7.9/10
6,609
72 user 31 critic

Pygmalion (1938)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 3 March 1939 (USA)
A Victorian dialect expert makes a bet that he can teach a cockney flower girl to speak proper English and pass as a lady in high society.

Writers:

(screen play and dialogue) (as Bernard Shaw), (scenario) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pygmalion (1935)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Professor Higgins determines to transform an uneducated flower-girl into a great lady.

Director: Erich Engel
Stars: Jenny Jugo, Gustaf Gründgens, Anton Edthofer
Major Barbara (1941)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Forced to retire from an English public school, an unpopular professor must confront his failure as a teacher and husband.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Jean Kent, Nigel Patrick
Pygmalion (TV Movie 1983)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The standard My Fair Lady story, with a provocative rendition by screen legend O'Toole. He knows how to talk, but does he know how to behave towards a lady?

Director: Alan Cooke
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Margot Kidder, Helen Beavis
49th Parallel (1941)
Drama | War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A World War II U-boat crew are stranded in northern Canada. To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral USA.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, Richard George
Pygmalion (1937)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A nineteenth-century New Hampshire farmer who makes a pact with Satan for economic success enlists Daniel Webster to extract him from his contract.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Edward Arnold, Walter Huston, Jane Darwell
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
Kitty Foyle (1940)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A hard-working, white-collar girl from a middle-class family meets and falls in love with a young socialite, but she soon clashes with his family.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When Algernon discovers that his friend, Ernest, has created a fictional brother for whenever he needs a reason to escape dull country life, Algernon poses as the brother, resulting in ever increasing confusion.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Richard Wattis, Michael Denison
Jezebel (1938)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1850s Louisiana, a free-spirited Southern belle loses her fiancé due to her stubborn vanity and pride, and vows to win him back.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent
Dodsworth (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Higgins
... Eliza
... Doolittle
... Mrs. Higgins
Scott Sunderland ... Colonel Pickering
Jean Cadell ... Mrs. Pearce
... Freddy
Everley Gregg ... Mrs. Eynsford Hill
... Clara (as Leueen Macgrath)
... Count Aristid Karpathy
... Ambassadress
... Duchess (as Irene Brown)
Kate Cutler ... Grand Old Lady
O.B. Clarence ... A Vicar
... Sarcastic Bystander
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:

He picked up a girl from the gutter - and changed her into a glamorous society butterfly ! . . . See Wendy Hiller, new star discovery, in this amazing role ! 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  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System Wide Range)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in which Eliza accidentally swallows a marble whilst having an elocution lesson does not appear in the original play. During rehearsals for this scene a pained expression came over Wendy Hiller's face; when she spat out the marbles she had in her mouth she said, "Leslie, I've swallowed one!" to which Leslie Howard replied: "Never mind there are plenty more." This caused such amusement among the watching crew that it was added to the film. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Pearce: You can't be a good girl on the inside if you are a dirty girl on the outside.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Referenced in From the Four Corners (1942) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of the greatest of all British films.
8 October 1999 | by See all my reviews

Perfect cinema. That was my reaction when I first saw Pygmalion, the first of 50 viewings and counting, and I still think so. Who could not fall in love with Leslie Howard, one of our greatest actors, so tragically assassinated in the Second World War? Wendy Hiller IS Eliza. The cast is flawless. The script... words fail me, for George Bernard Shaw was a genius, he did not simply adapt his play for the screen, it is so good that it is like it's happening before your eyes. My God, after seeing this is there anyone out there who thinks 'My Fair Lady', the slowest film musical on record, is the best screen version of Shaw? If they do, they are mad.

That film moves me not one jot, everything is so clean, so smug, so unreal. Here we see poverty, but also hope. These are not actors and actresses moving through the sets garbed in Cecil Beaton, but real people, real suffering, but humanity lights every scene like a beacon. The unbearably moving scenes of Eliza capturing society at the ball, the irresistible waltz, watch this with no tears in your eyes, I dare you. Halliwells Film Guide calls this 'one of the most heartening and adult British films of the thirties'. Too right. I cannot fault this film, it is priceless. By the way, I saw 'My Fair Lady' on stage recently, and it's miles better than the film version. Warner Bros really let Shaw down, and it's impossible to put it right. But this...well it is a big compensation. And I don't miss the songs one little bit.

There are so many classic scenes I can't pick any out. Of course viewers will spot that it was 'updated' to 1938, and the original play set in the Edwardians. That doesn't hurt it at all, 'polite' society didn't change much in the intervening years and gives the play an added 'contemporary' edge. Please, please, please see this film. You will be gripped.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 72 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial