as Eliza Doolittle
as Professor Henry Higgins
as Freddie Eynsford-Hill
as Alfred Doolittle
as Mrs. Higgins
as Col. George Pickering
as Mrs. Pearce
as Mrs. Eynsford-Hill
as Clara Eynsford-Hill
as Count Aristid Karpathy
as Old Lady
as Police Constable
as Clara Eynsford-Hill
as Grand old lady
as French Hairdresser
as 1st Policeman
Critic Reviews for Pygmalion
Smartly produced, this makes an excellent job of transcribing George Bernard Shaw, retaining all the key lines and giving freshness to the theme.
Above all, the film is remarkable in that it strengthens rather than dilutes Shaw's insistence on language as the vital instrument of power and oppression.
Whatever the virtues of "My Fair Lady," it is "Pygmalion" that's aging well, a black and white jewel properly enshrined as a classic.
Audience Reviews for Pygmalion
The great original adaptation of Shaw's satiric play, which would be remade as the classic musical My Fair Lady many years later in 1964. Clever and convincing, this version relies on a sharp, well-written dialogue and superb performances by Hiller and Howard.
Fan of the English language? Fancy yourself as your local arbiter for the British vernacular? Well then this adaptation of Shaw's is just your ticket and man how she sparkles, with more wit per scene, per exchange, than a season's worth of 30 Rock. Howard blueprints Higgens for the generations but Hiller imbues Dolittle with such humanity as to shimmer like a jewel.
It's just very hard for me to take this story as a comedic one. The themes, social commentary, sexual politics, mental manipulation and disturbing physical abuse are so dark that the films lighter moments ring completely false and artificial. I had the same issue with Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita." While you get some great Shaw dialogue, excellent performances from Wendy Hiller and Leslie Howard and a decent amount of thought provoking character interaction, the comedy nearly undermines the entire picture. "Pygmalion" is a story (not a film) that fans of films like "Antichrist," "3 Women," "The Servant" etc. will enjoy.
|Count Aristid Karpathy:||Because Doolittle is an English name and she is not English.|
|Prof. Henry Higgins:||Oh.|
|Duchess:||But she speaks it perfectly.|
|Count Aristid Karpathy:||Too perfectly. Can you show me any Englishwoman who speaks English as it should be spoken, there is no such thing. The English do not now how to speak their own language, only foreigners who have been taught to speak it speak it well.|
|Prof. Henry Higgins:||Yes, there's something in that.|