6.9/10
1,089
24 user 11 critic

Major Barbara (1941)

Approved | | Comedy | 2 August 1941 (UK)
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
Edit

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:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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

Uncredited directorial debut of Sir David Lean. 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: [to Barbara] You've learned something, my dear. It always feels at first as if you've lost something.
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

Referenced in Girls: Incidentals (2014) 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

Wanted to like this better than I did
11 May 1999 | by MankinSee all my reviews

"Major Barbara (1941: **1/2). A lot of talent has gone into this film version of Shaw's play about a Salvation Army lass who is disillusioned when her Mission accepts a fat check from her father, a wealthy munitions manufacturer of wartime supplies. I happened to have the play on hand and referred back to it as I wasn't sure Shaw's meanings survived the rather tedious verbosity of the movie, which sags despite a great cast (Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison, Robert Morley, etc.). Shaw seems to be saying that when religion and capitalism fight it out, capitalism will always win as it provides jobs and shelter for the poor, whereas all religion can do is to concentrate on saving their souls. To Shaw, a man's soul is best saved when his belly is full and his future is secured. Ultimately, the girl decides it's better to labor in her father's vast factory, where she can save souls while working within the system. I believe Shaw was something of a Utopian Socialist. He called this play a "Discussion in Four Acts" and that's pretty much what the movie seemed to be.


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