Stylised and stylish, there's something gloriously timeless about My Fair Lady. Yeah, it's a product of that second-generation boom in musicals, when '60s Hollywood couldn't get enough of pillaging Broadway for screen material, but George Cukor's polished warbler just doesn't date.
Part of that's down to the modernity of its design, but has a lot to do with the lashings of cool wit and ingenuity on show. My Fair Lady is a movie that sidesteps sentiment and swerves around changing romantic fashions. It's always fresh, always enjoyable.
Of course, some argue that Audrey Hepburn robbed Julie Andrews of the role of Eliza Doolittle, the flower girl who's given a Pygmalion-style makeover. And while it's a convincing argument - - Andrews had played Eliza on stage; Hepburn had to have her singing voice dubbed - - it's impossible to resist Aud's looks. Or, for that matter, her acting.
She must have been doing something right to avoid being squashed by Rex Harrison's steamroller performance as Henry Higgins, the professor who turns commoner into lady. No surprise that the part was written for him - it's hard to imagine anyone else getting close.