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.

Film Info

  • United Kingdom
  • 1938
  • 96 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #85

Special Features

  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

    New cover by Michael Boland

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

DVD Box Set

50 Discs


Out Of Print

Special Features

  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

    New cover by Michael Boland
Leslie Howard
Professor Henry Higgins
Wendy Hiller
Eliza Doolittle
Wilfrid Lawson
Marie Lohr
Mrs. Higgins
Scott Sunderland
Colonel Pickering
Anthony Asquith
Leslie Howard
Gabriel Pascal
George Bernard Shaw
W. P. Lipscomb
Cecil Lewis
Harry Stradling
David Lean
Arthur Honegger
Art direction
John Bryan
Set designer
Laurence Irving
Assistant director
Teddy Baird
Jack Hildyard
Musical conductor
Louis Levy


Anthony Asquith


Anthony Asquith

Critic Peter Cowie pays tribute to a quintessentially English master, whose prolific career stretches back to the silent era.

By Peter Cowie


David Lean


David Lean
David Lean

For many cinephiles, the name David Lean signifies grand moviemaking—sweeping epics like Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. But the long and eclectic career of this legendary British director encompasses arresting intimacy as well, as evidenced by the films of his in the Criterion Collection. Among those are pictures that he was responsible for editing, early on in his work in film: some of his national cinema’s greatest hits, including Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard’s Pygmalion, Gabriel Pascal’s Major Barbara, and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 49th Parallel. In the forties and early fifties, having moved to directing, he made several luminous films, including adaptations of such classic and important contemporary works from the stage and page as Harold Brighouse’s Hobson’s Choice, Noël Coward’s Still Life (Brief Encounter, in the film version), and Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. All are graced by evocative, shadowy black-and-white cinematography and elegantly restrained compositions. Summertime, his gorgeous 1955 Technicolor trip to Venice with Katharine Hepburn, marked a turning point in his career: the sun-dappled location shoot was galvanizing for Lean, and the remainder of his films, from The Bridge on the River Kwai to A Passage to India, could be considered outdoor spectacles. Yet Lean’s deep interest in complex characters, his brilliant way with actors, and his classic sense of storytelling were never trumped by scale.