• United Kingdom
  • 1952
  • 98 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  •  

George Bernard Shaw’s breezy, delightful dramatization of this classic fable—about a Christian slave who pulls a thorn from a lion’s paw and is spared from death in the Colosseum as a result of his kind act—was written as a meditation on modern Christian values. And Pascal’s final Shaw production plays it broadly, casting comic character actor Alan Young as the titular naïf. He’s ably supported by Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Robert Newton, and Elsa Lanchester.

Credits

DirectorChester Erskine
Based on the play byGeorge Bernard Shaw
ProducerGabriel Pascal
Screen adaptationChester Erskine and Ken Englund
CinematographyHarry Stradling
Production designHarry Horner
EditingRoland Gross
MusicFrederick Hollander

Film Essays

Eclipse Series 20: George Bernard Shaw on Film

By Bruce Eder February 25, 2010

MAJOR BARBARA: STAGE TO SCREEN It was one of the most improbable linkups in the history of either theater or cinema—as unlikely as Andrew Undershaft’s turning over his munitions empire to . . . Read more »

Film Essays

Eclipse Series 20: George Bernard Shaw on Film

By Bruce Eder February 25, 2010

MAJOR BARBARA: STAGE TO SCREEN It was one of the most improbable linkups in the history of either theater or cinema—as unlikely as Andrew Undershaft’s turning over his munitions empire to . . . Read more »


Interviews

By George: An Interview with Project Shaw’s David Staller

January 26, 2010

Today, most people’s knowledge of George Bernard Shaw doesn’t extend much further than his classic comedy Pygmalion. But the legendary playwright and theater critic (1856–1950) wrote more than . . . Read more »


Clippings

George Bernard Shaw’s Happy Endings

December 14, 2009

Almost sixty years ago, George Bernard Shaw died at age ninety-four, leaving behind an unfinished play. Tonight, in New York, that final work from the Pygmalion writer, Why She Would Not, will . . . Read more »