Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Eliza, Henry and Freddy by Jillian Kent

I was thinking about movies. I watch a lot of them. I was trying to remember the popular movies I went to see as a kid and I had no memory of when I first watched My Fair Lady. I remember The Sound of Music and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. I even remember the intermission during The Sound of Music and blowing a big bubble that popped during The Unsinkable Molly Brown that got stuck all over my face. Still I thought I should be able to remember My Fair Lady, but nothing came to me except, "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain," and I think that's because my aunt loved to go around saying that after she'd obviously seen the movie. So I went exploring to see if  I could conjure up any childhood memories. Here’s what I discovered on my quest.

The Broadway production debuted March 15,1956. I was a little over a year old. Henry Higgens was played by Rex Harrison and Eliza Doolittle was played by Julie Andrews. You mean it wasn't always Audrey Hepburn? The movie was released in 1964 with Audry Hepburn as Eliza.

 I might not remember when I first watched My Fair Lady at the movies. Maybe I didn't see it till years later but what I remember most wasn't Eliza, or Professor Higgens but Freddy singing On the Street Where You Live! Now imagine my surprise when I discovered as you probably all already knew that Freddy was played by Jeremy Brett! What? Didn't he play Sherlock Holmes? Those two roles just don't mesh in my brain. But it's true. I discovered at the IMDB ( Internet Movie Data Base) that Brett had not really done the singing in the movie but, "This was only partially true. The opening chorus of "On the Street Where You Live" which was written especially just for the film, was indeed sung by Brett. But the main verse of the popular song was dubbed by Bill Shirley. Similarly, the opening chorus to "Show Me" was dubbed by Bill Shirley." However, if you watch the credits after the clip below it says sung by Bill Shirley and Vic Damone.

Also, at IMDB ( I love that site) I discovered that Audrey didn't do most of her singing. She did a bit but most of it was done by Marni Nixon. You can read more about this trivia at the site. Very interesting, I had no idea.

Winston Churchill showed up for the premier in London.


And guess who else?


On April 29th 1958, My Fair Lady, opened at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. Those of you who love stories set in London might enjoy knowing that this theatre stands the same place it has since1663. It was destroyed by fire in 1672 and has been rebuilt four times.

Do you remember the first time you watched, My Fair Lady, on stage or at the movies? Tell us about it. What's your favorite song from My Fair Lady?

Secrets of the Heart by Jillian KentJillian is employed as a counselor for nursing students in Cincinnati, Ohio and possesses a masters degree in social work. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and passionate about mental health, wellness, and stomping out the stigma that surrounds mental illness. She coordinates and frequently contributes to The Well Writer in Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Learn more about Jillian and her Ravensmoore novels at


  1. I don't remember the first time I watched it, but on Sunday we decided to have popcorn, pull out the VHS, and have the kids watch it for the first time. We got to intermission and well, they're 8,4, and 1 so they went to play outside, but the 8 year old keeps asking when we'll get to finish! Yay! We did Singing in the Rain a few weeks ago. Going to instill a love of musicals and 40/50s movies or die trying. Actually, My daughter loves Esther Williams movies. When she got another collection of Williams movies for her 8th birthday, the 18 year old cousin had no idea who Esther was.....that made me about cry.

    My favorite song ......hmmm, when I had the idea of watching it when leaving church, I went through them all. I had to sing the On the Street where you live song in high school, so I'm fond of that one. I'm getting married in the morning comes in real handy to annoy people with when people are getting married. :) But I'd have to say I Could Have Danced All Night is my favorite since romance is my favorite part of a movie....and though there was sadly no real romance in the movie, I still like that little smidgen in there with that song. And that's probably the one I've been singing most this week.

    I did know that Audrey didn't sing. Marni Nixon I know sang for her and several other people. Deborah Kerr in The King and I was when I learned of that since I was so obsessed with that movie as a teen, I can even sing to two songs that were cut from the movie, Marni was one of the nuns in The Sound of Music, she's sister Sophia.

    1. Hi Melissa,
      How fun that you and the family watched My Fair Lady together and an 8 year old that wants more! You have a lot of good times ahead of you exploring the musicals.What's your daughters favorite Esther Williams movie? I was singing after watching some of the clips from the movie and was amazed how long the songs stuck in my head. I had the opportunity years ago to visit Austria and take The Sound of Music Tour. I don't think my family will ever forgive me because now when we watch it I say, "I was there, and there, and did you know . . . " :) But I had no clue Marni Nixon was in The Sound of Music! I just never connected it. Thanks for sharing that.

    2. I thought her favorite Esther Williams movie would be Dangerous When Wet since she'll randomly talks to people about Liquapep and she watches that one a lot, but she says it's the "one where she teaches the soldier to swim that she watched first" which would be A Thrill of a Romance. Which is the first Williams movie I ever saw too. But she likes Easy to Love too, maybe because that's the same pair, Williams and Van Johnson, she made the girls at her bday party sleepover watch it.....we learned that not all 6-8 year olds are willing to sit through a Williams move. Sad.

    3. I don't think I ever saw Dangerous When Wet so now I have another movie to look forward to. I remember Million Dollar Mermaid. Fun! Your daughter really is an Esther Williams fan, that's amazing in this day and age. I bet most of those 6-8 year olds were not sitting still long. So glad you joined the conversation today, Melissa. It's been a pleasure.

  2. The first I remember seeing My Fair Lady was at my high school where the theatrical department put on the play. I don't think I have a favorite song, but there are several that I really like.

    1. Hi Vickie,
      I've always marveled at people who can sing and remember lines. Your high school actors were brave and talented to take that on.

  3. I love I've Grown Accustom To Your Face. My Fair Lady is a great musical!

  4. Only saw it on TV! Spent those years in Nigeria as an MK. Favorite song: I Could Have Danced All Night.
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