick’s satirical masterwork. It sees Peter Sellers bring not just one good performances, but three great ones! Featuring wit so sharp you’d think it was written on a razor’s edge, this is a film that transcends it’s era. Kubrick probably should have taken home the Oscar for Best Direction. With our third nominee we have the absolutely timeless classic of this or any era Disney’s Mary Poppins. Julie Andrews won the Oscar for Best Actress and endeared herself to a generation. Not only did this movie up Disney’s game, but showed the studio was more than just animation. Some would argue this was the true Best Picture of 1964, present company included. Lastly we have Zorba the Greek this father-son tale of sorts is about an English writer who arrives to the Isle of Crete in order to look more closely at his life. When he’s taken in by Zorba, the writer, named Basil starts to see the world differently. Anthony Quinn is excellent and Lila Kedrova won the Supporting Actress Oscar for her role here.

Our tour continues with yet another musical coming up. Stay tuned to see what happens next. D

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