Sunday, 7 August 2011

Wendy Hiller

Wendy Hiller is without a doubt one of my favourite actresses, wonderful and wondrous, with a unique voice and a strong presence. She was witty and warm, a combination of sternness and naivety, or pretended naivety. From Eliza in Pygmalion (1938) to The Countess Alice (1993), when she was 81 years old, she own the screen (despite few leading roles) and perhaps no more so than in Powell and Pressburger's I Know Where I'm Going! (1945). Unfortunately it is hard to find good scenes with her on youtube but I managed to get these:

This is from Major Barbara (1941), an adaptation of yet another play by George Bernard Shaw:

This sequence from I Know Where I'm Going! is perhaps more an example of Michael Powell imagination and visionary style, but Hiller is in it too.

And as a special treat, here's the episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in which she plays the new teacher in European literature. It is not a great episode but it has some charm.

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