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Prince and the Showgirl, the

Marilyn Monroe , Laurence Olivier , Laurence Olivier    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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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

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated Drawing Room Fare April 21 2003
By D. Clay
This is not one of Marilyn Monroe's most entertaining pictures; it's not fast-moving and it's not flashy, nor does it contain any extravagant musical production numbers, but it does boast a fine, subtle performance from the actress. During the 1911 coronation of King George V, an American showgirl in England (Monroe) matches wits with the Prince Regent of Carpathia (Laurence Olivier) in what is a charming drawing room comedy. Monroe gives a delightful, sweet, comedic performance against Olivier's austere, gruff prince. The two fall in love throughout the course of the film while at the same time Monroe helps mend the relationship between Olivier and his son (Jeremy Spenser), the future king of Carpathia. Dame Sybil Thorndike also appears in the film as the Queen Dowager and steals every scene she's in! She's an absolute delight. This is also a beautiful film to watch and was stunningly photographed by renowned cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Also be advised that the then modern appearance of the two stars on the cover of the DVD do not reflect how they appear in the movie; this is a period picture that takes place during 1911 and all of the performers are appropriately costumed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAVORITE MM FILM April 6 2002
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By forrie
Warner Brothers gives us an outstanding remastered video & sound DVD. The Technicolor Full Feature picture quality and clarity are eye candy to watch.
Marilyns co-star Lord Lawrence Olivier also Directed & Produced this satarical comedy of royalty meets show business.
Summary: The year is 1911 Olivier a touring European Prince meets a showgirl (Monroe) backstage in a London theatre. His immediate attraction to her prompts an immediate invitation for a midnight dinner back at his royal suite. Her beauty & candid wit keeps the prince off guard. A romance begins and the reality of royal service constantly interfere. Will they find happiness ever after?
Marilyn as always is beautiful and her comedy skills are unmatched. The Special Features include; Cast & Crew, Trailer and Announcement Newsreel.
This is a fun movie especially for Monroe fans. Enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Monroe at her peak March 31 2002
I gave this film four stars--each for Monroe, who is at her dazzling comedic best here. The film itself is a slow period piece, lanquidly directed by Laurence Olivier, but MM breathes exuberant life into her every onscreen moment. Playing a character with some smarts and savvy, given wittier lines than usual, Monore simply walks away with the film. She is a vigorous American showgirl--healthy, vital, nobody's fool. If anyone possibly doubts MOnroe's ability to create character, compare this vital delectable performance with the weary, worn-out Cherie of "Bus Stop" filmed just months before. Both performances reveal facets of Monroe's talent she was never allowed to use again--not even in "Some Like It Hot." Dame Sybil Thorndike, playing Olivier's mother-in-law steals scenes from Monroe AND Sir Laurence! The coronation sequence is deadly dull and the ending--Monroe's rapid about face--is silly. But the film lives for her delicious high-spirits and wit.
Two other points--Monroe wears the most unforgiving gown of her career, a white number that she never takes off, which rather cuts down on much-needed visual variety. And the voice that she uses in the brief musical interlude is indeed hers; she has simply pitched it to a MUCH higher key! This is not as appealing as her her usual singing style, but appropriate for the period.
"The Prince and The Showgirl" is not Monroe's most famous role, but it is one of her greatest performances. And that she was able to create something that appears so effortless at a time of tremendous personal crisis (she miscarried during the film) stands as a testament to her oft-maligned professionalism.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfied!
The delivery was fast...decent quality image.
Very satisfied!
Published 1 month ago by Johann
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie!
Super happy with the quality of this movie in that there are no deficiencies throughout the viewing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Miss Dee
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disaster of a movie!
First of all, let it be known that I am a great fan of both, MM and Lawrence Olivier.
So much of a fan that even hating this movie,I still ordered and bought it because I love... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Marinela Matei
2.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
Marilyn Monroe stars as Elsie, a London chorus girl who catches the eye of a visiting Prince (Laurence Olivier). Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2012 by Kona
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived practically the day after ordered!
I have been searching for this movie EVERYWHERE since the new 'My week with marilyn' came out.
I received the movie the very next day! Thank you so much :)
Published on Jan. 25 2012 by Holly
5.0 out of 5 stars Collector's Set
This very special box set contains, the DVD, Senitype (a limited edition image from the film and 35 millimeter film frame) color booklet with rare photos of Marilyn Monroe and a... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars A Royal Bore!
His Highness Grand Duke Charles, Regent of the Balkan state of Carpathia, with the fake, unintelligible accent (Laurence Olivier) meets Elsie Marina of Wilwaukee (Marilyn Monroe)... Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2004 by H. F. Corbin
5.0 out of 5 stars What's up with this "Box Set"???
Does anyone out there know anything about this "box set" edition of this film? What's included in the package that makes it worth 5 times the price of the DVD... Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2003 by HAPPY BUYER
1.0 out of 5 stars So Boring!! I would rather have been at the dentist
I love Marilyn and she was beautiful and charming as ever in this, but that could not save it. This never should have been made. I was asleep within the first fifteen minutes. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars "What's not to like"
I thought "The Prince & The Show Girl," (DVD) was about as good as it gets with MM. A fun tale of opposites attracting. Monroe in one of her finer films.
Published on Nov. 3 2002 by "darciewithatude"
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