Pygmalion (1938)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  3 March 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,756 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 30 critic

Shaw's play in which a Victorian dialect expert bets that he can teach a lower-class girl to speak proper English and thus be taken for a lady.


(play) (as Bernard Shaw) , (scenario and dialogue) (as Bernard Shaw) , 5 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilfrid Lawson ...
Marie Lohr ...
Scott Sunderland ...
Jean Cadell ...
David Tree ...
Everley Gregg ...
Leueen MacGrath ...
Esme Percy ...
Violet Vanbrugh ...
Iris Hoey ...
Ysabel, Social Reporter
Viola Tree ...
Perfide, Social Reporter
Irene Browne ...
Duchess (as Irene Brown)
Kate Cutler ...
Grand Old Lady


The snobbish & intellectual Professor of languages, Henry Higgins makes a bet with his friend that he can take a London flower seller, Eliza Doolittle, from the gutters and pass her off as a society lady. However he discovers that this involves dealing with a human being with ideas of her own. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He picked up a girl from the gutter - and changed her into a glamorous society butterfly ! . . . See Wendy Hiller, new star discovery, in this amazing role ! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pigmalión  »

Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene in which Eliza accidentally swallows a marble whilst having an elocution lesson does not appear in the original play. During rehearsals for this scene a pained expression came over Wendy Hiller's face; when she spat out the marbles she had in her mouth she said: "Leslie, I've swallowed one!" to which Leslie Howard replied "Never mind there are plenty more". This caused such amusement among the watching crew that it was added to the film. See more »


Eliza Doolittle: I washed me face and hands before I come, I did.
See more »


Version of Celebrity Playhouse: Pygmalion (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

not My Fair Lady ...
12 January 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

While My Fair Lady was a tremendous film which is a pleasure to watch and rewatch, Pygmalion is the true cinematic version of Shaw's work and this version is brilliant. While I still have mixed feelings about the Henry-Eliza relationship and the play ending, it has to be said that the two leads here are perfect for their roles. There were not many British actors better than Howard at the time for this type of thing, and Wendy Hiller never disappointed her audience once in her long career. A good film full of detail and feeling. The one sticking point is the weak and feeble Freddie who at least was given a personality in MFL. Here you can't wonder that Eliza is so quick to discard his attentions. A film which should be celebrated and treasured more in the UK than it is.

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Shaw changed the ending from the play mlumiere
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