The snobbish and 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 <email@example.com>
Cathleen Nesbitt, billed as Kathleen Nesbitt, appears in a role credited only as "A Lady". Eighteen years later, she originated the role of Mrs. Higgins in the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady. See more »
After the ball when Mrs. Pearce is serving Professor Higgins his tea, the shadow of the camera can be seen in the bottom left, moving back across his blanket. See more »
Opening credits prologue: PYGMALION WAS A MYTHOLOGICAL CHARACTER WHO DABBLED IN SCULPTURE. HE MADE A STATUE OF HIS IDEAL WOMAN-GALATEA. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL THAT HE PRAYED THE GODS TO GIVE IT LIFE. HIS WISH WAS GRANTED.
BERNARD SHAW IN HIS FAMOUS PLAY GIVES A MODERN INTERPRETATION OF THIS THEME. See more »
This film was made a year before the Hays Office gave Clark Gable permission to say "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", so while in the British prints of this film Leslie Howard often utters the word, in the American prints the word "damn" is replaced by either "hang" or "confounded". See more »
The definitive film version of the Shavian classic
This remains the definitive film version of the Shavian classic. As in any of Shaw's plays, the essence of Pygmalion rests upon sharp dialogue rather than splashy musical numbers, and upon character rather than action.
Wendy Hiller makes an infinitely better Eliza Dolittle than the miscast Audry Hepburn. Hiller's transformation from flower-girl to lady is astonishing. On the other hand, one never believes Hepburn in the role of a "draggle-tailed gutter-snipe". She comes off like a dressed-down fashion model putting on an accent.
Leslie Howard's performance is far more subtle, and far less strident, then Rex Harrison's. Perhaps Howard would have been offered the lead role in My Fair Lady in preference to Rex Harrison had he lived longer (he was shot down in a plane in 1943). The two actors were not that much different in age and, if Leslie Howard was not noted as a singer, neither was Rex Harrison.
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