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About DwightUngar

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  1. DwightUngar

    Episode 140 - My Fair Lady vs. Mary Poppins (w/ Russ Fischer)

    In rewatching My Fair Lady today, I appreciate its message, I appreciate its performances and I appreciate its art direction. But it is unmercifal in its epic length. So many musical sequences, particularly in the second half, go far too long to the point where I become numb to them. And by the time we finally get to the conclusion of the picture, my interest has certainly wained. This is not the case with Mary Poppins, which despite a lengthy running time as well, never ceases to come up with new magical ideas in every scene and nearly every shot. While my fond childhood memories of watching the film undoubtedly help sway my opinion here, the number of memorable shots in Poppins is exponentially greater than those in Lady. While the endless musical sequences in Lady are rarely much more than a point and shoot style, Mary Poppins keeps the camerawork and cinematography wonderfully dynamic and interesting without ever overwhelming the performances or choreography. Audrey Hepburn, despite the unfortunate dubbing, gets some real laughs out of her performance in My Fair Lady, and allows her to do comedy in a way that we never really see in her other famous performances. So that's appreciated. Rex Harrison is charismatic enough as well. With less extraneous fat to sit through during the rest of the film, I could probably appreciate these performances more. But the movie frequently just gets so boring. All 139 minutes of Mary Poppins entertained me from start to finish when I was a young child, and continues to do so to this day. It's a film of such perfect whimsical joy with music that has remained in the hearts and minds for so many people for over half a century. And while My Fair Lady can claim this as well, it's nowhere near to the same extent as Mary Poppins. And finally, if we need an Audrey Hepburn movie in the Canon, we already have Breakfast At Tiffany's. If we need another, I'd much rather have Roman Holiday or Wait Until Dark. I think it would be nice to finally have a classic Disney film in the Canon that Walt Disney himself was a part of seeing as how his influence on film history is undeniable. So yes, in case it hasn't yet been clear enough, my vote is for Mary Poppins.