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THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL


HoldenIsHere
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I saw this movie for the first time when it aired on TCM this morning and really liked it a lot.

I'd avoided this movie in the past. I'm not sure why exactly, probably because of negative things I'd heard or read about "behind the scenes" troubles.

 

Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier had real onscreen chemistry in this movie in spite of any disagreements they may have had in "real life." Monroe was one of the great screen presences of all-time and her talent and personality really shine in this movie.

I'd never seen Jeremy Spenser in any movie before but I really liked him as King Nicholas in this movie.

 

I missed the beginning of the film today. Hopefully TCM will air it again soon.

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I also saw it for the first time this morning, Holden. Somehow I'd never gotten around to it before, even though I am a Marilyn fan. Come to think of it, I like Laurence Olivier quite a lot, too.

I certainly agree with you in your comment,

"Monroe was one of the great screen presences of all-time and her talent and personality really shine in this movie.". I would add, her beauty (also really shines in this movie.)

 

However, unlike you, I thought the film was somewhat on the slow side, too much time spent on Olivier's indignant and pompous expostulations, a lot of people hanging around in fancy uniforms (of course, it's royalty, I know), and a fair amount of repetition in terms of the dialogue.

Which was written by the clever and experienced Terence Rattigan.

 

I think *The Prince and the Showgirl* would have benefited from a little more editing - it could easily have had a duration time of 90 minutes, rather than the two hours it took to tell the tale.

 

The rumours around the problems on the set and Olivier's impatience with Monroe's unreliable and emotional ways, have never affected my interest in seeing the film. Stuff like that has little to no influence on whether I decide to watch a movie or not.

Anyway, like you, I'm glad I finally saw it.

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Ive been wanting to do a movie night with this film and My Week With Marilyn back-to-back. I mentioned somewhere on a different thread that I think Michelle Williams, who doesn't really resemble Monroe, does capture that mix of sex and innocence and vulnerability Monroe always displayed.

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tracey, I have not as yet seen *A Week with Marilyn* either. I meant to when it came out, but it only played in my town for a week or so, and I didn't get around to it in time. (The city I live in is terrible for movie lovers.)

 

I like Michelle Williams, and I believe she probably did a creditable job capturing the Marilyn spirit. It must be truly difficult for current actors to play legends.

 

By the way, Williams was very good in *Blue Valentine* (although the film itself, I'm still trying to figure out if I liked it or not) and a Canadian movie, *Take This Waltz*.

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misswonderly and holdenishere--

If you get a chance to see it, do. Like the other two recent modern movies about the making of classic movies (Saving Mr Banks and Hitchcock) you have to take things with a grain of salt (sometimes a shakerful) but they are enjoyable movies and the actors (Hanks, Hopkins and Williams) more capture the spirit of the icons they play rather than being identical copies. I like that these movies also may introduce modern veiwers to older movies as well.

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You're absolutely right about Michelle Williams (and Hanks and Hopkins) "capturing the spirit of the icons they play rather than being identical copies". Where "My Week With Marilyn" made a mistake (in my opinion) was in recreating actual movie scenes from "The Prince and The Showgirl", in trying to be "identical". Although I know MWWM was about the filming of TPATS, it was in those duplicated scenes that I was most aware that Michelle was NOT Marilyn, though I was basically enchanted with her overall performance. Anyway, I love "The Prince and The Showgirl". There's something about the way the English (and particularly Jack Cardiff) used Technicolor which suits this kind of period fantasy. It's obviously a filmed play, but that also adds to the charm of what's essentially a frivolous and contrived entertainment. Terrence Rattigan was one his era's foremost playwrights and Olivier peopled the cast with some of his finest theater colleagues. Well done.

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