Professor of phonetics (Leslie Howard) educates flower-girl (Wendy Hiller) for a bet.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey
Anthony Asquith's best film suffers less from its staginess than from the fact that, after My Fair Lady , one keeps half-expecting the actors to burst into song and feels an unwarranted disappointment when they don't. The leading actors are wonderful - especially Wendy Hiller, who makes a far more convincing flower-girl than Audrey Hepburn. The decision to update the story from the Edwardian era was ill-advised, but doesn't damage the play too badly. It was voted into third place on the Film Daily annual poll of US film critics (beaten only by Goodbye Mr Chips and Mr Smith Goes to Washington ) and was Britainís top money-making picture of 1939. Variety attributed the original play, somewhat misleadingly, to Shakespeare.