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The Prince And The Showgirl Blu-ray Review

“The Prince And The Showgirl” doesn’t represent the best of Marilyn Monroe or Laurence Olivier. 

Based on the stage play “The Sleeping Prince” by Terence Rattigan, 1957’s “The Prince And The Showgirl” (also penned by Rattigan) takes place in London in 1911 where King George V is set to have his Coronation. Charles The Prince Regent Of Carpathia is among the attendees. While in town, Charles takes in a stage show (“The Coconut Girl”) and meets the cast which includes an American showgirl (Elsie Marina) that he is attracted to. Charles winds up inviting her over to the Embassy where he attempts to woo her for a single evening, but things don’t quite unfold like you’d expect. Elsewhere in the story, Elsie overhears Charles’ son King Nicholas attempting to overthrow his father.

“The Prince And The Showgirl” isn’t a title that comes up in Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier’s filmography much and it’s not hard to see why. Not only does the film (which was also directed and produced by Olivier) feel like a second rate “Roman Holiday” at times, but it lacks chemistry. It’s strange because both Olivier and Monroe deliver compelling performances here. Olivier seems to relish playing a pompous, rude and grouchy Prince with a heart while Monroe has a very charming and developed character to work with. Perhaps the reported behind-the-scenes drama between Monroe and Olivier impacted their on screen chemistry or perhaps the extremely stagy, talky and overlong script just bogs the movie down. Whatever the case may be, ‘Prince’ lacks passion and is never quite as enchanting as this fairy tale esque story could have been. 

Another missed opportunity here is the film’s humor. The notion of Elsie being thrust into the world of Royals with its dizzying array of traditions is ripe with comedic potential, but it’s not as whimsical as one might expect. Richard Wattis as Northbrook has the most memorable bits of comedy here as the Prince’s chaperone.

Last, but not least, it should be noted that the set design and production design is first rate. Olivier certainly made sure to make this period piece a believable trip into the lavish Royal world.

“The Prince And The Showgirl” is available on MovieZyng and through other online retailers. 


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The Technicolor film gets a glorious transfer that really showcases the rich color palette. 

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A nice clean audio track.

The lone extra is a theatrical trailer. 


April 12, 2023 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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