The Prince and the Showgirl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Prince and the Showgirl Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2007
slow, olivier and marilyn never really connect
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2007
Lawrence Olivier never looks comfortable in this unconvincing comedy of manners. Not my cup of tea.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2008
Just for Olivier
August 18, 2012
"The Prince and the Showgirl" has a nice cast but a bad script. This film moves so slowly that it would lose a long-distance race against a snail. It isn't a problem with the story as much as the scenes are all just 5 minutes too long. The film is only interesting if you have seen "My Week with Marilyn" and can understand everything that was going on behind the scenes during this film shoot. Other than that, the actors are the main draw for this film. Marilyn Monroe is lovely, particularly the scene where she dances in her room to the music outside, Laurence Olivier is excellent as the Grand Duke, and Sybil Thorndike's interpretation of the queen is great. For me, the only thing that made this film worthwhile was the moment in the carriage where Olivier's scowl slowly and subtlely transformed into a smile and Monroe slowly caught on to his happiness. This truly may be the best 10 seconds in cinema. But other than that... there were a lot of issues on the set of this film (see "My Week with Marilyn" as a reference) and it shows through the lack of pacing in this film. I wouldn't recommend this unless you are a movie buff who is making their way through the greatest moments in cinema, in which case you must see that moment in the carriage. Otherwise, skip to "Some Like It Hot" for your Monroe fix.
August 14, 2012
A little hard to believe that Monroe's character would fall in love so fast with Olivier's high-strung and sometimes creepy prince in just a couple of hours. But, Monroe is such a delight that you watch until the end, though the film runs a little long for its story.

Grade: B-
½ November 26, 2011
"The Prince and the Showgirl" is a movie version of the play "The Sleeping Prince", the movie is directed by Sir Laurence Olivier himself. I frankly think it is an average movie, despite having two of the most famous actors of the time. Of course, Marilyn and Laurence did a good job in their respective roles, but I don't truly get the character played by Marilyn (Elsie Marina).
The story is about a showgirl meeting the Grand Duke of Carpathia in the early 1910's. Elsie will try to make the Grand Duke being a little more lovable to its surrounding, especially his son who wants the power.
It's an OK movie, but it is very interesting to look at it after "My Week With Marilyn" ;).
June 19, 2011
I Love the Goddess Marilyn, but she didn't seem like she was even trying in this Film, her Facial expressions never quite seemed to fit what she was saying.Their were Rumors of her being difficult on this Film, & it really shows in her lackluster performance.
April 12, 2007
Another Marilyn movie that I taped off the T.V. I loved this old movie! His accent was great to listen too. I loved how he would try anything to impress her, including singing in the play that she starting in. Just shows you what love can make you do. :)
½ July 5, 2006
This isn't really the type of movie I would imagine Laurence Olivier being in, let alone directing. But, I did really enjoy it. Marilyn Monroe is her usual ditzy character, but I really enjoyed it in this movie. Not to say that I don't enjoy Marilyn Monroe, it's just that she played the same role pretty much her whole career.
½ January 13, 2015
Review In A Nutshell:

I heard about Laurence Olivier's The Prince and the Showgirl through browsing his filmography, and my desire to watch it came from seeing Simon Curtis' 2011 film, My Week With Marilyn. My expectations for this film were not all that high, given the average ratings that this film has received, and I rarely see it stand alongside the most prestigious films by the actress, Marilyn Monroe. Now that I have seen it, my expectations were matched, giving us a story that is paced too slowly and filled with political aspects that barely elevates the film, making it more convoluted and thematically deep than it should be, but it is carried by the strong performances from its cast and certain comedic elements that had me laughing a couple of times. I doubt this film would elevate my perception of it through subsequent viewing, but I also doubt my feelings towards it would be worse. I recommend giving this film a watch, simply to see the unlikely pairing of Monroe and Olivier; then pair this with Curtis' film, to gain an insight on how the film was made.
December 6, 2014
A slightly better remake of the 1937 film. Strong cinematography, great sets, a solid script with well cast parts, though the cast members never really spark or sizzle. Such a shame.
October 11, 2014
This film was more legendary for its behind-the-scenes fighting between Marilyn Monroe and her co-star/director Laurence Olivier, particularly over their acting styles, than the plot of the film itself. Marilyn Monroe considered herself a Method actress, a style of acting that Laurence Olivier greatly despised, all of which is highlighted in My Week With Marilyn, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at this movie. This movie has its moments, but it definitely was not the pinnacle of either Monroe or Olivier's careers. 6/10.
July 22, 2014
It's hard to watch Olivier in this film--he overacts, has a terrible accent, and looks creepy. But Marilyn is a joy here; she plays Elsie as girlish and naive at first, but plumbs depths from her character as she wises up to the prince's intentions and his son's plot to topple him. She look's gorgeous, and her scenes with the dotty dowager played by Sybil Thorndike are hilarious. Definite worth watching if you're intrigued by Monroe.
March 15, 2014
When the behind-the-scene anecdotes are appreciably more stimulating than the film itself, it is not a good sign, so I may address MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (2011, 6/10) should be a better choice (for contemporary audiences), barring suckers for Ms. Monroe or Sir Olivier. How come Olivier was swept off his feet by Monroe during the shooting of this film? The ignominious scandal cast a fissure on his marriage with Vivien Leigh, which ultimately ended in 1961 and to a great extent prompted Leigh's untimely demise at the age of 54 in 1967, so the real life is far crueller than this saccharine period-romance between a regent prince from a fictitious country Carpathia and an US showgirl from the Coconut Girl Club, all happens in London during his visit for the coronation of the new British King in 1911.

It is a project tailor-made for Ms. Monroe and she was in her pinnacle at then, while most certainly Sir Laurence Olivier came on board as the leading man to reprise his role from the original play (Leigh was brushed aside due to her age, so Monroe was cast instead, it was is really a man man man's world), however it is rather an odd choice for him to monopolise the director chair since it is absolutely not his wheelhouse, a romantic comedy must be a tint two-bit for his Shakespearean standard. Maybe his real intent was never on the film but the red-hot sexpot, Marilyn Monroe.

Regarding the personal life, it was not a placid phase for Marilyn either (check MY WEEK WITH MARILYN for a deep look), but she definitely goes to all lengths to invigorate her character, Elsie, she is the breezy messenger, the emblem of foolproof love, with her buxom curves and halfwitted ingénue persona, one might not say she is the one-of-a-kind type of genius, but certainly she is the fortuitous making of her era, an icon can not be emulated in our times. Sir Olivier, wallows in his customary tactics, being deadpan serious in a condescending form, and genteelly articulating the banal dialogue as if he means it, we can endure the mincing and posturing of Monroe, but for him, it totally jars with the overall tonality and the chemistry between these two people with irreconcilable disparities never scintillates on the screen, the old-hat way of acting does double up the running-time.

Anyway, there is still the bright side, Sybil Thorndike as the Queen Dowager, the mother-in-law of the Regent, controls a timely comic effort whenever she is released to preside the scenes, and those moments are golden! A fresh-faced Jeremy Spenser (as King Nicolas, the son of the Regent) is strikingly dashing in the uniform, he is the only surviving cast of the film with us now. After all its regal extravaganza, garish costumes and ornaments, the preposterous post-production and erratic editing hiccups stick out ridiculously, some chuckling could be wrung from the picture in any case.
½ February 10, 2014
The Prince and the Showgirl is an excellent film. It is about the the prince-regent of Carpathia whovisits London for the coronation of the new British King in 1911. Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. Olivier also did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the humor and romance. The Prince and the Showgirl is a must see.
September 12, 2013
In the masterpiece filled filmography of Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier, it's surely a surprise that "The Prince in the Showgirl" is forgettable.  Though colorfully shot and bursting with elaborate sets and period detail, "The Prince in the Showgirl" lacks actual substance, making it rather dull instead of the fluffy romantic comedy it was hoping to be.
What's more interesting than "The Prince in the Showgirl" is what happened behind the scenes.  Monroe and Olivier feuded throughout filming, as Olivier grew impatient due to Monroe's constant lateness and dependence on her acting coach.  The in-depth look of the events was seen in the acclaimed "My Week with Marilyn," which you'll definitely want to see after seeing "The Prince and the Showgirl," since the latter isn't too great.
Set in 1911, the film takes place in London, where the Grand Duke Charles (Olivier) is stopping by to see the coronation of King George V. He stops by the West End revue to see a show, and meets ditzy showgirl Elsie Marina (Monroe), and something about her (her looks, maybe?) intrigues him.
He invites her over to his embassy for dinner, and it doesn't go well. So she gets drunk and ends up falling asleep. When she wakes up, things change from bad to good: she falls in love with the Duke, gets a taste of royalty, and patches up a feud between him and his son. But with their relationship last?
Almost everything is wrong with "The Prince and the Showgirl" -- nothing is flat-out awful and you certainly can't blame the acting, but everything on display just feels wrong.  The dialogue is often flat, and many scenes just aren't needed.  Monroe and Olivier are supposed to be a romantic couple, but they just aren't believable together.  A gruff Hungarian prince in his '50s courting a young, beautiful showgirl? It's a strange idea no matter how you look at it, and it doesn't work.  Olivier's acting is somewhat stilted, most likely because he was having such a tumultuous time with both filming and his personal life.
Monroe, on the other hand, is perfect.  It's surprising to know that she was declining behind the scenes, because she's a joy to watch here.  In truth, she's the only reason to see this film at all.  Her performance is always cheerful, funny, and sexy, and is the epitome of what you want to see Marilyn do in a Marilyn Monroe film.  Her comedic timing, as usual, is flawless; and yet, she's the only thing to truly praise about the film.
It's disappointing to think that "The Prince and the Showgirl" is a failure, because it could have been a heck of a lot different.  It's only worth watching for the die-hard Monroe fans.
½ September 6, 2013
Eye-poppingly colourful set design, gorgeous costumes and Marilyn Monroe's indisputable charm are the draw cards here, but the film, despite beginning promisingly enough, takes a long time to go nowhere. Lack of chemistry between Monroe and Laurence Olivier dictate the overall flat tone of the infamously troubled production.
½ May 31, 2013
It's Marilyn at her best and It's a cute movie. I love it
½ February 26, 2012
Quite an odd pair to show on the big screen, but I must admit the result was pretty good.
January 30, 2013
Drag of a movie but I love Marilyn. The dress is way too sexy!
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