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The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)

PG | | Comedy, Romance | 13 June 1957 (USA)
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An American showgirl becomes entangled in political intrigue when the Prince Regent of a foreign country attempts to seduce her.

Director:

Laurence Olivier

Writers:

Terence Rattigan (by), Terence Rattigan (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,304 ( 718)
Nominated for 5 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Wattis ... Northbrook
David Horne ... The Foreign Office
Jeremy Spenser ... King Nicolas
Sybil Thorndike ... The Queen Dowager
Laurence Olivier ... The Regent
Harold Goodwin ... Call Boy
Gladys Henson Gladys Henson ... Dresser
Marilyn Monroe ... Elsie
Jean Kent ... Maisie Springfield
Charles Victor Charles Victor ... Theatre Manager
Daphne Anderson ... Fanny
Vera Day ... Betty
Gillian Owen Gillian Owen ... Maggie
Esmond Knight ... Hoffman
Paul Hardwick ... Major Domo
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Storyline

June, 1911. Among the dignitaries from the Balkan State of Carpathia in London for the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary is the Regent, His Serene Highness the Grand Duke Charles. The London foreign office places great importance on Carpathia because of an unstable geopolitical situation with Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany set to overthrow its monarchy government if allowed. The Regent, a Prince originally from Hungary, and the most recent and now deceased Queen married for convenience. As such, the Regent has spent time with a series of lady friends while on his travels in his somewhat "free" state. In meeting one of those London women, music hall actress Maisie Springfield, and the company of her current production "The Coconut Girl", the Regent instead has his eyes set on one of the minor players in the show, American actress Elsie Marina. When seemingly simpleminded Elsie receives a party invitation from the Regent for that evening, Elsie is not so simpleminded to understand ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some countries have a medal for Everything.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

13 June 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sleeping Prince See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier had trouble filming together. He would often get angry at her forgetting lines or being late to the set. Monroe was furious one day while filming, when Laurence told her to "just be sexy". See more »

Goofs

The newspaper article that Northbrook reads at the beginning of the movie states that the King of Carpathia's name is Nicholas. In the end credits, the character's name is listed as Nicolas. See more »

Quotes

Charles, the Prince Regent: Who did you think I meant, if not you?
Elsie Marina: Well, Maisie Springfield.
Charles, the Prince Regent: No, no, no. Maisie Springfield she's quite what I would call 'old hat.'
Elsie Marina: Oh? And am I what you'd call 'new hat?'
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Doctor Who Confidential: Making Manhattan (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The British Grenadiers
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Cecil H. Jaeger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Monroe out-acts Olivier with ease
16 July 2009 | by brendangcarrollSee all my reviews

Just saw this again the other day after many years, and was impressed by Monroe's effortless upstaging of Olivier, who gives the most hammy, artificial performance of his career, unsurprising as he is directing himself.

If you want to see what star quality means, just watch their scenes together. He is desperately trying to ACT and eclipse her. All she has to do is just BE there in shot.

Whenever they are on screen, it is always her that one's eyes are drawn to and she gives such a natural performance throughout it almost seems as if she isn't acting at all. She also copes with some extremely tricky dialogue, giving the lie to her inability to remember lines. These are often done in a single take - one scene in particular, early in the film as she is leaving the house before Olivier arrives home, talking rapidly to Richard Wattis as they walk down the long staircase, is outstanding.

So, the film is worthwhile in showing Monroe as the great star she was - and revealing Olivier to only be capable of mere caricature (that fake German accent is so awful) without a strong director to rein him in.


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