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MY FAIR LADY, 1964
MY FAIR LADY, 1964
MY FAIR LADY, 1964
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MY FAIR LADY, 1964
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MY FAIR LADY, 1964

Details
MY FAIR LADY, 1964
Audrey Hepburn's working script for the 1964 Warner Bros. production My Fair Lady, the yellow paper covers printed "My Fair Lady", dated 24 June, 1963, and inscribed a.H. in pencil in Hepburn's hand, the final script with approximately 152 pages of mimeographed typescript, with 53 pages printed on blue paper representing changes to the script, the majority of pages with upper right corner either snipped, torn or folded down when completed, the parts for the character of Eliza Doolittle marked in pencil or Hepburn's signature turquoise ink, with words underlined for emphasis, deletions to directions and amendments to particular words and phrases to cocknify the dialogue, the inside back cover annotated in pencil in Hepburn's hand with a to do list Johnson's shoe wax, Angelus cream, l.v. - Stan [indistinct] + stand for red one, cigs - guestroom, prepare all vases, with additional note to the back cover in turquoise ink Bullock's dinner
11 ½ x 8 5/8 in. (29.2 x 22.4 cm.)
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Adrian Hume-Sayer

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Lot Essay

Eliza Doolittle was the most coveted role in a decade, and Audrey was desperate to have it, telling a reporter years earlier I'd do anything to play Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Agent Kurt Frings gave her the news over the telephone You've got My Fair Lady! Hepburn told Modern Screen magazine how she dragged her mother out of the shower in her haste to share the exciting news. Based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's musical adaptation opened on Broadway in 1956 with Julie Andrews as Eliza and Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins, becoming one of the biggest hits in Broadway history and running for over six years. Warner Bros. won the screen rights for an unprecedented $5 million. It would be Jack Warner's swansong, with the largest production budget ever at that time.

Fans of the Broadway show clamoured for Julie Andrews to be cast in the lead, but she was an unknown in Hollywood and Warner wanted big name movie stars that would be known all over the world - he wanted Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn too felt that the role was Julie's, and was reticent at first, but when she saw that Warner would only offer the role to another star if she turned it down, she swiftly accepted, telling Barbara Walters years later I thought I was entitled to do it as much as the third girl. According to Andrews, Hepburn would say to her in later years You should have done My Fair Lady, Julie — but I didn't have the guts to turn it down. Many in the industry were outraged at Andrews being overlooked, so much so that Warner publicly justified his casting decision, stating With all her charm and ability, Julie Andrews is just a Broadway name... In my business, I have to know who brings people and their money to a theatre box-office. Cary Grant, Warner's first choice to play Higgins, responded There is only one man who could play this and that's Rex - so the part went to Harrison. Warner already had his big name to guarantee the success of the picture.

After weeks of rehearsals, lessons and fittings, filming began on the elaborate production in August, Audrey enduring hours in make up each day to be transformed into the grubby Covent Garden flower girl. No one had ever seen such dedication. From day one, Audrey had been determined to make it a success, announcing to Beaton and director George Cukor This picture is one we must all remember. Wonderful talents, everyone right, everyone happy. It's the high spot, let's enjoy it!

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