The Prince and the Showgirl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Prince and the Showgirl Reviews

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January 16, 2017
This is one of the worst films I've ever seen. There are so many reasons why this film doesn't work, so I'll just stick to the main points. So Sir Laurence Olivier has undeniable talent and Marilyn Monroe is probably why most people would ever watch this movie. Like many other people, I knew I had to see this after watching the short but delightful and excellent my week with Marilyn. This movie could've been excellent, but has too many shortcomings and it actually ruins the movie a little if you see my week with Marilyn beforehand, as the only reason Marilyn completed the movie was because of the friendship she developed with the 3rd assistant director. First: it is a romantic comedy that it is not particularly funny or romantic. Olivier sounds exasperated for much of the movie, with most of it being directed at Monroe, and Monroe just continues playing her part as normal. The script just isn't funny either. Secondly: Olivier's mangled accent. I have not heard him speak in his normal voice yet, which I'm sure is quite fine, but the only other person I've heard who speaks with as much of a mangled accent as Olivier is Tommy Wiseau. Thirdly, the script is repetitive and laughable. The amount of times Monroe and Olivier say, "I wish we could have more time together" is equivalent to how many times Tommy Wiseau says "Hi" or laughs in his infamous misguided masterpiece, the room. They also share probably the most awkward kiss ever recorded on screen. Finally, the movie is way too long for such a thin plot. If this movie came out today, it would have at least 25 minutes cut out. An embarrassingly bad movie can go for 90 to 100 minutes, but with a movie like this which is essentially plotless, it just doesn't work. Oh yeah, if you watch my week with Marilyn, you find out that Olivier never wanted to direct again after working with Monroe. It shows in this movie. This is not to say that romantic comedies that involve an older man getting involved with a younger woman cannot work. There are so many movies that have that plot, and they work so well, even if the relationship doesn't last. However, due to the many, many shortcomings this poor, overly long misguided film represents, it cannot be considered a good film or a classic by any means. One star for how much you can laugh at the movie's repetitive and stupid dialogue and Marilyn Monroe.
November 9, 2016
Hmm. Apart from Marilyn Monroe's undeniable beauty, and gorgeous performing, I wouldn't watch this to the end. Not a Billy Wilder by any measure. It's also painfully constricted by its stage origins.
½ August 9, 2015
Wanted to see it after watching "My Week with Marilyn". It was slow and disappointing.
April 19, 2015
A fun romantic comedy. I especially loved it because Oliviers character was Hungarian.
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.
April 13, 2014
Great Sunday evening viewing! Marilyn Monroe is captivating!
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.
½ December 19, 2013
I presume I wouldn´t have the same interest for this movie if I hadn´t seen "A week with Marylin"... Anyway, probably one of the few occasions we have to see her on screen.
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 August 10, 2013
Most of that rating is for Marilyn's genes and her dress designer. The rest is for the stunning sets and location work. Otherwise...this is an odd film, a stagey "comedy" that's not that funny, a romance that's not that romantic. It's a bit like My Fair Lady, but has elements of Micheal Crichton's Disclosure, although whereas the latter film critiqued date-rape and using power to get sex, The Prince and the Showgirl finds that stuff amusing and ripe for humour. Weird. And while Monroe might've been a mega-bitch on set, she's really the only watchable, likeable thing about the finished product. Oliver is utterly unsympathetic - a power-mad, sexually-predatory, creepy, unattractive bully. I liked the violin player though.
½ July 11, 2013
This is the film that My Week with Marilyn is about but I found this film a little dull & lifeless.

The disconnection between Marilyn & Laurence (the director & key actor if the film) is very apparent, they clearly didn't get along & that's clearly reflected in the film.

It's very stagy & doesn't really move anywhere that's interesting, it's a different film for Marilyn but by no means her best. Has a few good comic moments but overall a bit of a flop.
½ May 31, 2013
It's Marilyn at her best and It's a cute movie. I love it
½ May 14, 2013
Quite an odd pair to show on the big screen, but I must admit the result was pretty good.
½ April 25, 2013
Monroe at her peak, the movie itself was so so.
½ April 14, 2013
It is no doubt showing Marilyn Monroe is a talented actress. She has beauty and charm, and also talent in portraying real expression in the movie. Just a waste to portray her a dumb blonde.
Overall the movie is still a bit of dramatic performance. But the performances of the actors and actresses are awesome.....
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