Quantity:1

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
Colour:
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
      

George Bernard Shaw on Film


List Price: CDN$ 47.99
Price: CDN$ 38.39 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: CDN$ 9.60 (20%)
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
8 new from CDN$ 34.64 4 used from CDN$ 39.99

Today Only: "Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection" for $36.49
Today only: Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection is at a one day special price. Offer valid on December 20, 2014, applies only to purchases of products sold by Amazon.ca, and does not apply to products sold by third-party merchants and other sellers through the Amazon.ca site. Learn more

Product Details

  • Actors: Claude Rains, Vivien Leigh, Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison, Stewart Granger
  • Directors: Chester Erskine, David Lean, Gabriel Pascal, Harold French, Nicholas Ray
  • Writers: Chester Erskine, Gabriel Pascal, Anatole de Grunwald
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Feb. 23 2010
  • Run Time: 347 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B002Y06VI4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,898 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 1 2010
Format: DVD
Criterion's Eclipse series is a collection of lost, forgotten, or overshadowed classic films, bundled and presented in simple editions. Eclipse Series 20 - George Bernard Shaw On Film gathers together three of the master playwright's works as adapted to film by the producer Gabriel Pascal: Major Barbara (1941), Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), and Androcles and the Lion (1952).

The black-and-white Major Barbara follows a bold Salvation Army officer in her quest to save souls, through her disappointment in the organization's financial dependence on questionable sponsorship, and on to a new type of hope. Featuring a superbly unforgettable performance by Wendy Hiller in the feature role, and a dreamy, young Rex Harrison as her fiancé "Dollie," this captivating and emotionally authentic film struck me as the winner of this collection.

Caesar and Cleopatra is a luxuriously produced technical spectacle starring Vivien Leigh (after her Gone With the Wind performance) in an incredibly coy and playful depiction of the Egyptian queen. Claude Rains is her opposite as the suave and confident Julius Caesar who is alternately fascinated and frustrated by this young royal.

This full-fledged costume drama was an economic disaster, with a cost of $5 million, and a loss of $3 million; imported Egyptian sand, moving filming to Cairo, it all added up. Sadly, the film itself is rather ponderous and slow moving, all the more so for those of us with modernized cinema viewing habits firmly entrenched. Still, there are some fine moments of acting amongst the dramatics - the young boy-king Ptolemy was wonderful, as was the charming Apollodorus (Stewart Granger).
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
MAJOR BARBARA is from a heavily cut edition--beware June 11 2010
By RES - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The Criterion/Eclipse Series' MAJOR BARABARA in the "George Bernard Shaw on Film" set looks all right (not a real restoration) but has a very serious drawback. The original theatrical film runs 136 minutes, and was issued that way on New Century Telecommunications and Janus VHS a few decades ago (the Janus was a 4% sped-up PAL-NTSC conversion, so it ran 131 minutes); it was aired on TV (most recently on Bravo) at 136 minutes as well. The new DVD version was apparently transferred from a heavily edited reissue for another market and runs only 122 minutes--15 minutes edited out (there were several of these re-workings for different markets, even a US version of 100 minutes, a true abomination)! Consequently, a good deal of Shaw's crisp, brilliant dialog is gone, and the dialog continuity is like Swiss cheese. I was looking forward to this film's DVD re-appearance for a long time, and to receive it as an unacceptable, heavily re-edited version, especially under the Criterion aegis (itself transferred from a new short UK edition, is a terrible disappointment. Avoid!
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
G.B. SHAW ON FILM Feb. 5 2010
By Michael B. Druxman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The works of George Bernard Shaw are like the works of William Shakespeare. They were written to be performed on the stage, not on film.

If you want these great plays to work in the motion picture medium, then adjustments must be made.

Shaw's comedies, in particular, though filled with colorful characters and brilliant wit, are also burdened with his social commentary and speechifying, which might work well in the theatre, but taxes the patience of a movie audience.

Such a "burden" was lifted when Lerner & Lowe turned the playwright's PYGMALION into the hit musical, MY FAIR LADY. Songs took the place of the cumbersome speeches.

Shaw was personally involved in both the casting and production of the first two films in this collection, MAJOR BARBARA (1941) and CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA (1945), and the result is pure Shaw. That is not, necessarily, a bad thing if you approach these pictures as a filmed version of a stage play.

Yes, in both movies, director Gabriel Pascal does his best to "open up" the action, even to the extent of incorporating some brief battle sequences into the Technicolor CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA, but at the end of the day, these are still two filmed stage plays with all of the playwright's long speeches seemingly uncut and too many key events taking place off-stage.

Again, that is not to say that pure Shaw cannot be entertaining. It can be, particularly when the splendid casts of these pictures deliver his clever dialogue.

MAJOR BARBARA stars Wendy Hiller, a favorite of the playwright, as the daughter of a wealthy munitions manufacturer (Robert Morley). She works as a Salvation Army officer and speaks out against the hypocrisy she believes exists in her organization. Rex Harrison, Robert Newton and newcomer Deborah Kerr co-star.

Although Shaw was not happy with her performance, Vivien Leigh is absolutely charming as the kittenish Cleopatra in CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA, which co-stars Claude Rains in a brilliantly subtle performance as the Roman leader.

Stewart Granger and Flora Robson are also in the cast of what was, at that time, the most expensive British film ever produced.

Pascal produced, but did not direct ANDROCLES AND THE LION, the first Shaw play to be filmed after the playwright's death. The directing assignment fell to Chester Erskine.

Although it has other issues, this 1952 release is certainly the most audience pleasing of the Eclipse trio, probably because it's more movie than filmed stage play. The witty dialogue is still present, but Shaw's lengthy social commentary has been kept to a minimum.

Do you think this movie caused the great man to turn in his grave?

Also contributing to the picture's success is the extremely likable performance of funnyman Alan Young in the title role of the shy, animal loving, Christian slave who pulls a thorn from a lion's paw and, as a result of his kind act, is spared from death in the Roman Colosseum.

Jean Simmons, Robert Newton, Maurice Evans, Elsa Lanchester and Reginald Gardiner contribute to the fun. Indeed, a confrontation scene between Gardiner and Newton with Young trying to intercede, is a comic highlight.

Only Victor Mature, as the Roman centurion who falls in love with doomed Christian Ms. Simmons, seems a bit out of his league in his role. The actor is certainly adequate, but a James Mason or a Laurence Olivier might have delivered a more interesting reading of Shaw's words.

© Michael B. Druxman
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Worthwhile, Even if You Don't Agree With Shaw March 1 2010
By Jennifer Bogart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Criterion's Eclipse series is a collection of lost, forgotten, or overshadowed classic films, bundled and presented in simple editions. Eclipse Series 20 - George Bernard Shaw On Film gathers together three of the master playwright's works as adapted to film by the producer Gabriel Pascal: Major Barbara (1941), Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), and Androcles and the Lion (1952).

The black-and-white Major Barbara follows a bold Salvation Army officer in her quest to save souls, through her disappointment in the organization's financial dependence on questionable sponsorship, and on to a new type of hope. Featuring a superbly unforgettable performance by Wendy Hiller in the feature role, and a dreamy, young Rex Harrison as her fiancé "Dollie," this captivating and emotionally authentic film struck me as the winner of this collection.

Caesar and Cleopatra is a luxuriously produced technical spectacle starring Vivien Leigh (after her Gone With the Wind performance) in an incredibly coy and playful depiction of the Egyptian queen. Claude Rains is her opposite as the suave and confident Julius Caesar who is alternately fascinated and frustrated by this young royal.

This full-fledged costume drama was an economic disaster, with a cost of $5 million, and a loss of $3 million; imported Egyptian sand, moving filming to Cairo, it all added up. Sadly, the film itself is rather ponderous and slow moving, all the more so for those of us with modernized cinema viewing habits firmly entrenched. Still, there are some fine moments of acting amongst the dramatics - the young boy-king Ptolemy was wonderful, as was the charming Apollodorus (Stewart Granger).

Androcles and the Lion is another black-and-white production which abandons any subtle hints of wit and goes for the full-out comedic, interspersed with moments of serious philosophical contemplation. Starring Alan Young as the comical Androcles in Shaw's adaptation of the classic fable, this is the only film in the collection that wasn't directed by Pascal himself. Directed by Chester Erskine with Pascal as a producer, this film also received no input from the playwright himself (which perhaps explains the outright comedy).

Again tackling Christianity, the Christian Androcles (who has a remarkable way with animals) is a lovable, naïve fool, while the lovely Lavinia (Jean Simmons) is revealed by the film's end to be a female version of Shaw himself - passionate about morality but doubting in the existence of any one, true God. While I certainly don't agree with the renowned playwright and the strong philosophical undertones his works exhibit (mainly religious pluralism and a sort of socialist utopia), they still make for interesting works of study. Even in these adaptations, Shaw's intellect and wit are clearly apparent, with a depth to each film's dialogue that must be explored through repeated viewings.

Having been adapted from plays, and in accordance with Shaw's wishes, with little alteration, there remain large sections of `talk' within each of these films. Monologues, triumphant closing statements that drive home Shaw's conclusive points, clearly show the origin of these works. Large ensemble scenes with huge casts of extras, elaborate sets, and lovely scores lend a `big Hollywood picture feel' to each inclusion, though only Androcles found a Hollywood backer.

These DVD releases are remarkably well preserved, with no noticeable flaws in the picture. Each film is presented on its own DVD with a simple scene navigation menu included along with a play through feature. The liner notes for each disc from historian Bruce Eder are invaluable and provide a miniature film studies lesson. Eder touches upon the relationship between Shaw and Pascal, their collaborative process, choices of actors, film costs, commercial success, and more.

Though nearly all of us are familiar with My Fair Lady, based upon Shaw's Pygmalion, that is often as far as our exposure to the works of Shaw on film extends. Shaw devotees seeking to delve further into the film adaptations of Shaw's plays, will find Eclipse Series 20 - George Bernard Shaw On Film fits the bill.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
To be in Bernard Shaw 's mood! Nov. 13 2005
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Claude Rains as Caesar and Viviane Leigh as Cleopatra star this dazzling story that rides between the drama and comedy. A splendid occasion to crown once more the corrosive humor that literally permeates a good part of the dialogues. There is humor but also a formidable description and bold personal statement of this privileged dramaturge. The movie ha its particular rhythm, you may consider something theatrical, but that does not diminish at all its intrinsic virtues.

Basil Sydney as the Caesar 's shield, Flora Robson as Totatita and Stewart Granger are particularly effective in this British gem, that I insist maintains a very special feature, that demands from you the major attention.

Delicious and admirable portrait of a very special approach around the emotional, political, social and backstage in this satirical, clever and always reminded adaptation of Georges Bernard Shaw.

Go for this. One of the most admirable British gems of the middle forties.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Desperate Times Call For... Sept. 17 2012
By ArtDC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The ONLY reason I bought this DVD was it seems to be the ONLY U.S. version of Major Barbara currently available. Wendy Hiller, just as she was in Pygmalion, is a Shavian revelation. And her interplay with Morley is brilliant. Its such a shame that the producers let such an arbitrarily cut version be perpetuated, rather than putting out the original version. However, its WENDY HILLER IN SHAW. Even poorly edited, it qualifies as some of the best acting of the last century. By the way - the other two plays are well done and enjoyable, with fewer poor cuts.

Look for similar items by category


Feedback