When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.
Singers Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw travel to Paris, pursued by a private detective hired by the disapproving father of Lorelei's fiancé to keep an eye on her, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers.
The title river unites a farmer recently released from prison, his young son, and an ambitious saloon singer. In order to survive, each must be purged of anger, and each must learn to understand and care for the others.
When Grandduke Charles, the prince-regent of Carpathia, a fictitious Balkan country which could start a European war by switching alliances, visits London for the coronation of the new British King in 1911, and spends his one evening off at the Coconut Girl Club, the reputed stickler for protocol is so charmed by a clumsy American understudy that he orders his British attaché to invite her to the embassy for a private supper. Being overlooked and understanding German, she learns of the repressive attitude of the regent and the plans of his reformist, pro-German minor son, King Nicholas, to take over power by surprise, but doesn't dodge and tries to reconcile father and son. The queen-dowager decides to make her lady-in-waiting for the coronation day, so she stays in the picture to everyone else's surprise. Written by
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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