MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 9,241 this week

Pygmalion (1938)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  3 March 1939 (USA)
8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 5,177 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 28 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.

Writers:

(play), (scenario and dialogue), 5 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 26 Jul 2011
 
DVD
a list of 40 titles
created 27 May 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 20 Apr 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 15 Nov 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Pygmalion" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Pygmalion (1938)

Pygmalion (1938) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Pygmalion.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff are two men that are both pretending to be someone they are not.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Richard Wattis, Michael Denison
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A noblewoman discovers her husband is The Scarlet Pimpernel, a vigilante who rescues aristocrats from the blade of the guillotine.

Director: Harold Young
Stars: Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, Raymond Massey
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Forced to retire from an English public school. a disliked professor must confront his utter failures as a teacher, a husband, and a man.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Jean Kent, Nigel Patrick
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An actor of the stage finds himself pursued by a lovestruck fan while trying to patch up a tempestuous relationship with his actress lover.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland
Major Barbara (1941)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young and idealistic woman, who has adopted the Salvation Army and whose father is an armament industrialist, will save more souls directing her father's business. A comedy with social commentary.

Directors: Gabriel Pascal, Harold French, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison, Robert Morley
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young man finds himself attracted to a cold and unfeeling waitress who may ultimately destroy them both.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Frances Dee
Pygmalion (1935)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Erich Engel
Stars: Jenny Jugo, Gustaf Gründgens, Anton Edthofer
Pygmalion (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Prof. Henry Higgens takes a wager on turning a low class flower seller named Liesje Doeluttel into a presentably lady.

Director: Ludwig Berger
Stars: Lily Bouwmeester, Johan De Meester, Eduard Verkade
Pygmalion (TV Movie 1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Alan Cooke
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Margot Kidder, Helen Beavis
Pygmalion I (TV Movie 1981)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: John Glenister
Stars: Twiggy, Robert Powell, Mona Washbourne
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Dan works for Pritchard and Pritchard out of San Francisco and is in love with Maisie, referred to as "the icebox" by his news reporter friend. As one of his ships returns to San Francisco,... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Leslie Howard, Conchita Montenegro, C. Aubrey Smith
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Wilfrid Lawson ...
Marie Lohr ...
Scott Sunderland ...
Jean Cadell ...
David Tree ...
Everley Gregg ...
Leueen MacGrath ...
Esme Percy ...
Violet Vanbrugh ...
Ambassadress
Iris Hoey ...
Ysabel, Social Reporter
Viola Tree ...
Perfide, Social Reporter
Irene Browne ...
Duchess (as Irene Brown)
Kate Cutler ...
Grand Old Lady
Edit

Storyline

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 <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Miss 'Pygmalion'? Not ****** likely! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pigmalión  »

Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first British film to use the word "bloody" in its dialogue. See more »

Goofs

When Higgins and Pickering tear off all about London looking for Eliza, several contemporary (late 1930's) cars are in the background. This film was set in 1912. See more »

Quotes

First Policeman: [to Eliza and Freddie, who are kissing on the street] Now then, now then, now then. This isn't Paris, you know.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Will & Grace: Fagmalion Part 3: Bye Bye Beardy (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

By George, they got it the first time...
2 June 2004 | by (Corpus Christi TX) – See all my reviews

George Bernard Shaw editorialized and lectured on the need for uprooting obsolete notions of a rigid English class-structure in order for individuals to realize their full potential. He wrote the play "Pygmalion" in 1912 and 1913 as part-social protest, part-satire, part-comedy of manners. Its central character, Henry Higgins, a London teacher of elocution and expert in regional phonetics, makes a small wager with his friend and colleague, Colonel George Pickering, that he can take a waif from the streets, one Eliza Doolittle, and pass her off as the cream of the social crop. Using a pedagogical technique consisting mostly of inhumane badgering and humiliation, he manages to pull off the feat with unexpected success – but at an emotional cost he does not foresee.

Besides the inventive montage sequences illustrating the frustration of linguist Higgins as he transforms Eliza from Cockney flower-girl to the statuesque, gowned beauty who's mistaken for a royal princess at a diplomatic reception, there are other items which failed to materialize in Shaw's original transcript – the use, for example, of the phrases, "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plains" and "Hurricanes hardly happen in Hartford, Hereford, and Hampshire," both of which became lyrics for Lerner and Lowe's musical version of the play. Additionally, in Shaw's original play, Higgins's irritating Hungarian nemesis is not given a name; here, for the first time, he is dubbed "Kaparthy."

Leslie Howard, who co-directed this 1938 filmed version of the play, impersonates Higgins as a hard-core realist - diabolical, profane, impatient, sometimes maddening. And as Eliza, Wendy Hiller has her coy moments, particularly when she is "tried out" at a tea party given by Higgins's mother. Her carefully high-toned enunciation of "the new slang" is timed to perfection.

The film, unfortunately, leaves one with the feeling that at the story's conclusion - with Higgins quietly demanding to know from Eliza the whereabouts of his slippers - both student and mentor "live happily ever after." This contrived ending must have been a compromise on the part of the producer, Gabriel Pascal, although one finds it mystifying that Shaw, who is credited with the story's adaptation, would have ever endorsed such a sentimental ending. For as Shaw had written at the end of his play over two decades earlier, "the rest of the story need not be shown...if our imaginations were not so enfeebled by their lazy dependence on the...reach-me-downs of the rag shop in which Romance keeps its stock of happy endings..." The playwright then proceeded into seven pages of prose, describing an epilogue in which Eliza married the worshipful young suitor, Freddy Eynsford-Hill, and the generous Colonel Pickering set up the newlyweds in their own business near Victoria Station. As for any relationship between Higgins and Eliza, according to Shaw, "(to this day) he storms and bullies and derides; but she stands up to him so ruthlessly that the Colonel has to ask her from time to time to be kinder to Higgins." As is the aftermath of most good stories, the worm indeed did turn.

With Wilfrid Lawson as Eliza's father, Alfred; Scott Sunderland as Pickering; and David Tree impersonates the shallow but inoffensive Freddy in high style. (He would do the same with the role of Charles Lomax three years later in "Major Barbara.") If the American schleps and male-pushovers that Ralph Bellamy used to play in "The Awful Truth" and "His Girl Friday" ever had a British opposite-number, David Tree was it; he did the upper-class twit better than anyone.


26 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
VS the Musical version dvbar1
Shaw changed the ending from the play mlumiere
'MAKEOVER MOVIES' LIST spideychick
Doves? forgether
Reminds me of another bubbaspyce
Brilliant film jeff_bailey44
Discuss Pygmalion (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?