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Slapstick comedy based on the play by George Bernard Shaw. A stiff English officer, captain Charles Edstaston (Peter O'Toole), and his fiancée Claire arrive in St Petersburg. Edstaston is ... See full summary »
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The original Broadway production of "Pygmalion" opened at the Park Theater opening October 12, 1914 and ran for 72 performances. The play premiered in a German translation at the Hofburg Theatre in Vienna on October 16, 1913 and in English at His Majesty's Theatre in London on April 11, 1914. The British production starred 'Mrs Patrick Campbell' and Herbert Beerbohm Tree. See more »
It's the closest to the original, but not the best
Although this TV version, produced by Margot Kidder herself, is much closer to Shaw's original play than either the 1938 filming or MY FAIR LADY, I still find Wendy Hiller and Leslie Howard did the best job of realising the spirit of the play. The problem here is mainly in the casting. Margot and Peter are obviously trying their best, and are enthusiastic about the play, but it just doesn't come off. Peter O'Toole seems on the ragged edge of drunk most of the time. Margot Kidder is a bit too much "in your face" to produce the effect of sweetness which is basic to the character of "Eliza". Sure, she is a tough street girl, but she longs for affection and friendship as well as advancement in the world. Margot doesn't produce this effect. The two best acting jobs are by Frances Hyland as Mrs. Higgins, and by John Standing as Col. Pickering.
As for those who prefer MY FAIR LADY, I'll agree it is a beautiful spectacle, but that confounded "Opera Seria" format gets in the way of the story. If you eliminate the music, it's a pretty good "Pygmalion". But it's outrageously extrapolated from Shaw.
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