Major Barbara



Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 93%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 55%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 1179

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 26, 2021 at 11:27 AM



Kathleen Harrison as Mrs. Price
Wendy Hiller as Major Barbara Undershaft
Deborah Kerr as Jenny Hill
Rex Harrison as Adolphus Cusins
1.09 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 1 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lawlibrarian 10 / 10

A question of incentives - spoiler -

Shaw decided to pose the question of whether money or religion leads to morality. It is a treat to see a screenplay written by the playwright...and the cast and performance were, to all reports, quite pleasing to Mr. Shaw. I certainly think that the cast and performance are excellent.

Shaw based the central theme on the life of John Cadbury, the founder of the Cadbury chocolate business. Mr. Cadbury was a Quaker who spent much of his life working for social reform. The two major characters are Andrew Undershaft and his daughter, Barbara. Shaw could not make his protagonist a socially aware candy manufacturer - so Andrew Undershaft is cast as an arms merchant and his daughter, Barbara, who rejects the family business as immoral and joins the Salvation Army.

Shaw plays the arms merchant's money off against the religion that Barbara has adopted and asks questions about the social compact, the origins of crime and criminal behavior and morality that were scandalous when the play was written 100 years ago and remain scandalous today.

I don't know how this film came to be classified as a comedy - it is serious social commentary of the highest sort.

Reviewed by the_old_roman 10 / 10

Perfect satire

Robert Morley as Andrew Underschaft must be seen to be believed. He is incomparated. Wendy Hiller as his high-spirited, free-thinking, and self-righteous daughter is equally magnificent. Rex Harrison gives them both a run for their money as the swain whose fallen for Barbara. Robert Newton, David Tree, and Deborah Kerr are also terrific in small roles. There are so many double and triple entendres this one will keep your mind swirling for weeks after you've seen it. It is completely enjoyable and universal.

Reviewed by Hoagy27 9 / 10

A nearly perfect film.

Outstanding acting: every tiny facial tick or movement of arms adds to the character and displays their feelings and emotions. Interactions are perfectly timed and presented to create an impression of reality (of course we know this is not reality but a film, so the acting must be more than real to succeed) .

Striking sets: Dour tones of black & white shade the early sets of down-and-out Limehouse. This is contrasted by gleaming whites and solid blacks of the futuristic mattes and rear projections of the later part of the film. Expectations are high and not disappointed with a crew including names like Vincent Korda, production design (The Third Man, The Thief of Bagdad, etc), John Bryan, art direction (Pygmalion, Great Expectations, etc), Jack Clayton assistant director (Room at the Top, The Pumpkin Eater, etc), Ronald Neame's cinematography (Blithe Spirit, One of Our Aircraft is Missing, etc) and even editing by David Lean.

Brilliant lighting: the lighting of the faces and sets heightens the emotions and intellect. When Robert Newton's Bill Walker first enters the story he kicks over a fence and strides across a cluttered yard. His head and shoulders lined with a nimbus of light as if he is some lost angel recently cast out of heaven. Later, Barbara walks forlornly to the river's edge. She is shrouded in shadows, but light (apparently) reflected from the water moves across her face and eyes signaling what she may be contemplating.

Sublime writing: each of the characters, no matter how small, is important to the story. Each speaks with voice that is true to the character and yet represents an aspect of the author's theme. Not one word is wasted.

Only the happy socialist worker's March of Humanity to a Better Future ending mars the experience. But then, much of this is probably due to seeing the film with 21st century eyes and besides, to expect a film over which GBS had complete control of the story to end any other way would be like expecting no one to die in a Roger Corman film.

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