My Fair Lady

Synopsis: Pompous phonetics professor Henry Higgins is so sure of his abilities that he takes it upon himself to transform a Cockney working-class girl into someone who can pass for a cultured member of high society. His subject turns out to be the lovely Eliza Doolittle, who agrees to speech lessons to improve her job prospects. Higgins and Eliza clash, then form an unlikely bond -- one that is threatened by an aristocratic suitor.
Genre: Drama, Family, Musical
Director(s): George Cukor
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Won 8 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
170 min


Freddy, go and find a cab.

Do you want me to catch pneumonia?

Don't just stand there, Freddy.

Go and find a cab.

All right, I'll get one.

Look where you're goin', dear.

Look where you're goin'!

I'm so sorry.

Two bunches o' violets trod in the mud.

A full day's wages.


Freddy, go and find a cab.

Yes, Mother.

He's your son, is he?

If you'd done your duty

as a mother should... wouldn't let 'im spoil a poor girl's

flow'rs and run away without payin'.

Go about your business, my girl.

And you wouldn't go off

without payin', either.

Two bunches o' violets trod in the mud.

Sir, is there any sign of it stopping?

I'm afraid not. It's worse than before.

If it's worse, it's a sign it's nearly over.

Cheer up, Capt'n,

buy a flow'r off a poor girl.

I'm sorry, I haven't any change.

I can change 'alf a crown.

Take this for tuppence.

I told you, I'm awfully sorry.

Wait a minute.

Oh, yes. Here's three ha' pence,

if that's any use to you.

Thank you, sir.

You be careful.

Better give 'im a flower for it.

There's a bloke here behind that pillar...

...takin' down every blessed word

you're sayin'.

I ain't done nothin' wrong

by speakin' to the gentleman.

I've a right to sell flow'rs

if I keep off the curb.

I'm a respectable girl, so help me.

I never spoke to him except to ask him

to buy a flow'r off me.

- What's the bloomin' noise?

- A tec's takin' her down.

I'm makin' an honest livin'.

Who's doing all that shouting?

Sir, don't let 'im charge me.

You dunno what it means to me.

They'll take away me character

and drive me on the streets...

...for speakin' to gentlemen.

There, there. Who's hurting you,

you silly girl? What'd you take me for?

On my Bible oath, I never spoke a word.

Shut up! Do I look like a policeman?

Why'd ya take down me words?

'Ow do I know you took me down right?

You just show me

what you wrote ab'ut me.

That ain't proper writin'. I can't read it.

I can.

"I say, Capt'n,

now buy a flow'r off a poor girl. "

Oh, it's cause I called him "Capt'n. "

I meant no 'arm. Sir, don't let him lay

a charge against me for a word like that.

I'll make no charge.

Really, sir, if you are a detective... needn't protect me

against molestation from young women...

...until I ask you.

Anyone could tell the girl meant no harm.

He ain't no tec. He's a gentleman.

Look at his boots.

How are all your people down at Selsey?

Who told you my people

come from Selsey?

Never mind, they do.

How do you come to be up so far east?

You were born in Lisson Grove.

What 'arm is there

in my leavin' Lisson Grove?

It weren't fit for pigs to live.

I had to pay four and six a week.

Live where you like but stop that noise!

Come, come, he can't touch you.

You've a right to live where you please.

I'm a good girl, I am.

- Where do I come from?

- Hawkestone.

Who said I didn't?

Blimey, you know everything, you do.

You, sir, do you think

you could find me a taxi?

Madam, it's stopped raining.

You can get a motorbus to Hampton Court.

Isn't that where you live?

What impertinence!

Tell 'im where he comes from,

if you wanta go fortune-telling.

Cheltenham, Harrow...

...Cambridge and...


Quite right.

He ain't a tec,

he's a bloomin' busybody.

Do you do this sort of thing

for a living at a music hall?

I have thought of it.

Perhaps I will one day.

He's no gentleman, he ain't,

to interfere with a poor girl!

How do you do it, may I ask?

Simple phonetics. The science of speech.

That's my profession. Also my hobby.

Anyone can spot an Irishman

or a Yorkshireman by his brogue...

...but I can place a man within six miles.

I can place 'im within two miles in London.

Sometimes within two streets.

Ought to be ashamed of 'imself,

unmanly coward.

- Is there a living in that?

- Oh, yes.

Let him mind his own business

and leave a poor girl alone.

Cease this detestable

boohooing instantly...

...or else seek the shelter

of some other place of worship!

I have a right to be here if I like,

same as you!

A woman who utters such disgusting,

depressing noises...

...has no right to be anywhere,

no right to live.

Remember, you're a human with a soul...

...and the divine gift of articulate speech.

Your native language is the language

of Shakespeare and...

...Milton and the Bible. Don't sit there

crooning like a bilious pigeon.


"Look at her,

a prisoner of the gutters

"Condemned by every syllable she utters

"By right she should be taken out and hung

"For the cold-blooded murder

of the English tongue"


Heavens, what a sound!

"This is what the British population

"Calls an elementary education"

Come, sir, I think you've picked

a poor example.

Did I?

"Hear them down in Soho Square

Dropping H's everywhere

"Speaking English any way they like

"Hey, you, sir, did you go to school?

"What ya tike me for, a fool?

"No one taught him 'take' instead of 'tike'

"Hear a Yorkshireman, or worse

Hear a Cornishman converse

"I'd rather hear a choir singing flat

"Chickens cackling in a barn

Just like this one



"I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that?

"It's 'aoow' and 'garn'

that keep her in her place

"Not her wretched clothes and dirty face

"Why can't the English

teach their children how to speak?

"This verbal class distinction

by now should be antique

"If you spoke as she does, sir,

instead of the way you do

"Why, you might be selling flowers, too"

I beg your pardon.

"An Englishman's way of speaking

absolutely classifies him

"The moment he talks he makes

some other Englishman despise him

"One common language

I'm afraid we'll never get

"Oh, why can't the English learn to...

"... set a good example to people

whose English is painful to your ears

"The Scotch and the Irish

leave you close to tears

"There even are places

where English completely disappears

"Why, in America

they haven't used it for years!

"Why can't the English

teach their children how to speak?

"Norwegians learn Norwegian,

the Greeks are taught their Greek

"In France every Frenchman

knows his language from 'A' to 'Z'

"The French don't care

what they do actually

"As long as they pronounce it properly"

"Arabians learn Arabian

with the speed of summer lightning

"The Hebrews learn it backwards

which is absolutely frightening

"Use proper English,

you're regarded as a freak

"Oh, why can't the English

"Why can't the English learn to speak?"

Thank you.

See this creature

with her curbstone English...

...that'll keep her in the gutter

till the end of her days?

In six months I could pass her off

as a duchess at an Embassy Ball.

I could get her a job

as a lady's maid or a shop assistant...

...which requires better English.

What's that you say?

Yes, you squashed cabbage leaf!

You disgrace to the noble architecture

of these columns!

You incarnate insult

to the English language!

I could pass you off as the Queen of Sheba.

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Alan Jay Lerner

Alan Jay Lerner (August 31, 1918 – June 14, 1986) was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, and later Burton Lane, he created some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre both for the stage and on film. He won three Tony Awards and three Academy Awards, among other honors. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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