“ I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries. ” (Frank Capra) Hollywood movies have several elements like drama, action and comedy skillfully weaved into them. However not all movies are able to make a mark with the average viewer or the critics. Some movies tend to handle these elements in a better way than others, making them successful box-office earners, while others despite some really interesting scenes are not able to make it.
It is quite intriguing that despite a great storyline and well-written screenplay, some of these movies are not able to hold the interest of the movie audience through the entire run. Thus, is it possible that the pattern of these elements can be deciphered to reveal an underlying trend in successful Hollywood cinema? This paper attempts to uncover a paradigm of dramatic scenes sketched in the all time classic, My Fair Lady, based on a play by Bernard Shaw titled Pygmalion (1913). My Fair Lady was a landmark, academy award-winning (1964) movie produced by Jack L.
Warner of the Warner Bros. Picture. It was adapted to the movie version from a musical play with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. The movie was directed by George Cukor and starred Audrey Hepburn as a poor girl Eliza Doolittle, with a Cockney accent who sold flowers. Professor Higgins, an irascible and egotistical professor of phonetics, struck a bet with fellow linguist Colonel Pickering to transform the uncouth Eliza Doolittle into a charming lady who could pass of for the “Queen of Sheeba”.
What followed was a dramatic and hilarious set of episodes that included the tutoring sessions and the bond that developed between Doolittle And Higgins. The movie was an immensely popular musical and swept the academy awards with eight Oscars including best movie and the equivalent of best male lead for Rex Harrison. That Audrey Hepburn did not win an award, was quite a matter of controversy. My Fair Lady has inspired and been spoofed by many theater plays and television programs.
It impacted fashion trends across Europe and America with the exquisite costumes designed by Cecil Beaton. This despite the fact that Lerner did not find it anywhere near the version directed by Moss Hart for Broadway. He also disliked the fact that the movie was shot in the Warner Bros. studios, instead of its original settings of London. The following section of this paper will make an attempt to study and explore the movie as a subject of analysis for a presentation style or pattern that makes it stand out as such a remarkable piece.
The section tries to isolate one outstanding characteristic component and how it is spread over the movie. It elucidates on the proposition of defining a scene-based trend for dramatic play in the movie, to uncover an underlying schema for dramatic intensity distributions, a measurable and mathematically applied concept developed in this paper that can potentially identify successful movies. The paper than proceeds to introduce mathematical parameters developed for the analysis and the methods used to collect the data.
The data is the converted into a form that can be used to apply the analytical concepts and presented as a measurable, defined and self-explanatory. The fourth section of the paper analyses the collected and formatted data to discover plausible logically valid trends that can be observed strongly enough to lead to a conclusion. The section then summarizes the observations in mathematical terms and outlines the trends and their interpretations. The last section of the paper draws a conclusion based on the observations made. It also extends on what are the implications of these observations.