The Prince and the Showgirl
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Genre: Feature Film-Comedy
Release Date: 8-JAN-2002
Media Type: DVD
Destined to remain a curio in the careers of Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier, The Prince and the Showgirl is a good movie that might have been great. While's she's wonderful as a saucy showgirl with a knack for foreign relations, Monroe's off-screen notoriety in 1957 made this a directorial nightmare for Olivier, who never bursts out of his stiff-collared finery as the Carpathian Prince Regent, who's smitten by Marilyn's innocent, unpolished candor. Of course, she's actually smarter than the monocled monarch, at least in her sensible handling of his stuffed-shirt diplomacy, so it's easy to forgive Terence Rattigan's script (from his play The Sleeping Prince) for favoring pomp over circumstance. The comedy percolates without bubbling over in this tale of opposites attracting, but it's a top-drawer production anyway, blessed by Jack Cardiff's gorgeous Technicolor cinematography and by the charm of costars who successfully concealed their off-screen anxieties. --Jeff Shannon
- Announcement newsreel: "Marilyn Starts a New Deal in Hollywood"
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Top customer reviews
I was primarily interested in seeing it after watching the biopic 'My Week With Marilyn,' to see how accurately the sets and scenes had been recreated, and whether or not the off-screen antagonism between Monroe and Olivier painted in MWWM was evident in the film itself.
However much Marilyn's tardiness and insecurities may have inconvenienced the cast and crew, there's no trace of distress in Marilyn's performance, she seems practically giddy with delight throughout the picture. Olivier, on the other hand, comes off as a gruff, Machiavellian curmudgeon, part of which might be called for in the script, but his wooing of the showgirl is entirely unconvincing as he seems to detest working with her. Apparently he chose the project thinking it was his chance to bed the internationally coveted sex symbol, and lost interest when he found how trying it was to direct her.
It's perhaps worth a viewing for historical context, and Marilyn is always easy on the eyes, but unless your standards for what constitutes entertainment are exceptionally low, you'll find yourself wishing for it to come to a conclusion long before it does.
Thankfully the seller immediately sent me another dvd, this time WITH a dvd in the case. I am thrilled. Film is great with Sir Lawrence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. Thank-you for providing what I ordered. If you are a classic movie lover, you will love this film!
Contrary to what is presented in the "making of" film Laurence Olivier - who directed and starred in The Prince and the Showgirl - is extremely generous to Marilyn Monroe giving her the lion's share of reaction shots and keeping the camera on her even when he could have - and sometimes should have - cut to himself. Despite the endless agonies that went into getting this story on film, Monroe is lovely and luminous. Olivier's own precisely calibrated and fine performance concludes with a most touching and tender scene.
Watch her little dance before the coronation, and her being pushed around that room by waiters in the opening. The snapped strap inn the opening is magic. One of the great films..Bus Stop is also not to be missed along with all the rest.
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