Major Barbara | Chicago Reader

Major Barbara

Director Gabriel Pascal had the good fortune to have George Bernard Shaw not only as the playwright but also as his collaborator on this 1941 film version of Shaw's classic satire. Wendy Hiller stars as the Salvation Army worker, daughter of a munitions manufacturer, who moves from innocence to disillusionment to the acceptance of the material and social values of her father's world; Rex Harrison is the good-natured intellectual who joins the Salvation Army to be near Barbara. Though a bit slow to start and overlong (GBS added 18 minutes to the screenplay), this is still an enthusiastic and intelligent rendering of the wonderful Shavian wit and sense of the ridiculous. With Robert Morley, Robert Newton, Emlyn Williams, Sybil Thorndike, Deborah Kerr, and Stanley Holloway.

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