Protected: “The Music” by Yukio Mishima: An English Translation, Chapter 15

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My Fair Lady [1964]

5 / 5

Brilliant, witty, My Fair Lady is an outstanding musical and arguably the best romantic comedy, ever.

Not to be missed: Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison at the height of their powers, the influential costume designs by Cecil Beaton, the memorable and oft-referenced score by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, along with a subtle and nuanced ending far better than could have been imagined by George Bernard Shaw, himself. As a minor point, the people in charge of the film should have used Audrey Hepburn’s singing voice instead of Marni Nixon’s. As Hepburn wasn’t going to beat Julie Andrews’ Mary Poppins for the Oscar for Best Actress—Hepburn wasn’t even nominated that year, and as fans of the musical still prefer Andrews’ voice to Marni Nixon’s, Hepburn should have been allowed to retain her pride and dignity through the use of her more modest singing voice.

Jack Warner Trivia:

  • When director George Cukor demanded reshoots, Jack Warner had the sets torn down.
  • After seeing the first rough cut of the film, Jack Warner rose and then silently bowed to Rex Harrison.
  • When it was revealed that Audrey Hepburn was not nominated for an Oscar, Jack Warner and George Cukor angrily protested.

Trailer for “Beastly Entanglements”

In the middle of that month Mishima went on a trip to collect material for his next novel, Beastly Entanglements (Kemono no tawamure), a story of psychological self-entrapment, seduction, and murder. It deals with a dandyish scholar-dealer of expensive porcelains, his wife who avows no jealousy for his many affairs but secretly has a private eye follow him, and a college student employed to help him in his store who falls in love with her [….] Mishima wrote that it was only when he heard Leonore Overture as conducted by Herbert von Karajan at La Scala in January 1961–five months after he collected basic descriptive material—that he was finally able to settle on the overall structure of the novel.

—Naoki Inose, Persona: A Biography of Yukio Mishima, trans. Hiroaki Sato, p. 362

The First Paragraph: Silk and Insight

Okano met Komazawa Zenjiro for the first time on September the first, 1953, during breakfast at a certain restaurant-hotel in Arashiyama, Kyoto. He happened to be staying there for a rest and knew that since the previous night captains of the textile industry had gathered for a fraternal meeting; the next morning in the hallway he happened to run into Murakawa, an old friend of his and president of Sakura Textiles, who coerced him into joining them for breakfast. Whatever he did, Okano always “happened” to do it.

—from Silk and Insight (1964) by Yukio Mishima, trans. by Hiroaki Sato