The Prince and the Showgirl

The Prince and the Showgirl

Laurence Olivier (1957)

111min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
What should have been an explosive pairing of Hollywood's golden girl, Marilyn Monroe, and England's greatest theatre actor, Laurence Olivier, doesn't quite come off, largely owing to the vapidity of the vehicle chosen: a tired Terence Rattigan play, The Sleeping Prince, written for the Queen's coronation and already dated before it hit the West End boards. Yet there's much to be thankful for, especially the presence of Monroe, lovingly lit in Technicolor by the great Jack Cardiff. As you would expect, Monroe sparkles, showing a terrific sense of comic timing in a performance of great skill and beauty certainly helped by that figure-hugging white evening dress she wears throughout. Olivier, who also directed, seems overawed, and hampers himself with a Balkan accent that's a cross between Garbo and Bela Lugosi. Richard Wattis and especially Sybil Thorndike are splendid, however, and Marilyn, whose company financed the project, is a dream.

Summary

A European prince visiting London for the coronation of George V becomes fascinated by an American showgirl, who then falls in love with him. When she discovers his estranged son is embroiled in a treasonous plot to overthrow his father, she comes up with a solution to stop the intrigue and reunite the pair. Romantic comedy, starring Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier, who also directed. With Sybil Thorndike and Richard Wattis.

Cast & Crew

Charles, Prince Regent Laurence Olivier
Elsie Marina Marilyn Monroe
Queen Dowager Sybil Thorndike
Northbrooke Richard Wattis
King Nicholas Jeremy Spenser
Hoffman Esmond Knight
Major Domo Paul Hardwick
Maud Rosamund Greenwood
Director Laurence Olivier
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video and DVD
Comedy