Major Barbara (1941) - Rotten Tomatoes

Major Barbara1941

Major Barbara (1941)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Major Barbara Photos

Movie Info

George Bernard Shaw's satiric comedy about wealth and poverty is brought to the screen with wonderful performances by Rex Harrison and Wendy Hiller. Hiller plays Major Barbara Undershaft, a major in the Salvation Army who is also a socialist and stridently attacks capitalists -- in particular her father Andrew (Robert Morley), the head of a munitions plant. In love with Barbara is the young Greek scholar Adolphus Cusins (Rex Harrison), whose attentions go unreturned since Barbara spends all her time on her crusade against wealth. To show up his daughter, Andrew donates 50,000 pounds to the Salvation Army which, to Barbara's horror, the Army's general (Sybil Thorndike) happily accepts. Barbara, in protest, quits her post and it is left to Adolphus to take her on a tour of her father's munitions plant and prove to her the benefits of capitalism.


Wendy Hiller
as Major Barbara Undershaft
Rex Harrison
as Adolphus Cusins
Robert Morley
as Andrew Undershaft
Emlyn Williams
as Snobby Price
Robert Newton
as Bill Walker
Sybil Thorndike
as The General
Deborah Kerr
as Jenny Hill
David Tree
as Charles Lomax
Penelope Dudley-Ward
as Sarah Undershaft
Marie Lohr
as Lady Brittomart
Walter Hudd
as Stephen Undershaft
Marie Ault
as Rummy Mitchens
Donald Calthrop
as Peter Shirley
Cathleen Cordell
as Mog Habbijam
Torin Thatcher
as Todger Fairmile
Edward Rigby
as Man on Quayside
View All

Critic Reviews for Major Barbara

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (7)

A bit theatrical in places, which is not surprising when you consider its provenance but it suffers for it.

March 4, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The result is a cinema treat.

March 4, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Good intro to corporate social responsibility.

December 25, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Adapted from an old Shaw play, circa 1905, it still carries the lightning thrusts of Shavian caustic satire at any and all levels.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

There is plenty to relish, notably Newton and Morley hamming it up (as, respectively, the rumbustious Bill Walker and the overbearing tycoon), and Deborah Kerr in her debut; but it does tend to just sit there.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

To call it a manifest triumph would be arrant stinginess with words.

May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

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