Review: ‘Pygmalion’

Smartly produced, this makes an excellent job of transcribing George Bernard Shaw, retaining all the key lines and giving freshness to the theme. The speed of the first half contrives to show up the anti-climax, the play subsequently petering out in a flood of clever talk. But it's still a Cinderella story, which is one of the most reliable subjects for drama.

Smartly produced, this makes an excellent job of transcribing George Bernard Shaw, retaining all the key lines and giving freshness to the theme. The speed of the first half contrives to show up the anti-climax, the play subsequently petering out in a flood of clever talk. But it’s still a Cinderella story, which is one of the most reliable subjects for drama.

Leslie Howard’s performance is excellent in its comedy. It’s vital and at times dominating. Wendy Hiller carries off a difficult part faultlessly. She never loses sight of the fact that this is a guttersnipe on whom culture has been imposed; the ambassador’s reception, where she moves like a sleepwalker, is eloquent of this, and even in the final argument the cockney is always peeping through the veneer.

Wilfred Lawson’s Doolittle is only a shadow of the part G.B.S. wrote, but his moral philosophies could obviously not have been put on the screen in toto without gumming up the action. As it is he presents a thoroughly enjoyable old reprobate.

1938: Best Adaptation, Screenplay (George Bernard Shaw).

Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (Leslie Howard), Actress (Wendy Hiller)

Pygmalion

UK

Production

Pascal. Director Anthony Asquith, Leslie Howard; Producer Gabriel Pascal; Screenplay George Bernard Shaw, W.P. Lipscomb, Cecil Lewis; Camera Harry Stradling; Editor David Lean; Music Arthur Honegger; Art Director Laurence Irving, John Bryan

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Wendy Hiller Leslie Howard Wilfrid Lawson Marie Lohr Scott Sunderland Jean Cadell

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading