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Major Barbara (film)

Major Barbara
File:Major barbara.jpg
Directed by Gabriel Pascal
Produced by Gabriel Pascal
Written by George Bernard Shaw
Marjorie Deans
Anatole de Grunwald
Starring Wendy Hiller
Rex Harrison
Robert Morley
Robert Newton
Music by William Walton
Edited by David Lean
Charles Frend
Gabriel Pascal Productions
Distributed by General Film Distributors(UK)
United Artists (USA, theatrical) The Criterion Collection (DVD, 2010)
Release dates
2 August 1941
Running time
131 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Major Barbara is a 1941 British film starring Wendy Hiller and Rex Harrison. The film was produced and directed by Gabriel Pascal and edited by David Lean. It was adapted for the screen by Marjorie Deans and Anatole de Grunwald, based on the 1905 stage play Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw. It was both a critical and financial success.[1]


In this social satire, Barbara Undershaft (Hiller), an idealistic major in the Salvation Army, is deeply troubled by the fact that her father, Andrew Undershaft (Robert Morley), is a wealthy weapons manufacturer. Meanwhile, Andrew is looking for an heir for his industrial empire, in particular a foundling like himself.


Major Barbara was filmed in London during The Blitz bombing of 1940. During air raids, the crew and cast had to repeatedly dodge into bomb shelters. The film's producer-director, Pascal, never stopped the production and the film was completed on schedule.



Major Barbara was released on DVD by The Criterion Collection on February 23, 2010, as part of the box set George Bernard Shaw on Film.



  1. Valerie Pascal. The Disciple and His Devil. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970.


  • The Great British Films, pp 59–62, Jerry Vermilye, 1978, Citadel Press, ISBN 0-8065-0661-X

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