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An old movie that could interest English language learners [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-2-12 09:49:15 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Gayle at 2017-2-12 10:00

In 1964, a movie came out called "My Fair Lady."  It was a musical, based on a long-running musical stage play, which in turn was based on a play by George Bernard Shaw called "Pygmalion."

The original intent of the writer of "Pygmalion" was to satirize British attitudes about social class and especially the connection between social class and accent.  Britain is a very class-conscious society and class differences are marked by different accents, with some accents considered superior and high-prestige and some accents associated with the lower class and considered inferior. In the story, a professor (with the most perfect high-prestige accent) makes a bet with his friend that he can take a woman of the lowest class in London and teach her to speak like an upper-class person so well that she would fool other upper-class people.  He chooses a poor flower seller for this experiment.

Being a movie, it of course ends up as a romance.  But in the meantime, most of the plot centers on the professor's efforts to teach the flower seller the "proper" pronunciation of words.  It becomes an interesting comparison of two different accents of English.  Both of these accents are British, of course.  But the flower seller's accent has a slight resemblance to Australian accent, since Australia was colonized by English people of the lower classes. (Unfortunately, her "British" accents are fake, because the lead actress was actually American.)

This movie also has delightful music and won the Best Picture Oscar for its year.

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This post was edited by iwater at 2017-3-23 17:33

Thank you for your sharing.

Come to think of it, but I'm not sure if I ever watched. The leading actress was Audrey Hepburn, if my memory serves me right. Her performance and elegance are/were impressive to Chinese audience too.

But the storyline /romance is not much my cup of tea now. I enjoy House of Cards, which is popular here.

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