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Major Barbara (1941)

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.

Directors:

Gabriel Pascal, Harold French (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

George Bernard Shaw (original play), George Bernard Shaw (scenario and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wendy Hiller ... Major Barbara Undershaft
Rex Harrison ... Adolphus Cusins
Robert Morley ... Andrew Undershaft
Robert Newton ... Bill Walker
Sybil Thorndike ... The General
Emlyn Williams ... Snobby Price
Marie Lohr ... Lady Britomart
Penelope Dudley-Ward ... Sarah Undershaft
Walter Hudd ... Stephen Undershaft
David Tree ... Charles Lomax
Deborah Kerr ... Jenny Hill
Donald Calthrop ... Peter Shirley
Marie Ault ... Rummy Mitchens
Cathleen Cordell ... Mog Habbijam
Torin Thatcher ... Todger Fairmile
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 August 1941 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Майор Барбара See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ronald Neame got his first big break as cinematographer when Freddie Young argued with producer Gabriel Pascal and was replaced. Neame had done some well-received screen tests with Hiller and became the film's DP. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 35 mins) Just before she scolds her husband for addressing her as "Biddy", a boom mic shadow passes over the lace trim on the bosom of Lady Britomart's (Marie Lohr) gown. See more »

Quotes

Andrew Underschaft: When you vote, you only change the names of the cabinet. When you shoot, you pull down governments, inaugurate new epochs, abolish old orders, and set up new.
See more »

Alternate Versions

As originally released, this featured a spoken prologue featuring George Bernard Shaw himself, but it has been cut from all TV and VHS prints. See more »

Connections

Version of ITV Play of the Week: Major Barbara (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Tell Me the Old, Old Story
(uncredited)
Music by Howard Doane (1870)
Words by Katherine Hankey (1866)
Arranged by William Walton
See more »

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User Reviews

Sign of a Classic: Substitute Lockheed or Raytheon for Arms Manufacturer and message the same
21 September 1999 | by alicecbrSee all my reviews

This movie is so rich, that I must see it again and again to 'get' the dialogue. Quotable after quotable, especially today. Example: Ubershaft (don't you love the names?), arms manufacturer, says to his son who is expressing a desire to go into politics: "Do you understand that all the game-playing and posturing done in Parliament (synonym used here) is financed by me and people like me? Those people are allowed their fun because we fund it." And of course, George Bernard Shaw verbalizes this modern truth -- i.e., corporations own the Congress----in a much more eloquent answer. Was it ever so?

The acting by all concerned, including a handsome, twinkling Rex Harrison, is STUPENDOUS!!! Another reason I have to see it again is to see Deborah Kerr as the young Salvation lass who gets clipped in the jaw...her first screen appearance. Robert Morley delivers his lines with just the proper balance of cynicism and charm!!! Orson Welles would have been too ponderous. As the Salvation Army band steps out playing "Onward Christian Soldiers", even we agnostics join in, the mood is so infectious. The point is beautifully made about the power of faith to change a person's life, even as GBS makes his points about the 'greater virtue' of providing a dignified way to make a living. I HATE black and white, except for film noir, but I was so busy mentally interacting that I never missed color. Buy it if you can, because one rental will NOT give you the full appreciation. Compared with all the wealth of information in these old movies, modern TV is sadly, just puff.


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