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Pygmalion (1938)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 3 March 1939 (USA)
A phonetics and diction 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:

George Bernard Shaw (screen play and dialogue) (as Bernard Shaw), W.P. Lipscomb (scenario) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Howard ... Henry Higgins
Wendy Hiller ... Eliza Doolittle
Wilfrid Lawson ... Alfred Doolittle
Marie Lohr ... Mrs. Higgins
Scott Sunderland Scott Sunderland ... Colonel George Pickering
Jean Cadell ... Mrs. Pearce
David Tree ... Freddy Eynsford Hill
Everley Gregg ... Mrs. Eynsford Hill
Leueen MacGrath ... Clara Eynsford Hill (as Leueen Macgrath)
Esme Percy ... Count Aristid Karpathy
Violet Vanbrugh ... Ambassadress
Irene Browne ... Duchess (as Irene Brown)
Kate Cutler ... Grand Old Lady
O.B. Clarence ... Mr. Birchwood - the Vicar
Ivor Barnard ... Sarcastic Bystander
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Storyline

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 <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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pigmalión See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP87,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System Wide Range)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although George Bernard Shaw expressed indifference about the Academy Award he won for writing this movie, his friend Mary Pickford reported that he proudly displayed the Oscar in his house, showing it off to his visitors. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Prof. Henry Higgins: [directed to Eliza in anger] Get out and come home and don't be a fool!
Mrs. Higgins: Very nicely put indeed, Henry. No woman could resist such an invitation.
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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Return to the Edge of the World (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb Shaw
8 April 2006 | by kenjhaSee all my reviews

Shaw's brilliant play is expertly filmed by Howard and Asquith. Howard is perfectly cast as the snobbish Professor Higgins and is matched by Hiller, in her second film, as Eliza Doolittle. The fine supporting cast includes Sunderland, Lawson, and Lohr, who's terrific as Mrs. Higgins. It is difficult to make a bad film of this work, given Shaw's witty dialog, but film performance is different from stage performance, with film calling for more subtlety. The love-hate relationship between the professor and Eliza works wonderfully because Howard and Hiller provide the right combination of humor and humanity. Howard's role here is in sharp contrast to the wimpy Ashley the following year in "Gone with the Wind."


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