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Mrs. Warren's Profession
Mrs Warren's Profession
Actors: Coral Browne, Derek Godfrey, James Grout, Richard Pearson, Robert Powell
Directors: Herbert Wise, James Cellan Jones
Genres: Drama, Television
NR     2006     1hr 49min

What is the profession that has enabled Mrs. Warren to give her daughter all the benefits of "good society?" Vivie Warren discovers her mother's secrets and embraces her own power as a "modern" woman.


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Movie Details

Actors: Coral Browne, Derek Godfrey, James Grout, Richard Pearson, Robert Powell
Directors: Herbert Wise, James Cellan Jones
Creators: Cedric Messina, David E. Jones, George Bernard Shaw
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama
Studio: BBC Warner
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/16/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 49min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

C. Scanlon | among us humans | 02/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Often the most interesting and engaging part of a GEorge Bernard Shaw drama is his preface. One feels the play was written only to give opportunity for writing the preface. With Saint Joan, Pygmalion, Major Barbara, and Mrs. Warren, Mr. Shaw reports most explicitly and at length in the preface the subtle points of the play. In this case, we do not read the preface, but see the play in its entirety, well played, and denuded of its excellent preface. Nevertheless, we get the message, that the British aristocracy and anglican ecclesial authorities found too much profit in the Mrs. Warren's profession and its ancillary support systems and accidental legal proceedings to do away with it by providing a good professional education or a living wage to women factory workers, etc.

Unlike some others of this series, the BBC got it right with this Shavian production. The acting is excellent; the direction sublime. Despite the tendency towards preachiness and unreal dialogue or situations in Mr. Shaw's work, this production is very convincing to the modern "realist" viewer. The most direct comments on societal systemic injustice are pronounced with great emotion and conviction which makes them compelling and real. Perhaps we in our time and place do not speak in this manner anymore, but the actors here with great talent and skill can sell us their lines and we believe them as true. And what they have to say is in fact true, and a scathing commentary on the capitalist system which found great profit in starving women with slave wages in dangerous conditions, denying them education and suffrage, etc. and forcing them for survival's sake into the most degrading and demoralizing of work, including Mrs. Warren's Profession, which we see here for what it is, not a a labor of love but of toil and horror, and profit to its distant investors, including the renters of the same anglican church which then preaches against it. The play asks us wherein lies the fault of this grotesque immorality: in the individual women or in the society which forces them into it and supports it and coldly receives the profit sharing?

For once you can trust the BBC production is very well done, and supports this drama by Irish playwright Mr. Shaw, whose total work deserves now more than ever complete and careful study. The other drama attached to this disk is of lesser interest, as it is more of a drawing room family drama, with some slight economic and social comment, but less well presented, despite Patrick the great Irish actor growling and glowering throughout. See his expurgated Lear instead."
You'll love these evah, evah so much!
Cat | Southern California | 01/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After seeing Mrs. Warren's Profession, it's hard to imagine it being a banned play especially since it's subject matter is mostly implied. Most of the characters are appalled by it and the end is sort of a triumph for morals and the low opinion of people who have a wicked past. It seems to be rooting for everything that is Victorian-for high society, the improvement of women and setting the example for proper behavior and shunning those-even people who are loved should they partake in questionable activities. Some of Shakespeare's plots are a thousand times worse than this--Titus Andronicus anyone?-and I don't recall them being banned in Victorian England. Unless it's because the perpetrators here are women or because the hypocrisy of Victorian society was under fire and of course ...that will never do. In any case, "Mrs. Warren's Profession" is a battle of values..or virtue..and both of them make a pretty strong case. Will Mummy be put in her place or will her daughter be kicked off her high-and-mighty pedestal? The final scene will blow you away. The cast are all veteran stage actors and they thoroughly understand Shaw's language and pacing especially Robert Powell-who is hysterical as the sharp-tongued, passionate, neighborhood fop. Powell also appears in the bonus feature "You Never Can Tell," another Shaw comedy. In that one, while there were some good moments, was a little exhausting. It's worth seeing for more of Powell's witty banter-something he obviously enjoys and also for Judy Parfitt who always gives such solid performances (see her in Jewel in the Crown or Dolores Claiborne). Both productions are low budget and sometimes with other BBC productions, movies filmed on stage sets can be a little jarring, but the setting on these films is rather charming and it becomes secondary, to these wonderful, brilliant actors."
Stage plays well done.
Plain Jane, | Smalltown, United States | 04/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Both Mrs. Warren's Profession, and You Can Never Tell, are done as plays with all the broad expression expected. They are at the same time, stiff, and amusing. Completely apropos to their era. Coral Browne does a wonderful job with her role as a woman of the world who did her best, or so she thought, for her daughter. It seems her daughter is more the thinking woman than she would've wished for, and less the loving daughter. The bonus play is lively, very broadly done, and completely enjoyable.