Believable Emotions

     I would say that the intent of the film makers of Pygmalion was to make a believable story, as well as to entertain and to tell a story that people would enjoy. Since this film, produced in 1938, has become a classic, I believe they achieved their goal. The screenplay was written by George Bernard Shaw, based on his 1913 original play, and directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard. Note that I have highlighted the emotions I saw because emotions are the focus of this paper.

     First off I have to say, I liked this movie--finally. I enjoyed the acting of Eliza (Wendy Hiller.) She was natural, down to earth, and very believable. I enjoyed her humor. It was appropriate for the movie. Watching Eliza, I felt as if I were really watching a flower girl, and not an actress. Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard) was a "great guy"; his humor was also natural, appropriate and just plain fun. His interaction with his mother (Marie Lohr) was interesting, I loved the way he just "plopped" on the chairs, put his leg up and just kicked back.

     There were elements of humor in Eliza, Henry and even Colonel Pickering (Scott Sunderland) somewhat. I saw sadness, sadness in Eliza when she came to the point of wondering what was she to do now--now that she spoke and dressed so well. Where else was there for her to go? At least as a flower girl she knew where she stood. Eliza showed fear when she thought that she would be in trouble for speaking to Mr. Higgins, when she thought that he was a police officer. There was a sense of peace when she asked for speech lessons and Mr. Higgins agreed. Then there was the "love-struck" Freddie (David Tree), and we all saw his emotions. He was wearing them on his sleeve.

     I saw snobbery and a pre-judging of people and that pre-judging turned out to be wrong. For example, the housekeeper, Mrs. Pearce (Jean Caudel) and Mr. Higgins both judged Mr. Doolittle (Wilfred Lawson) negatively; the first time he came.

     I believe that Mr. Higgins was in love with Eliza. Yet, he had made so many negative statements about marriage and relationships, he would never allow her to see it. Some times, in life, when people are really hurt from a relationship they put up defenses that will keep others away. Henry, I believe would really like a relationship, yet he will never allow it. In Colonel Pickering I saw concern for Eliza, concern for her feelings and just what would happen to her. He also had great respect and admiration for her.

     This film kept my attention, and I enjoyed it very much. I enjoy films where I can see a whole range of human emotions that are believable; after all emotions are with us in every thing that we do.

Rory Hughes-Melton

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