Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Kramer vs. Kramer, Rain Man, As They Made Us) opens up about his childhood, his time working as an attendant in a psychiatric facility, and going to acting school with fellow legendary actors Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall.
He and Mayim discuss the power of music, the science of acting, and the psychological awareness that comes with Dustin’s performances. Dustin explains why he is so observant and in touch with his emotions and his thoughts about death and spirituality, and Mayim breaks down hypervigilance. Dustin reveals what it was like to be directed by Mayim in her new film, As They Made Us.
My Fair Lady is a 1964 American musical drama film adapted from the 1956 Lerner and Loewe stage musical based on George Bernard Shaw‘s 1913 stage play Pygmalion. With a screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner and directed by George Cukor, the film depicts a poor Cockney flower-seller named Eliza Doolittle who overhears an arrogant phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, as he casually wagers that he could teach her to speak “proper” English, thereby making her presentable in the high society of Edwardian London.
The film stars Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins, with Stanley Holloway, Gladys Cooper and Wilfrid Hyde-White in supporting roles. A critical and commercial success, it became the second highest-grossing film of 1964 and won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. In 1998, the American Film Institute named it the 91st greatest American film of all time. In 2006 it was ranked eighth in the AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals list.
In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
In London, Professor Henry Higgins, a scholar of phonetics, believes that the accent and tone of one’s voice determines a person’s prospects in society (“Why Can’t the English?”). At the Covent Garden fruit-and-vegetable market one evening, he meets Colonel Hugh Pickering, himself a phonetics expert who had come from India to see him. Higgins boasts he could teach even Eliza Doolittle, the young flower seller woman with a strong Cockney accent, to speak so well he could pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball. Eliza’s ambition is to work in a flower shop, but her accent makes that impossible (“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”). The following morning, Eliza shows up at Higgins’ home, seeking lessons. Pickering is intrigued and offers to cover all the attendant expenses if Higgins succeeds. Higgins agrees and describes how women ruin lives (“I’m an Ordinary Man”).
Eliza’s father, Alfred P. Doolittle, a dustman, learns of his daughter’s new residence (“With a Little Bit of Luck”). He shows up at Higgins’ house three days later, ostensibly to protect his daughter’s virtue, but in reality to extract some money from Higgins, and is bought off with £5. Higgins is impressed by the man’s honesty, his natural gift for language, and especially his brazen lack of morals. Higgins recommends Alfred to a wealthy American who is interested in morality.
Eliza endures Higgins’ demanding teaching methods and treatment of her personally (“Just You Wait”), while the servants feel both annoyed with the noise as well as pitiful for Higgins (“Servants’ Chorus”). She makes no progress, but just as she, Higgins, and Pickering are about to give up, Eliza finally “gets it” (“The Rain in Spain”); she instantly begins to speak with an impeccable upper-class accent, and is overjoyed at her breakthrough (“I Could Have Danced All Night”).
As a trial run, Higgins takes her to Ascot Racecourse (“Ascot Gavotte”), where she makes a good impression initially, only to shock everyone by a sudden lapse into vulgar Cockney while cheering on a horse. Higgins partly conceals a grin behind his hand. At Ascot, she meets Freddy Eynsford-Hill, a young, upper-class man who becomes infatuated with her (“On the Street Where You Live”).
Higgins then takes Eliza to an embassy ball for the final test, where she dances with a foreign prince. Also present is Zoltan Karpathy, a Hungarian phonetics expert trained by Higgins, who is an impostor detector. After he dances with Eliza, he declares that she is a Hungarian princess.
Afterward, Eliza’s hard work is barely acknowledged, with all the praise going to Higgins (“You Did It”). This and his callous treatment of her, especially his indifference to her future, causes her to walk out on him, but not before she throws Higgins’ slippers at him, leaving him mystified by her ingratitude (“Just You Wait (Reprise)”). Outside, Freddy is still waiting (“On the Street Where You Live (Reprise)”) and greets Eliza, who is irritated by him as all he does is talk (“Show Me”). Eliza tries to return to her old life but finds that she no longer fits in. She meets her father, who has been left a large fortune by the wealthy American to whom Higgins had recommended him, and is resigned to marrying Eliza’s stepmother. Alfred feels that Higgins has ruined him, lamenting that he is now bound by “middle-class morality”, in which he gets drunk before his wedding day (“Get Me to the Church On Time”). Eliza eventually ends up visiting Higgins’ mother, who is outraged at her son’s callous behavior.
The next day, Higgins finds Eliza gone and searches for her (“A Hymn to Him”), eventually finding her at his mother’s house. Higgins attempts to talk Eliza into coming back to him. He becomes angered when she announces that she is going to marry Freddy and become Karpathy’s assistant (“Without You”). He makes his way home, stubbornly predicting that she will come crawling back. However, he comes to the unsettling realization that she has become an important part of his life (“I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”). He enters his house feeling lonely, reflecting on his callous behaviour and missing Eliza so much that he turns on his gramophone and listens to her voice. Suddenly, Eliza reappears at the door and turns it off to catch his attention, with Higgins asking, “Eliza, where the devil are my slippers?”.
I Dream of Jeannie is an American fantasy sitcom television series, created by Sidney Sheldon, starring Barbara Eden as a sultry, 2,000-year-old genie and Larry Hagman, as an astronaut with whom she falls in love and eventually marries. Produced by Screen Gems, the show originally aired for 139 episodes over five seasons, from September 18, 1965, to May 26, 1970, on NBC.
In the pilot episode, “The Lady in the Bottle“, astronaut Captain Tony Nelson, United States Air Force, is on a space flight when his one-man capsule Stardust One comes down far from the planned recovery area, near a deserted island in the South Pacific. On the beach, Tony notices a strange bottle that rolls by itself. When he rubs it after removing the stopper, smoke starts shooting out and a Persian-speaking female genie materializes and kisses Tony on the lips, shocking him.
They cannot understand each other until Tony expresses his wish that Jeannie (a homophone of genie) could speak English, which she then does. Then, per his instructions, she “blinks” and causes a recovery helicopter to show up to rescue Tony, who is so grateful, he tells her she is free, but Jeannie, who has fallen in love with Tony at first sight after being trapped for 2,000 years, re-enters her bottle and rolls it into Tony’s duffel bag so she can accompany him back home. One of the first things Jeannie does, in a subsequent episode, is break up Tony’s engagement to his commanding general’s daughter, Melissa, who, along with that particular general, is never seen or mentioned again. Producer Sidney Sheldon realized the romantic triangle between Jeannie, Tony, and Melissa would not pan out in the long run.
Tony at first keeps Jeannie in her bottle most of the time, but he finally relents and allows her to enjoy a life of her own. However, her life is devoted mostly to his, and most of their existential problems stem from her love for him and her often-misguided efforts to please him, even when he does not want her assistance. His efforts to cover up Jeannie’s antics, because of his fear that he would be dismissed from the space program if her existence were known, brings him to the attention of NASA’s resident psychiatrist, U.S. Air Force Colonel Dr. Alfred Bellows. In a running gag, Dr. Bellows tries over and over to prove to his superiors that Tony is either crazy or hiding something, but he is always foiled (“He’s done it to me again!”) and Tony’s job remains secure. A frequently used plot device is that Jeannie loses her powers when she is confined in a closed space. She is unable to leave her bottle when it is corked, and under certain circumstances, the next person who removes the cork becomes her new master. A multiple-episode story arc involves Jeannie (in miniature) becoming trapped in a safe when it is accidentally locked.
Tony’s best friend and fellow astronaut, United States Army Corps of Engineers Captain Roger Healey, does not know about Jeannie’s magic for the first 16 episodes, although they meet in episode 12. When Roger finds out she is a genie, he steals her bottle, temporarily becoming her master. Roger is often shown as girl-crazy or scheming to make a quick buck. He occasionally has hopes of claiming Jeannie so he can use her to have a lavish lifestyle or gain beautiful girlfriends, but overall he is respectful that Tony is Jeannie’s master. Both Tony and Roger are promoted to the rank of major late in the first season. In later seasons, Roger’s role is retconned to portray him knowing about Jeannie from the beginning (i.e., to him having been with Tony on the space flight that touched down, and thus having seen Jeannie introduce herself to Tony).
Jeannie’s evil fraternal twin sister, mentioned in a second-season episode (also named Jeannie – since, as Barbara Eden’s character explains it, all female genies are named Jeannie — and also portrayed by Barbara Eden, in a brunette wig), proves to have a mean streak starting in the third season (as in her initial appearance in “Jeannie or the Tiger?”), repeatedly trying to steal Tony for herself, with her as the real “master”. Her final attempt in the series comes shortly after Tony and Jeannie are married, with a ploy involving a man played by Barbara Eden’s real-life husband at the time, Michael Ansara (in a kind of in-joke, while Jeannie’s sister pretends to be attracted to him, she privately scoffs at him). The evil sister wears a green costume, with a skirt rather than pantaloons.
Early in the fifth season, Jeannie is called upon by her uncle Sully (Jackie Coogan) to become queen of their family’s native country, Basenji. Tony inadvertently gives grave offense to Basenji national pride in their feud with neighboring Kasja. To regain favor, Tony is required by Sully to marry Jeannie and to avenge Basenji’s honor by killing the ambassador from Kasja when he visits NASA. After Sully puts Tony through an ordeal of nearly killing the ambassador, Tony responds in a fit of anger that he is fed up with Sully and his cohorts and he would not marry Jeannie even if she were “the last genie on earth”. Hearing this, Jeannie bitterly leaves Tony and returns to Basenji. With Jeannie gone, Tony realizes how deeply he loves her. He flies to Basenji to win Jeannie back. Upon their return, Tony introduces Jeannie as his fiancée. She dresses as a modern American woman in public. This changed the show’s premise: hiding Jeannie’s magical abilities rather than her existence. This, however, contradicts what is revealed in “The Birds and Bees Bit”, in which it is claimed that upon marriage a genie loses all of her magical powers.
Michael Ansara as The Blue Djinn (season 2, episode 1), also as King Kamehameha (season 3, episode 19), last as Major Biff Jellico (season 5 episode 12) and directed “One Jeannie Beats Four of a Kind” (season 5 episode 25)
Barbara Eden as Jeannie’s evil fraternal twin sister, Jeannie II (seasons 3–5)
The role of Jeannie’s mother was played by several actresses:
In the pilot episode, “The Lady in the Bottle”, astronaut Captain Tony Nelson,United States Air Force, is on a space flight when hisone-man capsuleStardust Onecomes down far from the planned recovery area, near a deserted island in theSouth Pacific.
On the beach, Tony notices a strange bottle that rolls by itself. When he rubs it after removing the stopper, smoke starts shooting out and aPersian-speaking female genie materializes and kisses Tony on the lips, shocking him.
They cannot understand each other until Tony expresses his wish that Jeannie (ahomophoneofgenie) could speak English, which she then does. Then, per his instructions, she “blinks” and causes a recovery helicopter to show up to rescue Tony, who is so grateful, he tells her she is free, but Jeannie, who has fallen inlove with Tony at first sightafter being trapped for 2,000 years, re-enters her bottle…