• United Kingdom
  • 1941
  • 121 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  •  

Filmed in London in 1941, during the Blitz, Major Barbara emerged from a troubled production to become a major success for George Bernard Shaw and producer-director Gabriel Pascal. Pygmalion’s Wendy Hiller returns, this time as one of Shaw’s most memorable and controversial characters, Barbara Undershaft, a Salvation Army officer who speaks out against the hypocrisy she believes exists in her Christian charity organization. Rex Harrison, Robert Newton, and Deborah Kerr costar in this merrily satirical morality play.

Cast

Major BarbaraWendy Hiller
Adolphus CusinsRex Harrison
Andrew UndershaftRobert Morley
Bill WalkerRobert Newton
The GeneralSybil Thorndike
Snobby PriceEmlyn Williams
Jenny HillDeborah Kerr

Credits

DirectorGabriel Pascal
Assistant directorsHarold French and David Lean
Scenario and dialogueGeorge Bernard Shaw
MontageDavid Lean
EditorCharles Frend
MusicWilliam Walton
CinematographyRonald Neame
ProducerGabriel Pascal

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 »

Close

Log in to your Criterion.com account