A Cockney woman, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), finds her way up the Victorian social ladder when Professor Higgins (Rex Harrison) teaches her to speak proper English on a bet.
The upper class is attending "Dr. Faust," which sets up the intersection with the lower class outside the theater. Eliza Doolittle is accidentally knocked down by someone of social position.
The story is based on a Greek myth about a man who cares little for women but falls in love with his own creation, a statue of a woman named Galatea. Shaw tells a modern tale of a poor girl transformed into a woman of attractive social appeal with the help of a misogynist.
Eliza sells small bunches of flowers for a pittance. The description is condescending.
Higgins is a Professor of phonetics and is an expert in speech. He is taking notes on Eliza just prior to their first meeting.
Higgins is amazed at the dialects of the English, particularly the lower classes. He claims he can place a man's residence in under 10 miles based on language.
The address is spoken in front of Eliza so she later knows where to find Higgins. It is also relayed to Eliza's father, who seeks her out.
Alfie wants "a brass farthing," primarily to buy some ale. It means something of little or no value, and refers to a coin or two.
Pickering was seeking out Higgins as a colleague in the study of speech. Higgins was also seeking out Pickering. Coincidentally, they run into each other on the streets of London.
India was a British colony during Victorian times. It would not be unusual for a British citizen to be familiar with India.
Eliza states this to proclaim her moral compass, even if she is poor.
Eliza sends for some of her personal items to be sent to the home of Henry Higgins where she stays. Her father discovers her new abode when he drops by and sees Eliza's landlady, who tells him where she is staying.
Higgins bets Pickering he can convince aristocracy that Eliza is a Duchess within six months.
When Eliza first lives with Higgins, he tells the housekeeper to clean her up and burn her clothes. Eliza shrieks and cries out as if being attacked.
Harrison claimed he needed to do the singing live because he never sang the songs the same way.
Eliza sees chocolates as a luxury item. It's what she likes.
Higgins sings "Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man?" because he doesn't understand women.
Higgins implies she will be able to have her own flower shop if she can be successfully transformed.
Higgins hurls many harsh insults at Eliza, who seems to weather them to a point. The professor is ignorant of his behavior.
Higgins takes her to The Ascot. Higgins suggests a new dress that is "simple, modest, elegant with a bow".
Eliza must put six marbles in her mouth to speak. She swallows one.
Freddy Eynsford-Hill enjoys Eliza's lapses into informal language. She charms him.
Alfie is looking for a handout. He gives Higgins permission to work with Eliza (not that he needed it).
Eliza carries on over the top on health when she discusses dying of severe influenza. She is the center of attention.
Eliza says this when she cheers on the horses. The socials seem to be amused by her.
Alfie hopes with a little bit of luck, he'll never work. He even freeloads off his daughter.
Higgins becomes aware of his feelings toward Eliza. He is also jealous of Freddy's attention.
Higgins needs to pass Eliza off in front of royalty in order to win the bet. Higgins sneaks a drink to calm his nerves before they leave the house.
The linguist was trained by Henry Higgins. Most of the evening is spent trying to run interference between him and Eliza.
Eliza stands out and is noticed by many. Higgins is feeling pretty confident he will win his bet.
Rumors fill the ballroom about her identity as determined by the linguist. Professor Higgins laughs aloud on hearing this.
The Professor and Pickering congratulate themselves on pulling off the facade and never acknowledge Eliza's role. Doolittle feels neglected and depressed.
Eliza knows she has served her purpose in helping Higgins win the bet. She believes he has no use for her and she must leave.
Alfie inherited a fortune from Wallingford, whom Higgins suggested he go see. Now he has to marry Eliza's step-mother.
Alfie complains about the misery money has brought him. Relatives he didn't know are showing up and he has to get married.
Henry comments, "She's gone. What am I to do?" This is an acknowledgement that he does indeed care for women.