BBC Play of the Month: Season 9, Episode 4

Pygmalion (16 Dec. 1973)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 22 users  
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Title: Pygmalion (16 Dec 1973)

Pygmalion (16 Dec 1973) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
James Villiers ...
Ronald Fraser ...
Emrys James ...
Lally Bowers ...
...
...
Joyce Grant ...
Joanna McCallum ...
Malcolm Hayes ...
Jon Rollason ...
Bystander
Geoffrey Matthews ...
Taximan
Angela Galbraith ...
Mrs. Higgins' maid
Alison Daumler ...
Prof. Higgins' maid
Noel Trevarthen ...
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16 December 1973 (UK)  »

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Version of Pygmalion (1935) See more »

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reasonable, if pedestrian, version
8 January 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Bernard Shaw's play 'Pygmalion' was filmed in 1938 with Wendy Hiller as Eliza and Leslie Howard as Higgins; and was later made into a musical, 'My Fair Lady', filmed in 1964 with Audrey Hepburn as Eliza and Rex Harrison as Higgins. It could be argued that any other versions are superfluous.

Made for television, this version has Lynn Redgrave as Eliza, James Villiers as Higgins, Ronald Fraser as Pickering, Lally Bowers as Higgins' mother, Angela Baddeley as Mrs Pearce, Nicholas Jones as Freddy, and Emrys James as Eliza's dustman father. All are reasonably effective in their roles - I particularly enjoyed the performances of James, Baddeley and Bowers - although Redgrave isn't quite right for the flower girl turned lady, and Villiers blusters a bit too much as the phonetics Professor.

Filmed on a low budget and decidedly studio-bound, and with Shaw's original ending (where Eliza doesn't necessarily return to Wimpole Street), this is an effective snapshot of the play. It's just that it's been done before, and better, and this version doesn't add anything new.


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