[Marxism] A guide to G.B. Shaw on home video

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 23 12:26:29 MDT 2009


Louis wrote:
"A first-rate musical titled 'My Fair Lady' was based on Shaw's play
but I doubt that it could do justice to the brilliant dissection of
class society in the original."
I'd be curious on others' take on this. Louis, does your phrase "I
doubt that it could," as opposed to "it doesn't," mean you haven't
seen "My Fair Lady"?
I've never seen "Pygmalion," (and thanks for the link, Louis!) but I
read it years ago. My vague recollection is that the dialogue isn't
that different from the movie (including the great excerpt in Louis's
post), but it's been decades.
One big difference is Shaw's epilogue (in the printed play) in which
he recounts what happens to the characters after the end of the play,
including some more biting social commentary.
While we're talking about play/film differences on class, see Ben
Brantley's review of the revival of "West Side Story" for some
interesting comments on the difference between the original play and
the movie, e.g. how shocked middle-class viewers were by the play, but
not so much by the movie:
http://theater2.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/theater/reviews/20west.html?scp=6&sq=ben%20brantley&st=cse
(The Times' radio station, by the way, when playing "West Side Story"
score excerpts the day of the opening, had the decency to mention that
the neighborhoods in which the movie was filmed were razed to make way
for Lincoln Center. They didn't however point out the irony that this
happened so the rich could see even more productions about the working
class.)
Andy P.




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