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Prince and the Showgirl, the

Marilyn Monroe , Laurence Olivier , Laurence Olivier    Unrated   VHS Tape
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Royal Bore! Jan. 3 2004
Format:VHS Tape
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) in what has to be the longest, dullest 1 1/2, 2, 3 hours I have spent watching a movie in a very long time. He may have been the best actor of his generation, but you would be hard pressed to prove it from Olivier's performance here. Monroe, of course, plays the role she was usually assigned, the sexy dumb blonde.
I suppose Olivier should get most of the blame for this fiasco since he directed the movie in addition to starring in it. In Olivier's defense, however, I recall that he wanted his wife Vivian Leigh to play the role of Elsie rather than Ms. Monroe. Of course Ms. Monroe could have turned the offer to play Elsie down.
There are occasionally mildly funny scenes in the movie, but they are few and far between. After all a comedy should be funny.
Oh, 3/4 of the way through the movie, Elsie breaks out into song! Do I need to say more?
Both these actors made many good movies. This is not one of them.
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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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1 of 1 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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2.0 out of 5 stars What a disaster of a movie! Oct. 11 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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 Marilyn's performance in it and I could look at her even if she talked nonsense or nothing at all.

The film is a disaster and this is Sir's fault. I know that the movie was plagued with all kinds of difficulties -MM being late and hating the movie and the people in it - but Sir Lawrence shouldn't have directed the movie and also starred in it. Or even better, he should have done none. His character is boring and not funny at all, it's just ridiculos, cartoonish, and makes it impossible to believe that the showgirl could ever take him seriously or ever like him, no mater what.
And MM, in spite of what was written and said about her during the filming of this movie, she looks fantastic and makes bearable the waste of so much time. I don't have the numbers, but this is one long, long movie and at one point, in the middle of it, the camera gets lost filming the cathedral where the coronation of King George V will take place - and this was the time when I fell asleep - and when I woke up I couldn't believe my eyes - we were still in the cathedral doing nothing but filming every detail of the the walls and architecture inside and out. I really had the feeling that I was watching a documentary about great cathedrals in UK or god knows why they had to film every inch of this, indeed, splendid cathedral. Anyway, I might have fallen asleep again because I've never quite understood the plot - very complicated for a comedy - and completely incredible.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not sorry that I bought this movie since I knew what to expect - having seen it before, or parts of it.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 20 months ago 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Marilyn Monroe is perfect in this 1957 comedy, now on DVD!
Warner Brothers gives us an outstanding remastered video & sound DVD. The Technicolor Full Feature picture quality and clarity are eye candy to watch. Read more
Published on May 1 2003 by forrie
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"
4.0 out of 5 stars MARILYN IS BRILLIANT.
This Movie seems a bit dated and slow at times but curiously enough does get better with repeated viewing. Read more
Published on July 31 2002 by "zmart4ever"
2.0 out of 5 stars The Prince... The Showgirl... The Calamity.
I rate this the most un-interesting of all of Marilyns roles. As a devoted & lifelong M.M. fan, this is the only one of her films that I've only gotten through twice. Read more
Published on July 18 2002 by F. Gentile
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Movies
The cemistry between Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier is great. It's a sweet movie, as well as funny.
Published on April 4 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Monroe at her peak
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... Read more
Published on March 31 2002 by denis ferrara
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