The Entertainer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Entertainer Reviews

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½ June 18, 2009
Olivier's performance was great; I just wanted to throttle his reprehensible Archie Rice character by the time the film was over.
April 26, 2009
From director Tony Richardson and writer John Osbourne, who helped bring about a British New Wave with Kitchen Sink Drama's, comes this powerful and down-to-earth drama, starring one of the best British actors of the 20th Century, and a very good supporting cast to it's name. Set in Morecambe, Lancashire, it has teacher Jean Rice (Joan Plowright) returning home to her family, her father is Archie Rice (Laurence Olivier), a failing third-rate vaudevillian stage performer, who has troubles at home as well, his father Billy Rice (Roger Livesey), once a very successful vaudeville star, now lives in quiet retirement with Archie's troubled wife Phoebe (Brenda De Banzie), plus Archie has been evading Inland Revenue for 20 years, and things don't look like they're going to get any better. It's a very powerful film, which tackles a very real situation that has happened to entertainers up and down the country, Olivier gives off a very real and human performance, the scenes of him on stage are brilliant, but melacholic as no-one seems interested in this kind of entertainment anymore. Shakespeare would have killed for a tale like this, and look out for appearances from Daniel Massey, Charles Gray, Thora Hird, Alan Bates and Albert Finney.
½ April 10, 2009
this was a good watch. lawerence olivier is absolutely incredible. joan polwright is so young in this movie. anyway nothing much i can say other than it's worth the watch.
March 28, 2009
Yeah--I saw this one in the 6th grade and am still traumatized by it.
February 10, 2009
Anchored by a truly great performance from Olivier, The Entertainer is more compelling than one might first think.
November 28, 2008
Good, not great, drama of old, washed up comic Archie Rice (Olivier) working cheesy show at British seaside resort and how his self-absorbed ways effect his relationships with his father, wife and daughter.

Sad, reflective mood dominates as Archie hustles just about everyone he comes into contact with. It's Olivier's show, though, my personal favourite, Livesey, is always a delight to watch.
½ October 9, 2008
Terrific. Set against the backdrop of the Suez Crisis, a middle aged music hall entertainer struggles to stay afloat. Living in the shadow of his more popular father, hindered by his weakness for young women, Archie Price is a man out of time. Society is changing. The era of the music halls has come to an end and the public are protesting against the Tory government in Traflagar Square. Olivier is a revelation as the deluded entertainer, hiding behind his stage persona as he treats his family with disdain and manipulates those around him. This is a snapshot of a turning point for a generation, as society pushed on towards the swinging sixties.
August 22, 2008
Olivier's greatest performance
½ June 2, 2008
olivier's work is priceless.
May 9, 2008
I'm afraid I just saw my future, and it ain't pretty.
May 9, 2008
This as a great portrait of a selfish and egotistical performer.
April 13, 2008
A melodrama made painfully poignant by Laurence Olivier's layered performance. Different from the play? Yes, but the direction and writing help keep a unified feel throughout that make the film feel as a work of its own instead of a foggy reflection of the play.
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2008
Wow, tough audience @ the Flixster. Give the poor guy a break.
February 26, 2008
Oliver is great but I was not very engaged with the movie on the whole.
½ February 18, 2008
Laurence Oilier is devastating as a washed up Vaudeville performer in 1950's england. Joan Plowright makes her screen debut as his daughter as does Albert Finney as his son.
½ February 13, 2008
"I am Archie Rice. I am not Hamlet." This was Olivier's bravest role, and he gave it everything he had. A film that toys with the symbols of a decayed empire in a playful but powerful way.
½ January 14, 2008
olivier gives a dynamic and deep performance as a struggling showman amidst the last days of vaudeville.
November 7, 2007
Lawrence Olivier is brilliantly human in this film. He more than carries the role as a failed vaudeville song and dance man. Although dishonest and selfish in this role, Olivier transmits deep frailty, making you sympathize with this character who just does not realize that he hasn't got that special stuff. In one of the last scenes of the movie, Olivier describes passion, and how he wishes he can feel it. What I admire about this character is that he tries - until he is forced to stop trying, a real world lesson of trying and failing and failing again.
September 13, 2007
"Behind these eyes I'm dead" - Larry paints a beautifully disturbing image of a washed up old soak.
September 11, 2007
It's a really different role for Olivier (he said it was the character that came closest to his true personality, which probably says more about his own insecurity than anything else) but he plays it really well--you don't like Archie Rice but you can't help but feel sorry for the hand he was dealt in life. The scene where he sings "Why Should I Care?" is amazing. It's also Alan Bates and Albert Finney's screen debuts.
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