Pygmalion (1938)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Anthony Asquith's adaptation of the George Bernard Shaw comedy stars Leslie Howard as Professor Henry Higgins, who transforms cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller) into a "lady."

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: George Bernard Shaw, W.P. Lipscomb, Cecil Lewis, Ian Dalrymple, Anthony Asquith
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 19, 2000
Criterion Collection



as Eliza Doolittle

as Professor Henry Higg...

as Alfred Doolittle

as Freddie Eynsford-Hil...

as Alfred Doolittle

as Mrs. Higgins

as Col. George Pickerin...

as Mrs. Pearce

as Mrs. Eynsford-Hill

as Clara Eynsford-Hill

as Count Aristid Karpat...

as Ambassadress

as Old Lady

as Ysabel

as Perfide

as Duchess

as Bystander

as Bystander

as Clara Eynsford-Hill

as Police Constable

as Bystander

as Bystander

as Grand old lady

as French Hairdresser

as 1st Policeman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Pygmalion

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Critic Reviews for Pygmalion

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

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

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
Top Critic

A marvelous 1938 adaptation of the Shaw classic.

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Pygmalion is good Shaw and a grand show.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

There's something special about this first English film version of George Bernard Shaw's play, before it became a musical

Full Review… | October 25, 2008
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Pygmalion


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.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The great original adaptation of Shaw's satiric play, which would be remade into the classic musical My Fair Lady many years later in 1964. Quite inspired and convincing, this film counts on a sharp, well-written dialogue and superb performances by Hiller and Howard.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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.

Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

Pygmalion Quotes

– Submitted by Jason S (20 months ago)

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