The Entertainer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Entertainer Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 31, 2018
A standout entry, with early performances by nearly unrecognizable Joan Plowright, Albert Finney and Alan Bates, this concerns not only the gradual decline of one seedy and narcissistic performer (Larry Olivier chewing scenery with abandon), but also of an entertainment style (the English music hall) and perhaps of England herself, seen from the guts outward. A glorious kitchen sink production, grime-y and livid.
January 9, 2018
Absolutely mesmerising melodrama about a music hall entertainer of mediocre ability. Must have been very near the knuckle for its time. It has laughs, tears and a mesmerising and incredible performance from Laurence Olivier.
½ November 15, 2016
Laurence Olivier as The Entertainer of stage shows during the midst of WWII
½ February 16, 2016
Tragically sad showing the futility of show business in Brighton, but very good nonetheless.
½ February 13, 2016
Falls flat for me on nearly all counts. Transfer from stage very awkward. Olivier plays well at times but it's not a consistent performance. Maybe it's the script that seems to jump about and plays for sentimentality. When Miriam Karlin comes on towards the end singing some song called When I'm With The Girls or something similar, I'd had enough. Why didn't Osborne just limit his theme a bit more instead of trying to fit in so many characters' stories? Streamlined a bit, the film may have worked. Sentimental family dramas laced with comedy are hard to pull off successfully. This one comes across as forced and false.
Great to see Albert Finney and Alan Bates early in their careers looking very dashing.
SPOILER ALERT I get uncomfortable when a script doesn't tie-up loose ends, in this case how did granddad Billy Rice find out about Archie's plans to divorce Phoebe? I don't care that Jean doesn't admit her part in it but I just wished Archie had pondered how his father knew of his (Archie's) scheme to marry the young beach beauty (WE know). And we don't see Billy doing this, just arriving to visit the parents and we only get their vehement reaction through a one-sided phone conversation with Archie. This glossing over of important parts of the plot happens again when Frank brings the news of Mike's death and despite her anguish for a large part of the film, we are not really shown the mother's full reaction to her son's death. It leaves the film missing an emotional core and I was left with only a distant feeling towards the characters.
½ August 15, 2013
One of the great performances of the decade.
½ December 7, 2012
Fine performances, a study of a life and dysfunctional family in decline at a particular and crucial time in history when the old proud Britain was also facing decline as well. Palpably depressing in the end. Plowright portrays Olivier's daughter but actually married him after the film, eerily parallel in age to the affair Archie has in the story.
½ June 11, 2012
Amazing performance by Laurence Olivier. Hard story. Great movie.
½ February 6, 2012
Olivier is fantastic.
February 5, 2012
olivier is the rocket fuel that makes this one go
January 22, 2012
This tour de force, in glorious big screen black & white, features astonishing acting by one and all, not to mention stunning camera work, an exquisite music track and top-notch scripting.
Super Reviewer
December 10, 2011
The Entertainer is slice of history, and is an ably presented filming of the John Osborne play. Though the story's political allegory is now old and faded itself - Archie Rice/Lawerence Olivier's pathetic floundering music hall and career, which stands in for a fading, bankrupt post-WWII Britain ,what remains is still worth seeing.

This is a kitchen sink family drama with terrific seedy English seaside and sleazy theater atmosphere. Tony Richardson's early career showed great promise, and this film is a beautiful example of his talents. It contains Sir Larry's most heartfelt and naturalistic peformance on film and it's too bad that he didn't have more of these type of interior, heartfelt performances on film, the grandiose Shakespearan dramas aside.

The cast includes a who's who of future British film stars,as Archie's three grown kids - Alan Bates, Albert FInney and Joan Plowright, all in their first film appearances. Robert Livsey and Brenda de Banzie as Archie's elegant music hall dad and his second wife, an alcoholic, are also wonderful.

For a Canadian, it's amusing that the panacea for the family's problems is to make a new life in Toronto, something that Archie resists till the end of the film after a whole load of tragedy has beaten him down.

Without the contemporary relevance of 1960, this is just a very good family drama with a top notch British cast, but no world shaking groundbreaker. The DVD transfer is crisp and looks fantastic.
Super Reviewer
April 30, 2011
If you only know Olivier from dignified Shakespearian performances prepare yourself for an epiphany of colossal proportion.
April 24, 2011
This was stupendous and great from start to finish. Such a stellar cast and such a good story. With Olivier and Tony Richardson and Script by John Osborne it was just a gem from start to finish. I'm also a huge Roger Livesey fan, and he's marvelous. You're missing something if you don't see this film. Outstanding.
½ June 11, 2010
To be honest, this is probably better than I thought it was, but the copy I watched was pretty awful and some of the cuts seemed off. But it's still a good movie from what I saw. Olivier is excellent as always, and I really liked Brenda De Banzie as his 2nd wife Phoebe (though her cake scene was really theatrical, I thought it was great). Some scenes probably could have been done differently, a lot of times it seems obvious that it was based on a play (Billy Rice's stage show for instance).
April 16, 2010
Laurence Olivier is the main highlight of this so-so drama. He did quite good.
January 31, 2010
Laurence Olivier is outstanding here as a seedy, adulterous, bankrupt music hall performer, who puts his failing career before everything and everybody else.
January 18, 2010
Difficult drama, but a brutal character study at the same time.
January 16, 2010
wow umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.....i think that alan bates, albert finney, brenda de banzie, laurence olivier, joan plowright, daniel massey, miriam karlin, roger livesey, shriley ann field play good roles/parts throguhout this movie.....i think that the director of this classics/drama movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect thorughout this movie.....i think that this is a really powerful drama movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie n its a brilliant powerful drama movie 2 watch
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