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Pygmalion

Pygmalion(1939)

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  • Better than the musical

    • John Paul Wilkinson, Jr.
    • 6/22/18

    The casting for this movie was much more believable than for My Fair Lady. Audrey Hepburn looks like a princess even as a flower girl and dirt on her face. The only thing My Fair Lady has on this movie is the Ascot scene.

  • Exalting Leslie Howard (LH)

    • Will Fox
    • 6/3/15

    Born April 3, 1893, Leslie Howard Steiner was one of two sons of Hungarian immigrant to England, a London stockbroker married in 1892. Debonair Englishman LH excelled, playing disillusioned intellectuals and gallant gentlemen on stages and screens in Britain and America for about 30 years. Painfully shy as a child traumatized by World War I, LH turned to the theater for therapy. Acclaimed in London, then in America on Broadway in the 1920s, he debuted Hollywood in "Outward Bound" (1930, intriguing allegory of "crossing over" on oceanliner to Heaven or else, 3.5-stars). "The Animal Kingdom" (1933, 3.5 stars) followed with publisher LH besotted by free-spirited Ann Harding, while married to manipulative Myrna Loy. Ditto depressing Bette Davis in "Of Human Bondage" (1933). He is best remembered for four, 4-stars roles: 1) swashbuckling hero in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (1934), 2) wandering wise writer meets dreamer Davis and escaping gangster Bogart in "Petrified Forrest" (1936), 3) witty egoist, Prof. Henry Higgins in "Pygmalion" (aka "My Fair Lady," 1938, 4 stars for director star LH), and 4) milquetoast Ashley Wilkes in "Gone With the Wind" (1939). Despite his success, Howard held Hollywood in contempt. "I haven't the slightest intentions of playing another weak, watery character. I've played enough ineffectual characters already." LH told "GWTW" producer David O. Sleznick before accepting his part. In 1940 LH returned to England to fight for freedom. Leslie Howard's airplane shot down by Nazis, June 1, 1943.

  • MY Alternate Ending

    • noodles
    • 2/23/14

    I would've had Eliza run off with Colonel Pickering.

  • Pygmalion

    • Dashiell Barnes
    • 10/25/12

    The first great adaptation of Shaw's famous play. A cranky phonetics professor tries to turn a cockney flower girl into a lady. Howard co-directed & was nominated for an Oscar, as was Hiller in her first major film. Shaw won an Academy Award for adapting his own play & the film is witty and engaging. A magnificent film overall. I give it a 5/5.

  • Pygmalion

    • Mark Sutch
    • 4/14/11

    ***1/2

  • Pygmalion

    • krbaker
    • 3/25/10

    Despite the somewhat unimaginitve title, which is actually the entire theme of this story, this film was absolutely wonderful and certainly my favorite choice far beyond the beautifully spectacular,"My Fair Lady". Dame Wendy Hiller has been a favorite of mine long before I knew her name. I've seen her in a few of her films and always appreciated her magnificent talent and unusual beauty.Leslie Howard has always been another favorite since I saw him in, "In Human Bondage" with the beautiful young Bette Davis in another role in which she should have won the Academy Award.This is a must see film! This is the first time for me and I will watch it again. Thanks, TCM!

  • A Fair Lady Indeed

    • Brian S
    • 12/23/09

    As with many people, My Fair Lady was my introduction to this story. For years it was the gorgeous Audrey Hepburn that personified the flower girl, Eliza Doolittle. But there was something a bit too perfect about Ms. Hepburn to make her character believable. In this version the initial appearance if Wendy Hiller as Eliza is startling for those of us who are used to Hepburn. Shereally is rough, dirty, even a bit ugly - a street urchin to the core. One could easily imagine Hepburn as a princess at this juncture in the story, but not Wendy Hiller, which is the point. Though not a natural beauty, Hiller cleans up nicely and and makes the transformation from street urchin to ladyperfectly. It's a performance that I think is the gold standard for part of Eliza. The character of the aloof, supercilious Henry Higgins has always bothered me a bit. He seems to have few redeeming qualities and one wonders why a class act such as Eliza would form any sort of attachment to him.That said. Leslie Howard does an outstanding job playing the haughty side of Henry Higgins, but his performance isn't nuanced enough to see much decency in him. At least you feel sorry for Rex Harrison when Eliza leaves near the end. You get a sense that he really does have a heart, but not so with Howard. I find myself saying "good for her" when Eliza leaves and "what is she thinking?" when she returns. It would have made more sense if they left the original ending of the play alone. Wilfrid Lawson turns in a stellar performance as Eliza's father Alfred Dolittle. You can practically smell the liquor on his breath when he laughs in Higgins' face.Overall this is an outstanding movie and worthwhile for the performance of Hiller alone.

  • perfection

    • michael york
    • 3/9/09

    i had not seen this for ahwile and oh my god i could not beleive it could be better than i had remembered this movie moves at such a thrilling pace it makes one forget completely about my fair lady howard is one of my favorites but wendy hiller is so fantastic beleivable real human this is one of those perfect movies that everyone should see

  • Another Fair lady

    • Oliver Cutshaw
    • 2/20/09

    Wonderful movie but those of us accustom to My Fair Lady may keep wondering when are they going to start singing. Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller are outstanding, as is the supporting cast. Fine production in every detail.I think that in some ways this movie actually tells a more engaging story than My Fair Lady. It does not have the glamor of the musical but the wit and wisdom of G. B. Shaw come through in every scene.

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