Audrey Hepburn promoting My Fair Lady in 1964: was the beloved actress over-rated in the film?
By Lee Pfeiffer
Distinguished British actress Emma Thompson is drafting a screenplay for a remake of the classic musical My Fair Lady, which won the Best Picture Oscar in 1964. It's controversial enough to be remaking a film that many consider near-perfect, but Thompson has ruffled feathers by assaulting the legend of Audrey Hepburn, saying her performance as Eliza Doolittle was over-praised and that the beloved Hepburn couldn't act. She attributes the film's success to others, saying: "It was (costumer) Cecil Beaton's
designs and (Hepburn's co-star) Rex Harrison that gave it its extraordinary
quality. I don't do Audrey Hepburn. I think that she's a guy thing ... It's high
time that the extraordinary role of Eliza was reinterpreted, because it's a very
fantastic part for a woman." In fact, Hepburn's voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon for the song sequences- a trait that was common in those days but which did muddy the effectiveness of a an actor's performance, especially in a musical. Still, the general consensus is that Hepburn's work in the non-singing sequences was marvelous. Thompson says she's bringing a feminist viewpoint to the remake. Although she is to be commended for her honesty, she's setting herself up for a major fall by comparing her reworking of a classic as a distinct improvement. Click here for more