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The Prince and the Showgirl

4 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Prince and the Showgirl, The (DVD) (Rpkg)

Marilyn Monroe stars with Academy Award winner Sir Lawrence Olivier in this romance between an American chorus girl and a European prince set in London during the coronation of King George V in The Prince and the Showgirl. On stage in London's West End, American chorus girl Elsie Marina (Monroe) catches the eye of Charles, Prince Regent of Carpathia (Olivier). The prince invites the bubbly showgirl to his hotel suite for an intimate dinner, where she successfully wards off his less-than-honorable advances, drinks too much champagne and thwarts the prince's plot to overthrow the rightful King of Carpathia. Nominated for four BAFTA awards. Based on the play The Sleeping Prince by Terence Rattigan.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier, Sybil Thorndike, Richard Wattis, Jeremy Spenser
  • Directors: Laurence Olivier
  • Writers: Terence Rattigan
  • Producers: Laurence Olivier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0072BNJZ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,302 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I've seen this film perhaps twenty times since it came out in 1957 and find the glowing DVD version perfection, much better than the laserdisk.When I first saw it, I believe it was projected through a lens masked for widescreen. So I was disappointed through the years when the videocassette and laserdisk versions weren't in widescreen. Now I'm delighted that the DVD isn't in widescreen, since the show was shot in standard format and we get almost the whole negative image on screen, with only a shot or two faintly cramped or with a figure not quite as fully seen as it was meant to be. No such worry about MM though, no image of her gets trimmed: the magnificent ballgown she's poured into becomes a character in itself. For me, this is MM's greatest performance just as "Camille" is Garbo's. In "Camille" you never catch Garbo acting, every line feels tossed off or thrown away except the big ones, which get the full heartcry the script calls for. In MM's film her every line flows from her with an assurance she matched only in "Bus Stop" and never feels acted. Inge's "Bus Stop", aside frin MM's scenes, strikes me as far less interesting than Rattigan's neatly built comedy, whose scenes without MM retain strong interest both because of the script and of Olivier's hand for detail and grip on staging. Also, Jack Cardiff fills the screen with glowing color to match the decor and costumes and much of my delight lies in having the full screen aglow, wall to wall and top to bottom with luscious light--light focused often on MM's sheer glory. Olivier's line readings are great fun, a grotesque joy, but MM reads like an angel and steals the show with her heartfelt method realism. What can one say about her that isn't less than she deserves here?Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
I first saw this movie years ago, very late or early on a New Year's Eve. I staid glued to the set watching the relationship between these two develop. Marilyn Monroe is so young and charming and funny. Laurence Olivier was already a very established actor. It surprised me to see him in this film, but as usual he pulled it off. I have looked for a copy of this film for a long time. It's a little known jewel in both Olivier's and Monroe's carreers. It's worth seeing.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have two complaints about this film. (1) The special effects used for the coronation parade are very bad; and (2) the song Marilyn sings is very poor (but thankfully brief). However, there is one overwhelming reason to take this film to heart. I have 17 films in which Marilyn Monroe appears or stars, and I can say with certainty that in this one, she is her most radiant, most charming, and most beautiful. And because this is her "happiest" film, she giggles, and she laughs, and it's marvelous! My favorite film will always be "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," and I think Marilyn's best acting is in "The Misfits." But in "The Prince and the Showgirl," I see Marilyn Monroe as the gorgeous American Icon we all love and cherish. Although the movie is not all that good, it showcases the Ultimate Marilyn. For her, and for her alone, I must give this film 4 stars.
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Format: DVD
I cannot believe how wide of the mark are so many of the reviews for this highly entertaining and funny movie. I have watched it several times over the years, still watch it occasionally and am amazed that it continues to entertain and amuse - it just refuses to date.

The funny, sparkling script by Terence Rattigan is leavened with the yeast of telling social commentary, as relevant today as it is to the Edwardian setting. It is full of perceptive one-liners that still make us chuckle. The basic story of how a street-wise, but romantic young girl not only survives, but succeeds in the rarified class-conscious world of royalty and ossified convention is one that enchants us and has us rooting for her.

Visually, it is a feast of riotous colour - stunning interiors, beautiful women in gorgeous dresses and men in either impressive uniforms or the masculine elegance of Edwardian menswear. What's not to like? Jack Cardiff, the cinematographer, yet again demonstrates his unique painterly skill as the finest Technicolor camaraman ever. He displays Marilyn Monroe's beauty better than any other cinematographer has ever done.

The comments that Olivier's acting is "wooden" and that Monroe acts him off the screen are just ridiculous. Olivier is an actor, for heaven's sake, and is playing a Balkan prince of no charm and sombre character. The first five minutes alone - where he thanks the line of actors - is memorably funny with Olivier's subtle interpretation of a bored royal's public relations ritual. He brilliantly contrasts the prince's distant, embarrassed, response to forward yoicks to his attempts at flirtatious conversation with attractive young and not-so-young women.
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Format: VHS Tape
Anyone who has any doubt that Marilyn Monroe could act must see this movie. She absolutely out does Laurence Olivier! She is so funny and charming, and her timing is impeccable. The movie is very funny and romantic, and Sybil Thorndyke is also wonderfully funny. A MUST SEE!
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