MY FAIR LADY (1964)

The Unenthusiastic Critic Podcast - Episode 2

By George, I don't think she gets it. On this week's podcast, we discuss Nakea's first viewing of My Fair Lady, George Cukor's Oscar-winning film version of Lerner and Loewe's beloved Broadway musical.

In a wide-ranging discussion, we talk about classism, sexism, code-switching, gate-keeping, stalkers, dubbers, deadbeat dads, and Hollywood's unfortunate addiction to happy endings. Most importantly, we try to get to the root of a perplexing question: Why does Nakea love music but hate musicals?

0:00–0:17: Prologue (Rex Harrison, My Fair Lady)
0:17–1:20: Intro and Theme Music ("Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby)
1:20–10:19: Listener Mail
10:19–10:39: Musical Interlude ("Poor Professor Higgins" from My Fair Lady)
10:39–21:31: Why Nakea Hates Musicals (Discussion)
21:31–22:16: Musical Interlude ("Show Me," from My Fair Lady)
22:16–29:08: Cultural Osmosis (Pre-Viewing Discussion of My Fair Lady)
29:08–30:03: Excerpt from Trailer for My Fair Lady 
30:03–1:11:03: The Verdict (Post-Viewing Discussion of My Fair Lady)
1:11:03–1:12:12: Outro and Next Week's Movie
1:12:12–1:13:01: Outtake

Notes and Links
—From the Corrections Department: A couple of times Michael wrongly says that My Fair Lady opened in 1965. It won the Oscar in 1965, but it was released in 1964.
—Reviews of My Fair Lady discussed: Bosley Crowther, NY Times; Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com; Andrew Sarris, The Village Voice.
—Article discussed: "Dame Julie Andrews talks My Fair Lady, sexism, Trump and the importance of art," Elissa Blake, Sydney Morning Herald.
—Read The Unenthusiastic Critic in prose form at unaffiliatedcritic.com.
Email us, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (Suggestions of movies to watch for future episodes are welcome!)
—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

The Unaffiliated Critic

Michael G. McDunnah is a freelance writer, a recovering lit major, a pop-culture junkie, and an unaffiliated critic. He lives in Chicago.

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4 thoughts on “MY FAIR LADY (1964)

  1. It would be interesting to see how The Unenthusiastic Critic responds to a very different kind of musical, Barbra Streisand's "Yentl", where there are no song and dance numbers interrupting the story. Instead, all of the songs, even when we see her singing, are the main character's internal monologue.

    1. That's a great idea, Sam. I haven't seen Yentl in a long time, but you're right, it's a completely different kind of musical, much more in that "soliloquy" mode I was arguing during the discussion. It's also the rare example of a musical MADE for film, rather than adapted from the stage. (There are probably others, but off the top of my head I can't think of very many that aren't cartoons.)

      So we'll add it to the list. Thanks!

  2. Aside from the Bill & Teds, the only time it is acceptable to enjoy Keanu Reeves is in "River's Edge," in which he is the quintessential stoner. Crispin is a GENIUS in it (has Nakea seen where he melted down on Letterman in 1988? I watched that when it happened and it gave me an acid flashback), but nothing is perfect and so we are subjected to annoying-in--everything Ione Skye.

    1. "Parenthood" is my other acceptable Keanu Reeves movie. Basically, as long as he's playing a dumb-fuck stoner kid, I'm okay with him. It's when they ask me to take him seriously as an intelligent grown-up—god forbid one speaking Shakespearean verse—that I run into trouble.

      And Lloyd Dobbler was always too good for Ione Skye.

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