An American in Paris

  • Directors: Vincente Minnelli
  • Producers: Arthur Freed
  • Writers: Alan Jay Lerner
  • Genres: Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Nina Foch

Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is an exuberant American expatriate in Paris trying to make a reputation as a painter. His friend Adam (Oscar Levant) is a struggling concert pianist who is a long time associate of a French singer, Henri Baurel (Georges Guétary). A lonely society woman, Milo Roberts (Nina Foch) takes Jerry under her wing and supports him, but is interested in more than his art. Jerry remains oblivious to her feelings, and falls in love with Lise (Leslie Caron), a French girl he meets at a restaurant. Lise loves him as well, but she is already in a relationship with Henri, whom she feels indebted to for having saved her family during World War II.

At a raucous masked ball, with everyone in black-and-white costumes, Milo learns that Jerry is not interested in her, Jerry learns that Lise is in love with him, but is marrying Henri the next day, and Henri overhears their conversation. When Henri drives Lise away, Jerry daydreams about being with her all over Paris, his reverie broken by a car horn, the sound of Henri bringing Lise back to him.

My Fair Lady

  • Directors: George Cukor
  • Producers: Jack L Warner
  • Writers: Alan Jay Lerner, George Bernard Shaw
  • Genres: Drama, Family, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Jeremy Brett

In London, Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison), an arrogant, irascible, misogynistic professor of phonetics, believes that it is the accent and the tone of one’s voice which determines a person’s prospects in society. He boasts to a new acquaintance, Colonel Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White), himself an expert in phonetics, that he can teach any woman to speak so “properly” that he could pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball, even Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), a young flower seller with a strong Cockney accent.

Eliza goes to Higgins’ house and offers to pay for speech lessons. Her great ambition is to work in a flower shop, but her thick working-class accent makes her unsuitable for such a position. All she can afford to pay is a shilling per lesson. Pickering, who is staying with Higgins, is intrigued by the idea and bets Higgins all the expenses that he will not be able to do it. Higgins accepts.

Eliza’s father, Alfred P. Doolittle (Stanley Holloway), a dustman, arrives three days later, ostensibly to protect his daughter’s virtue, but in reality simply to extract some money from Higgins, and is bought off with £5. Higgins is impressed by the man’s genuineness, his natural gift for language, and especially his brazen lack of morals (Doolittle explains, “Can’t afford ’em!”).

Higgins makes his way home, stubbornly predicting that Eliza will be ruined without him and come crawling back. However, his bravado collapses and he comes to the horrified realization that he has “grown accustomed to her face”. He is reduced to playing an old phonograph recording of her voice lessons. Then, to his great delight, Eliza returns.