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The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)

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

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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
...
The Queen Dowager
...
The Regent
Harold Goodwin ...
Call Boy
Gladys Henson ...
Dresser
...
Jean Kent ...
Maisie Springfield
Charles Victor ...
Theatre Manager
Daphne Anderson ...
Fanny
Vera Day ...
Betty
Gillian Owen ...
Maggie
...
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:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

13 June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sleeping Prince  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laurence Olivier had already played the part of the Prince Regent on the London stage, alongside his wife Vivien Leigh. 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

Northbrook: I'm sure, sir, her sense of comme il faut will -
Charles, the Prince Regent: She has as much sense of comme il faut as a rhinocerous.
Northbrook: [beat] Do I gather, sir, that the evening was not an entirely happy one?
Charles, the Prince Regent: Northbrook, this British understatement of yours I begin to find irritating.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.19 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Hornpipe
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Cecil H. Jaeger
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
No Labor of Love, Just a Labor
27 September 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Carpathian royal family is in town like all the other royalty in Europe for the coronation of George V of Great Britain. In this case it consists of the young king, Jeremy Spencer, his grandmother the dowager queen Sybil Thorndike, and the king's father and Prince Regent Laurence Olivier. Olivier was only the consort to his late wife the queen and he is regent until Spencer comes of age which will be in several months. But the young man is getting inpatient.

In fact he's already in communication with Germany which his pro-British father doesn't like. A little youthful rebellion in high places can have some dangerous consequences.

But Olivier is also distracted by a growing infatuation for Marilyn Monroe who is appearing in a minor part in a musical comedy. She's of course our showgirl.

A most miscast showgirl. Olivier had starred in the play in London with his wife Vivien Leigh and was going to do the film with her when her delicate health flared up again and she backed out. How the tiny and proper British Vivien gave way to the buxom Marilyn Monroe is a mystery. My guess is that when Leigh bowed out, Olivier and author Terrence Rattigan made the decision to change the leading lady to an American to broaden the appeal in the American market.

One of Marilyn's fellow Fox blonds like Betty Grable who was a natural fit in these period pictures would have been better. Marilyn looks so very out of place here.

The film was agony for Olivier to direct. In addition to Marilyn's eccentricities he had to put up with her drama coach Paula Strassberg and her interference. He threw Strassberg off the set when she presumed to direct him.

Still it's not a terribly bad film, just not a really good one.


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