Major Barbara (May 14, 1941)
Released on May 14, 1941: A millionaire and a Salvation Army worker experience each other's life for one day, and both are forever changed.
Directed by Gabriel Pascal, Harold French and David Lean
Written by George Bernard Shaw, Anatole de Grunwald, Marjorie Deans and Gabriel Pascal
The Actors: 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), Miles Malleson (Morrison the butler), Felix Aylmer (James), Stanley Holloway (policeman), S.I. Hsiung (Ling), Kathleen Harrison (Mrs. Price), Mary Morris (unknown), Charles Victor (Bilton), O.B. Clarence (Pettigrew), Dane Gordon (unknown), Edward Rigby (man on Quayside), George Bernard Shaw (himself, writing the prologue), Billy Wells (unknown)
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What Price Salvation?
When I was a young pup studying to become a country preacher I had a friend who was studying to become a Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One day when I was visiting him he gave me a bit of a tour around town and while passing a large, ornate, grand cathedral Bob mentioned that the kids at the seminary called this church 'Andrew Carnegie's fire escape' because he provided the money to build the church, and they assumed that his motive was to 'buy' his way into heaven.
I was reminded of that as I watched this amazing story about the lives and motives of the wealthy and the poor in 1941 England. Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw wrote the story and while you are watching it you will know without a doubt why the world gave the Irish author such acclaim.
The daughter of a millionaire works tirelessly for the Salvation Army while her absent wealthy father earns more millions selling gunpowder and weapons of death and destruction. Daughter Barbara contends that there are things that cannot be purchased with money, and father Andrew tells her that money can buy anything in the world. When daughter Barbara, a Major in the Salvation Army, tells him that his money cannot buy her or her work in the Salvation Army, father Andrew tells her that if he cannot buy her . . . he can and will buy the entire Salvation Army that she works for.
Wealthy Andrew makes a deal with daughter Barbara - he will spend the day with her at the Salvation Army if she will spend the next day with him at his factories. Will Major Barbara convince her millionaire father that the soul is more valuable than all his wealth, or will father Andrew convince Major Barbara that without money, and lots of it, the world would cease to revolve as it does and is a necessary part of the saved soul?
I won't go into much more detail, but trust me that the story is rich with character studies into the lives of the rich, the poor, the sinner and the saint. You will not only be amazed at the wealth of words that will provoke you to deeper thought, but you will also be amazed at the legendary cast of actors assembled for this epic motion picture. You know that when six time Academy Award nominee Deborah Kerr has only a small part in the movie that this show will be not only memorable but remarkably well done. If you are not terribly religious you may feel like shying away from this story centering on the Salvation Army, but once again if you will, trust me, whether you love religion or despise it you will find an engrossing mind-play that will twist you around until you aren't sure which way is up. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn and drizzle plenty of warm melted butter on it and be prepared for a story unlike any other from the genius mind of George Bernard Shaw.
Wendy Hiller, realizing that she is losing her fight for souls
David Calthrop and Robert Newton
David Calthrop as Peter Shirley
David Calthrop faces Robert Newton
David Tree and Marie Lohr and Penelope Dudley Ward
Deborah Kerr and Robert Newton
Deborah Kerr in Major Barbara
Emlyn Williams as Snobby Price
Marie Ault and Deborah Kerr
Marie Ault as Rumy Mitchens
Marie Lohr and Walter Hudd
Marie Lohr as Lady Britomart
Miles Malleson as Morrison the butler
Rex Harrison and Stanley Holloway
Rex Harrison as Aduolphus Cusins
Rex Harrison is smitten by Wendy Hiller
Rex Harrison sees Wendy Hiller
Robert Morley and David Tree
Robert Morley and Felix Aylmer
Robert Morley and Marie Lohr
Robert Morley and Rex Harrison
Robert Morley and Wendy Hiller
Robert Morley as millionaire businessman Andrew Undershaft
Robert Newton and Deborah Kerr
Robert Newton and Rex Harrison
Sybil THorndike and Wendy Hiller
Sybil Thorndike and Robert Morley
Sybil Thornkike as the Salvation Army General
Torin Thatcher as Todger Fairmile
Walter Hudd as Stephen Undershaft
Walter Hudd in Major Barbara
Wendy Hiller, Deborah Kerr and Robert Morley in Major Barbara
Wendy Hiller and Deborah Kerr
Wendy Hiller and Robert Morley
Wendy Hiller and Robert Newton in Major Barbara
Wendy Hiller and Robert Newton
Wendy Hiller is Major Barbara
Rex Harrison, Robert Newton and Wendy Hiller