Gabriel Pascal

Gabriel Pascal

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Gabriel Pascal

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Gabriel Pascal (4 June 1894 – 6 July 1954) was a Hungarian film producer and director.

Born 1894 in Arad, Kingdom of Hungary (today Romania), Pascal was the first film producer to bring the plays of George Bernard Shaw successfully to the screen. His most famous production was Pygmalion, for which Pascal himself received an Academy Award nomination as its producer. Pygmalion was later adapted by Lerner and Loewe into the musical My Fair Lady. Pascal had tried to convince Shaw to let Pygmalion be turned into a musical, but the outraged Shaw explicitly forbade it, having had a bad experience with the operetta The Chocolate Soldier, based on Shaw's Arms and the Man. Pascal died in 1954, and it was not until 1956 that Pygmalion became My Fair Lady.

Early life

Pascal coined his own name and his real name remains unknown. Pascal's early life is shrouded in mystery. He claimed to have been an orphan taken from a burning building as a child and raised first by Gypsies before being taken away to an orphanage. He also claimed that the Gypsies taught him to beg, steal, and do acrobatic tricks.Pascal, Valerie, The Disciple and His Devil. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970. p. 60 It is unclear what parts of his fabulous account of his childhood are true as there are no formal records of him prior to the age of 17 when he was enlisted in military school in Holics, Hungary by a mysterious Jesuit Priest. Pascal, who was decidedly unfit for military life, became...
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