Major Barbara (1941)

Approved   |    |  Comedy


Major Barbara (1941) Poster

A young and idealistic woman, who has adopted the Salvation Army and whose father is an armament industrialist, will save more souls directing her father's business. A comedy with social commentary.


6.8/10
1,194

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2 October 2007 | MOscarbradley
7
| Preserving a great play
GBS's great play of war, commerce and religion filmed, as if on the stage, by Gabriel Pascal; (it's at its least effective in the scenes where he 'opens it up'). So what we have, fundamentally, is filmed theater, a rendition on celluloid of a 'performance', much in the same way that Anthony Asquith's version of "The Importance of Being Earnest" was filmed theater, although this is in no way as definitive as that was. Still, what's to complain about when the cast includes Wendy Hiller's high-minded, free-spirited Major Barbara; Rex Harrison's cavalier 'Dolly', oscillating between cynicism and idealism; Robert Morley's unctuous Undershaft, too young for the part but carrying it off splendidly and in support the likes of Robert Newton,Marie Lohr, Sybil Thorndike, Emlyn Williams and Kathleen Harrison. There is even a young Deborah Kerr for star spotters. Of course, as it stands, it may appear something of a dinosaur, both as play and film and some of the speeches have the tone of pamphleteering but it's also very funny and often highly entertaining and one is glad Pascal had the temerity to make it in the first place.

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