One reason to watch it
David E. Miller | Las Vegas, USA | 11/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have two complaints about this film. (1) The special effects used for the coronation parade are very bad; and (2) the song Marilyn sings is very poor (but thankfully brief). However, there is one overwhelming reason to take this film to heart. I have 17 films in which Marilyn Monroe appears or stars, and I can say with certainty that in this one, she is her most radiant, most charming, and most beautiful. And because this is her "happiest" film, she giggles, and she laughs, and it's marvelous! My favorite film will always be "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," and I think Marilyn's best acting is in "The Misfits." But in "The Prince and the Showgirl," I see Marilyn Monroe as the gorgeous American Icon we all love and cherish. Although the movie is not all that good, it showcases the Ultimate Marilyn. For her, and for her alone, I must give this film 4 stars."
MY FAVORITE MM FILM
Donald A. Newlove | Greenwich Village | 04/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen this film perhaps twenty times since it came out in 1957 and find the glowing DVD version perfection, much better than the laserdisk.When I first saw it, I believe it was projected through a lens masked for widescreen. So I was disappointed through the years when the videocassette and laserdisk versions weren't in widescreen. Now I'm delighted that the DVD isn't in widescreen, since the show was shot in standard format and we get almost the whole negative image on screen, with only a shot or two faintly cramped or with a figure not quite as fully seen as it was meant to be. No such worry about MM though, no image of her gets trimmed: the magnificent ballgown she's poured into becomes a character in itself. For me, this is MM's greatest performance just as "Camille" is Garbo's. In "Camille" you never catch Garbo acting, every line feels tossed off or thrown away except the big ones, which get the full heartcry the script calls for. In MM's film her every line flows from her with an assurance she matched only in "Bus Stop" and never feels acted. Inge's "Bus Stop", aside frin MM's scenes, strikes me as far less interesting than Rattigan's neatly built comedy, whose scenes without MM retain strong interest both because of the script and of Olivier's hand for detail and grip on staging. Also, Jack Cardiff fills the screen with glowing color to match the decor and costumes and much of my delight lies in having the full screen aglow, wall to wall and top to bottom with luscious light--light focused often on MM's sheer glory. Olivier's line readings are great fun, a grotesque joy, but MM reads like an angel and steals the show with her heartfelt method realism. What can one say about her that isn't less than she deserves here?
For the horrors behind the filming, you might turn to Colin Clark's "The Prince, the Showgirl, and Me: Six Months on the Set with Marilyn and Olivier" (St. Martin's Press, $20.95) where this angel's neuroses are revealed in full. And yet Sybil Thordyke, her costar here as the Queen Mother, said of MM during the shooting that MM was the only one on the set who knew how to act on film and be natural. The crew often thought she wasn't acting--until the rushes starte showing up. Colin Clark himself (he's the son of art historian Kenneth Clark, was Olivier's gofer on the set, and later helped establish NYC's PBS station Channel 13) said that when the film was done, despite the endless agony everyone had working with her, MM was "a force of nature" onscreen, although the whole crew threw her wrap party's gifts into the garbage. Yes, one must admit that MM had more serious flaws than we the still living. But do we take issue with the model for Velazquez's gorgeous Venus in "The Toilet of Venus" (who may have been a waitress he hired) whose long bare body and glorious behind have the same pale rosiness as MM's skin under Cardiff's lighting, while Cardiff treats her hair and eyes and mouth, her bottom and her bitty little belly, with all the care of Velazquez. We no longer remember Velazquez's model but that painting of her captures the eternal feminine. And someday MM's Elsie Marina in this film will rise in the heavens of art and be remembered while MM becomes a receding historical figure, like Pola Negri the Vamp whose dark eyes once spilled their eroticism over the planet, and just as Garbo the unread rather brainless woman fades farther from view every year while her Marguerite Gautier in "Camille" remains a serene image of artistic divinity.
As a footnote, let me add that all the actors are superb, as is the score. I was so delighted by the score (not to mention MM's sweet singing) in 1957 that I wrote a fan letter to Richard Addinsell, the composer (best-known for his "Warsaw Concerto") and he wrote back about his thankfulness to Olivier for his not asking him for "music by the yard," as was the custom when Addinsell wrote film music for others, but rather allowed him to let go and write every note from the heart. That music adds no little lift of pleasure to the images--and to MM and Olivier's big waltz scene at the ball. May I live to see this wonderful movie many more times."
Marilyn Monroe is perfect in this 1957 comedy, now on DVD!
forrie | Nashua, NH United States | 05/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Warner Brothers gives us an outstanding remastered video & sound DVD. The Technicolor Full Feature picture quality and clarity are eye candy to watch. Marilyns co-star Lord Lawrence Olivier also Directed & Produced this satarical comedy of royalty meets show business.Summary: The year is 1911 Olivier a touring European Prince meets a showgirl (Monroe) backstage in a London theatre. His immediate attraction to her prompts an immediate invitation for a midnight dinner back at his royal suite. Her beauty & candid wit keeps the prince off guard. A romance begins and the reality of royal service constantly interfere. Will they find happiness ever after?Marilyn as always is beautiful and her comedy skills are unmatched. The Special Features include; Cast & Crew, Trailer and Announcement Newsreel.This is a fun movie especially for Monroe fans. Enjoy."
MARILYN IS BEAUTIFUL!!!
E.FAMIGLIETTI | norwood, ma | 07/09/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't the best of her movies, but Marilyn is great to look at and she is very talented in this love story. Olivier, who i love, is also very good in this slow moving romance. worth a look just to watch marilyn's beauty..."