Top critical review
2-disc or not two discs
on May 26, 2004
WARNING: All the five stars refer to the movie itself, and does not address the issue of whether paying for the second disc is a rip-off. Five stars for the single disc version was richly deserved. I had half expected the 2 disc version to have DTS since they shifted virtually all the extra features from disc 1 to disc two. The only thing left on disc 1 was the movie, same commentary, same subtitles and audio track. If they had an audio track with Audrey singing in place of Marni Nixon, it would have been a dream dvd. For some inexplicable reason, the single disc version was among the Amazon top 100 discs in 2002 for some time, although it has been out since the mid-90s. Amazon's editor was correct when he said the main attraction of the 2nd disc was the 58 minute Documentary hosted by Jeremy Brett. Move along folks, folks, nothing to see here, nothing really new unless you are time warped back one or two decades. A concise version of this documentary would be "The Fairest Fair Lady" which is already in the single disc version.
You already HAVE the Audrey Hepburn Vocals in the single disc version. The rest of the stuff in disc 2 is usually given away FREE, like in Gladiator, Last Samurai, Master and Commander, where one viewing of the stills is more than enough.
Now, the sellers of the 2-disc set have actually REMOVED the CAST AND CREW section found in the one disc version. This Cast and Crew with filmographies and biographies contain a huge chunk of valuable information including the fact that Audrey's given name was Edda, not Audrey. Do not throw away your one disc version. If you bought the 2 disc version, you might want to buy the single- disc version to find out where Audrey Hepburn was born, won the Oscar and got nominated. What were the other actors like Wilfred Hyde-White doing other than My Fair Lady.
I tell you what I like about the 2 Disc version:
1. the interviews with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison at the 1963 production Kickoff Dinner, with a couple of jokes from Mr Warner.
2. George Cukor directing Baroness Rothschild: a Henry Higgins coaching Eliza Doolitle parody. The audio track ran for only a few minutes, and I had a new found respect for Directors. Even a Baroness needs lessons in elocution. When I watch the movie again, I will imagine George Cukor speaking using the actors and actresses as his instrument. It explains how Cukor's actresses got their Oscars.
3. The Los Angeles Premiere in B&W is a few minutes of glitterati distraction.
The rest of Disc 2 is really scraping the floor of the store-room. For those who already own the single disc edition, and do not have disposable income to burn, get the 2 disc edition of the TEN COMMANDMENTS instead. For the price of 5 commandments (about half the price of the 2 disc My Fair Lady), you will get more than double the enjoyment, making it look like "the TWENTY COMMANDMENTS". That is where a second disc is not purely a money making exercise: thou shalt not steal from gullible covetuous dvd buyers.
Rex Harrison Golden Globe Acceptance is a clip from the Andy William's show, where he apologised for not being at the real event, so he accepted it on AW's show. Shame.
Academy Awards Cermony Highlights: just one minute or less of Mr Warner accepting the oscar for best picture. Not one bit of the other awards at all.
So two stars for the additional info on disc two. I would buy anything remotely related to my favourite musical, but if I were to search my heart for value added, I would say two extra stars is very very generous. Now, if ever they come out with a DTS version, we will have to throw the whole TWENTY COMMANDMENTS at this bunch of crooks.
Do you really need Martin Scorsese and Andrew Lloyd Weber's comments to supplement your own?