Later adapted as `My Fair Lady' George Bernard Shaw's wonderful comedy of manners is given its finest screen outing in this 1938 production. Nominated for four Oscars, Shaw himself was one of the recipients of the award for best screenplay. Snobbish Professor Higgins has a wager with his friend Colonel Pickering that with the right instruction he can pass off cockney `gutter-snipe' Eliza Doolittle as a `lady' among high society. Taken under his wing Eliza is given rigorous coaching in elocution and manners in preparation for the ultimate test, her appearance at an ambassador's reception.
Anthony Asquith; Leslie Howard.
George Bernard Shaw (play); Ian Dalrymple; Cecil Lewis; W.P. Lipscomb.
Leslie Howard (Professor Henry Higgins); Wendy Hiller (Eliza Doolittle); Wilfrid Lawson (Alfred Doolittle); Marie Lohr (Mrs. Higgins); Scott Sunderland (Colonel George Pickering); Jean Cadell (Mrs. Pearce); David Tree (Freddy Eynsford-Hill); Everley Gregg (Mrs. Eynsford-Hill); Leueen MacGrath (Clara Eynsford Hill); Esme Percy (Count Aristid Karpathy); Violet Vanbrugh (Ambassadress). Please contact SFC to add other cast members and characters.
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An enjoyable performance
Mark Banks (United Kingdom)
Pygmalion is an enjoyable film that is well worth watching; especially for an alternative take on the oh-so-familiar 1964 production 'My fair Lady'. Leslie Howard (as Professor Higgins) and Wendy Hiller (as Eliza) make for a good on-screen pairing, and the supporting cast of Wilfrid Lawson as Eliza's father Alfred, Marie Lohr as the Professor's mother Mrs. Higgins, Scott Sunderland as the gentlemanly Colonel George Pickering, and David Tree as the overly-nice Freddy Eynsford-Hill, all deliver worthy performances. Audrey Hepburn fans may miss the grace and charisma that she brought to her performance as Eliza; aspects that Wendy Hiller doesn't quite achieve to the same degree in this production, but is nevertheless still worth watching for her own commendable performance and interpretation of the amiable and enchanting Eliza Dolittle.