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Comparing Pygmalion with the film My Fair lady

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Fernando Lutfalla Comparing Pygmalion with My Fair lady Pygmalion is a novel written by Bernard Shaw which portrays a comedy story. In 1964 however, George Cukor, director of My Fair Lady, created the film hoping to retain some similarities and also incorporate a few changes of his own. The productions carry a very similar role in certain aspects such as character interaction and the portrayal of social status, however clear differences can be seen in the two plots, especially in the ending. Among the several similarities between the film and the play one of them is the likenesses between the two works in character interaction. For example, in both the play and the film, Professor Higgins has an autocratic paternal mentality regarding Eliza Doolittle. Together with this is the similarity between the language and phrases used by the characters. For example, when Higgins describes the character of Eliza as filthy and dirty in the film, the same exact words can be seen in Pygmalion. ...read more.


Another similarity in the play and the film is the portrayal of social status. To begin with, the play and the film introduce the importance of social status in the opening scenes. When Henry Higgins analyzes Eliza Doolittle in the film, he speaks in an arrogant tone to make it clear that he is superior. On the other hand, in the play, Higgins speaks unsympathetic, uses degrading words and says that Eliza is not even capable of being a human being. Even though the two productions can be very similar they have evident signs of contrast. One of them is the music added to the play, which as a consequence lightens up the environment of tension shown in Pygmalion. In addition this takes the play's originality, taking away social criticism and adding entertainment. However, some people think that the songs add an extra dimension to the story. ...read more.


Rex Harrison reflects Higgins personality very well. He brings liveliness to the play and interprets Bernard Shaw's character emphasizing his main characteristics. He is also older and this helps to maintain the themes of the play. Stanley Holloway interprets Doolittle as Shaw intended him to be. He is a poor drunkard which speaks with a very poor accent. This is perfectly illustrated by his physical appearance showing similarity with Pygmalion. Also we know that the film was recorded in Hollywood, so it becomes much more of a spectacle than of a play of affection. So it makes the play loose its seriousness and criticism. The clothes add to the movie an emphasis on peoples social class. They have an important role in illustrating the character physically and reflecting the characters in Pygmalion. So overall we can see how the My Fair lady and Pygmalion have lots of similarities in plot, character behavior and social status however we can see how important aspects like the ending and the music takeaway lots of the play's originality ...read more.

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