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Pygmalion (1938) - movie overview

Pygmalion (1938)

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DVD Release Date
 R1: Sep 19, 2000

Budget $350,000

Running Time
1 hour, 36 minutes

Country UK

Studio MGM

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Other Titles
• Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (1938)

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Genre: Drama, Comedy, Role-switching, Blackmail, Culture Clash, Love

Plot: George Bernard Shaw's play, PYGMALION, which takes its title from the Greek myth of Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue of his own making, was a hit on the London stage in 1912. The transition to film was co-directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, who also stars as Henry Higgins, the vainglorious snob who claims he can turn a guttersnipe into a Lady. Wendy Hiller is smart and witty, giving as good as she gets, as Eliza Doolittle, the flower girl Higgins takes from the street and tries to pass off as a Duchess. Hiller and Howard play off each other with a delightful spark. The play opens up well for the screen, as evidenced in the dreamy sequence when Eliza attends a society party, a scene smoothly edited by the young David Lean.

Shaw wrote the film script himself, ensuring that his original setting in the more innocent time before WWI, didn't feel dated in the dark days of 1938. Other writers were brought in to lighten Shaw's view of the class conflict between Higgins and Eliza, and to lessen the amount of brow beating Higgins employs. Still, compared with the musical version, MY FAIR LADY, there is no magical Cinderella process here, but a painfully, realistically resisted struggle mixed with a slowly developing romance.

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 Directed by
Anthony Asquith
The Importance of Being Earnest, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, The V.I.P.s
Leslie Howard
Gone with the Wind, The Petrified Forest, Of Human Bondage
 Written by
George Bernard Shaw
My Fair Lady, Caesar and Cleopatra, The Millionairess
Leslie Howard
Gone with the Wind, The Petrified Forest, Of Human Bondage
Wendy Hiller
The Elephant Man, A Man for All Seasons, Murder on the Orient Express
Wilfrid Lawson
Tom Jones, War and Peace, The Wrong Box
Marie Lohr
Anna Karenina, Seven Waves Away, The Winslow Boy
Scott Sunderland
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Jean Cadell
I Know Where I'm Going!, Whisky Galore!, Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of Dav
David Tree
Don't Look Now, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Major Barbara
 Music By
Arthur Honegger
William Axt
The Thin Man, Tarzan and His Mate, Dinner at Eight

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Educating Rita (1983)
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Now, Voyager (1942)
Born Yesterday (1950)
Dinner at Eight (1933)
Lady for a Day (1933)

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