Major Barbara (1941)
Major Barbara (1941)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi … More
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as Maj. Barbara Undersh...
as Adolphus Cusins
as Andrew Undershaft
as Bill Walker
as Snobby Price
as Mrs. Baines
as Jenny Hill
as Charles Lomax
as Sarah Undershaft
as Lady Brittomart
as Peter Shirley
as Mog Habbijam
as Mrs. Price
as A Girl
as Todger Fairmile
as Rummy Mitchens
as Stephen Undershaft
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Critic Reviews for Major Barbara
Adapted from an old Shaw play, circa 1905, it still carries the lightning thrusts of Shavian caustic satire at any and all levels.
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.
Though a bit slow to start and overlong (GBS added 18 minutes to the screenplay), this is still an enthusiastic and intelligent rendering of the wonderful Shavian wit and sense of the ridiculous.
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