Learning Guide to:|
Heritage Topics: Drama/England; World/England;
Character Dev. Topics: Breaking Out; Romantic Relationships.
SELECTING THE MOVIE
Age:12+; Not Rated; Comedy; 1938; 96 minutes; B & W; Available from Social Studies School Service. Order through this link for free shipping!
Description: This is a screen version of the George Bernard Shaw play which served as the basis for the musical My Fair Lady. The script for this movie was written by Shaw.
Pygmalion is a romantic comedy that portrays the efforts by a British professor of linguistics to teach a cockney flower girl to talk and behave like an upper class "English Lady."
Benefits: Pygmalion describes how a person's accent can determine his or her social status and economic opportunities. It also provides an introduction to the study of phonetics. Eliza demonstrates an inner strength that will not accept the dictates of a class system that denies the intrinsic value of the individual. Higgins is so involved with his studies that he denies the existence of human emotion. This black and white version is appropriate if your child has a positive reaction to "My Fair Lady" or is studying Greek myths in school.
Possible Problems: Alcohol use and smoking are shown. The ending in which Eliza returns to Henry Higgins despite his insistence on treating her like a servant is problematic and may disappoint if not infuriate children who have been raised at a time when gender equality is assumed. George Bernard Shaw also had a problem with this ending and wrote a sequel to the play in which Eliza marries Freddie. See Sequel: What Happened Afterwards.
Awards: 1938 Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay; 1938 Venice Film Festival Awards: Best Actor (Howard); 1938 Academy Award Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Howard), Best Actress (Hiller).
Featured Actors: Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Wilfred Lawson, Marie Lohr.
Director: Leslie Howard and Anthony Asquith.
USING THE MOVIE
Other Movies on Related Topics: My Fair Lady.
Links to the Internet: See The George Bernard Shaw Page .
PYGMALIO N is available from Social Studies School Service. Order through this link for free shipping!
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