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Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe, Sybil Thorndike
Writing Credits:
Terence Rattigan

An American showgirl becomes entangled in political intrigue when the Prince Regent of a foreign country attempts to seduce her.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 117 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 3/14/2023

• Trailer


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The Prince and the Showgirl [Blu-Ray] (1957)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 27, 2023)

Two legends meet for the first Ė and only Ė time in 1957ís The Prince and the Showgirl. Here we find a romance that stars Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe.

Set in 1911, Carpathian Prince Regent Charles (Olivier) comes to London for the coronation of George V. Widowed a decade earlier, Charles takes advantage of his single status to woo a variety of women.

When Charles attends a musical stage performance, he meets one of the bit players, an American named Elsie Marina (Monroe). This begins an improbable romance.

On the surface, Olivier and Monroe feel like an odd cinematic pair. Heck, beneath the surface, they seem screen match.

Do they manage sparks as a movie couple? No, though I wonít blame Monroe for the disconnect.

Nothing about Elsie forces Monroe to stretch her dramatic legs. She essentially plays a variation on the Marilyn Monroe Character Ė albeit one less ditzy than usual, but still in her standard wheelhouse.

On the other hand, Charles brings a role outside what we expect from Olivier. Going into the film, I assumed Olivier would bring regal detachment and nobility to the part.

Instead, Olivier plays Charles as a cackling fool. He adopts an odd semi-Balkan accent that Olivier attempts to use for comedy.

He fails. Olivier gives the role a silly feel that seems unnecessary for the film,

Olivier canít pull off the light touch he hopes to achieve. Since Monroe comes to this kind of romantic comedy more naturally, the par seem like an awkward fit.

It doesnít help that Prince proceeds at a snailís pace. While it introduces Elsie and Charles quickly, it spends at least twice as long on their initial seduction scene as it needs.

This makes the movie drag, and the absence of romantic or comedic chemistry between the two leads doesnít help. If Monroe and Olivier ignited, then we wouldnít mind the lack of dramatic movement.

However, the fact the two donít click makes a sequence that should bubble and zing feel flat and stiff. A better-matched couple would cover up cinematic issues that these two canít.

It doesnít help that Olivier feels ill-suited to the project as a director as well. He simply lacks the right feel to deliver the light mix of love and laughs the movie needs.

All of this leads to a slow and dull stab at a romantic comedy. Prince turns into a sluggish endurance test.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

The Prince and the Showgirl appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation, especially given the filmís age.

In terms of sharpness, the movie usually demonstrated nice delineation. A few shots seemed just a smidgen soft, but those issues occurred infrequently, so the majority of the flick looked concise and accurate.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and no edge enhancement became apparent. Grain remained appropriate, and no specks, marks or other defects showed up at any time in this fresh presentation.

Colors were strong. Overall, the hues tended to be vivid and full.

Blacks seemed deep and dense without too much heaviness. Shadow detail worked similarly well, as dimly-lit shots were appropriately clear and thick. I found little about which to complain here and thought the Blu-ray brought the movie to life in a positive manner.

The DTS-HD MA monaural audio of Prince appeared fine for its era. Speech was fine. The lines showed age-related thinness, but they were always perfectly intelligible and without edginess.

Effects became a minor aspect of the track, and they resembled the dialogue. Those elements lacked much depth but they were without notable problems.

Music was acceptable for its age, as the songs and score tended to be a bit tinny. There wasnít much range to the music, but again, that stemmed from the limitations of the very old source. This became a perfectly adequate mix for its vintage.

The disc includes the movieís trailer but it lacks any other extras.

With two screen legends involved, one will enter The Prince and the Showgirl with high expectations. Unfortunately, the end result dashes these hopes, as the end result feels dull and slow-paced. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and acceptable audio but it lacks bonus materials. This release treats the film well but the project fails to ignite.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.75 Stars Number of Votes: 4
0 3:
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