Joan Webster is an ambitious and stubborn middle-class English woman determined to move forward since her childhood. She meets her father in a fancy restaurant to tell him that she will ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Prof. Henry Higgins:
Yes, you squashed cabbage leaf, you disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns, you incarnate insult to the English language, I could pass you off as the Queen of Sheba!
See more »
Nearly 70 years later the Gabriel Pascal "Pygmalion" still sets the bar for film adaptation of a stage play. So much so, in fact, that the GBS incorporated many of the film's upgrades into the authoritative published version of the play, despite the play being more than 20 years old when the film was made.
When was the last time you saw a performance leap off the screen like Leslie Howard's as Professor Higgins? Shaw never saw such treatment on screen again, even under Pascal's hand. The film of "Major Barbara" is interesting (and a bit bizarre toward the end) in its own right, with some magnificent bits in the Act II homeless shelter and a heart-wrenching Wendy Hiller, but pales next to the stage version in its intellectual, political and dramatic depth. And all the rest, even the charming "Caesar and Cleopatra" with Raines and Leigh, just don't cut it compared to the plays.
"Pygmalion" is where any screenwriter needs to start in adapting a play for the movies. No one has done it better since.
(BTW, GBS's afterward to "Pygmalion" is intended to be tongue-in-cheek, I think. It's intentionally ridiculous, so that the mob clamoring for a romantic ending would realize just how inappropriate and uninteresting that would have been.)
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?