Gabriel Pascal

Major Barbara

Major Barbara

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.

Film Info

  • Gabriel Pascal
  • United Kingdom
  • 1941
  • 121 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 20: George Bernard Shaw on Film

George Bernard Shaw on Film

DVD Box Set

3 Discs


Major Barbara
Wendy Hiller
Major Barbara
Rex Harrison
Adolphus Cusins
Robert Morley
Andrew Undershaft
Robert Newton
Bill Walker
Sybil Thorndike
The General
Emlyn Williams
Snobby Price
Deborah Kerr
Jenny Hill
Gabriel Pascal
Assistant directors
Harold French
Assistant directors
David Lean
Scenario and dialogue
George Bernard Shaw
David Lean
Charles Frend
William Walton
Ronald Neame
Gabriel Pascal

From The Current

By George: An Interview with Project Shaw’s David Staller
By George: An Interview with Project Shaw’s David Staller
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 sixty plays. In February, we at the Criterion …
George Bernard Shaw’s Happy Endings
George Bernard Shaw’s Happy Endings
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 be presented in a reading by the Gingold Theatrical Group…


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 Blithe Spirit and 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.