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The Essentials: Pygmalion (1938)

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. (NR, 96 min.)


Wednesday, November 20, 2024

7:00 PM

This monthly series showcases essential films everyone should see on the big screen.
The Essentials series is Free for Members.

Cranky Professor Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard) takes a bet that he can turn Cockney guttersnipe Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller) into a "proper lady" in a mere six months in this delightful comedy of bad manners, based on the play by George Bernard Shaw. This Academy Award–winning inspiration for Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady was directed by Anthony Asquith and star Howard, edited by David Lean, and scripted by Shaw himself. [Criterion]

Starring: Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Wilfrid Lawson
Director(s): Anthony Asquith, Leslie Howard
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Romance

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"A marvelous 1938 adaptation of the Shaw classic."

— Don Druker, Chicago Reader

"Smartly produced, this makes an excellent job of transcribing George Bernard Shaw, retaining all the key lines and giving freshness to the theme."

— Variety Staff, Variety