Play of the Month

Season 8 Episode 1

The Millionairess

Aired Sunday 8:15 PM Sep 25, 1972 on BBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Shaw's play about a bossy woman of wealth who finds she cannot buy everything she wants - or everyone.

    First staged in the early 1930s, this is usually regarded as one of the most minor of Shaw's plays, but it has always attracted top talent. Shaw wrote it for Edith Evans; it was revived successfully in the 1950s with Katharine Hepburn and Robert Helpmann; and Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers starred in the popular 1960 movie version. In this TV version, Maggie Smith is Epifania, the very rich woman and "born boss" (Shaw's own description) who finds that a saintly suburban doctor (one of Tom Baker's first TV roles after finding fame as Rasputin in "Nicholas And Alexandra") is not impressed by her wealth. Flawed as the play is, there's no doubting the skill with which this glossy production puts it across - it's simply a star vehicle, enjoyable as such.