Monday, March 11, 2013

February Challenge - Pygmalion - George Bernard Shaw

Summary:  Written in 1912, Pygmalion quickly became a legend in its own time. The characters, situations, and dialogue George Bernard Shaw supplies are rich, ebullient, and unmatched in wit, as the infamous Henry Higgins prepares to "make a duchess of this draggletailed guttersnipe."

Thus begins this classic tale as Shaw pokes fun at smugness and priggish conventionality. Who can forget either professor Henry Higgins with his passionate interest in the science of phonetics and the improvement of British speech, or of course, poor Eliza Doolittle, who is one of the great heroines of the 20th century?

Get ready to enjoy the greatest Shaw romp of them all as Higgins prepares to transform a common flower girl into a creature "the king of England would accept as royalty."  (

My Review:  I had the hardest time not reading the dialogue in Rex Harrison’s voice, or in Audrey Hepburn’s, or in any of the other incredible cast’s from My Fair Lady.  It was so neat to read the original version of the play (much shorter than the movie) and to see how much of the dialogue they preserved, as well as notice the changes that they made.

I grew up watching My Fair Lady (I wore out the cassette), and there are some marked differences in the play.  The ending is much more abrupt, and I don’t feel like I got to know Shaw’s Doolittle as well as I know Ms. Hepburn’s version.   But that certainly doesn’t tarnish the magic within the original.

My Rating: Four stars

Sum it Up: The transformation of a crotchety professor and a guttersnipe, in its original form.

For the Sensitive Reader:  Squeaky, squeaky clean!  Unless “blast” offends.  But they only use that word a couple times!

1 comment:

Ann Summerville said...

Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn were amazing in My Fair Lady. Interesting to hear the differences from the original.


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