The film is set in London in June 1911. George V will be crowned king on 22 June and in the preceding days many of the most important dignitaries arrive. Amongst those arriving are king Nicholas of Carpathia and his father regent Prince Charles.
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Considering the differences in Olivier and Monroe's acting reputations it's interesting how she completely outshines him in this movie. He desperately struggles to hold the screen against her but he mostly appears wooden and humourless. Marilyn is such a breath of fresh air and her charismatic, luminous and spontaneous performance is the best thing about the movie. If only Olivier could have been up to her standards.
Tremendously charming comedy features Marilyn Monroe as a ditzy chorus girl who strikes the fancy of a dour and uptight Carpathian prince. Served as the inspiration for the new film, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, the film shows little of Monroe's supposed lack of confidence. She positively glows on screen.
2 1/2 out of 5 stars. For as dull as The Prince and the Showgirl started it slowly peaked into a showcase for what is probably Marilyn Monroe's finest performance. It took a while to build but once it did I had zero complaints. The ending left me feeling slightly unfulfilled also but I absolutely could not take my eyes off Monroe or ignore her performance. Definitely necessary viewing for Monroe fans.
Elsie Marina and Lorelei Lee are two of my favorite characters that Marilyn played. They always wanted to put her in the ditzy, brainless beauty roles but she always lets through her intelligence and personality. My absolute favorite scene is her first "dinner date" with the Prince Regent when she shows her dislike of him being such an ass by being an ass herself. It was so fun to see her be so sarcastic and cheeky.
Next to Shakespearian Laurence Olivier, one could have expected Marilyn Monroe to be mercilessly crushed acting-wise. But her time at the Actor's Studio paid off, as her natural instinct for comedy makes Olivier & consort look stiff and dusty compared to her. He later would admit to it, though in his condescending way.
Not a great film, but her presence makes it an enjoyable treat.
I wish I liked this one better, however, this feels disconnected at times and I sensed a stiffness emanated from Olivier. Nevertheless, this is a display of Marilyn's charisma, commitment, and talent. "Pretty good, huh?".