Archie Rice, an old-time British music hall performer sinking into final defeat, schemes to stay in show business.

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(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Archie Rice (as Lawrence Olivier)
Brenda de Banzie ...
...
...
...
Daniel Massey ...
...
Mick Rice
...
Tina Lapford (as Shirley Ann Field)
Thora Hird ...
Ada Lapford
Miriam Karlin ...
Soubrette
Geoffrey Toone ...
Harold Hubbard
MacDonald Hobley ...
McDonald Hobley (as McDonald Hobley)
Anthony Oliver ...
Interviewer
Max Bacon ...
Charlie Klein
George Doonan ...
Eddie Trimmer
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Storyline

On the far side of middle age, Archie Rice lives in a British seaside resort with his father, retired successful vaudevillian Billy Rice, second wife Phoebe Rice, and doting son Frank Rice. Following in retired Billy's footsteps, Archie is a song-and-dance music hall headliner, with Frank supporting his dad as his shows' stage manager. The waning popularity of Archie's type of shows, a dying form of entertainment, is not helped by Archie's stale second rate material, which brings in small unappreciative crowds. Archie clings to his long held lifestyle, including heavy drinking and chronic infidelity, of which Phoebe is aware. What Archie has not told his offspring is that Phoebe was his mistress while he was still married to their now deceased mother. His want to be a music hall headliner is despite his financial problems, he an undischarged bankrupt who now signs Phoebe's name to everything. Phoebe wants them to escape this life to something more stable, such as the offer from her ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As the applause grew fainter ... As the spotlight grew dimmer ... His women were younger!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 December 1960 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A komédiás  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "The Entertainer" by John Osborne opened at the Royale Theater in New York on February 12, 1958 and ran for 97 performances. Brenda de Banzie was nominated for the 1958 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actress in a Drama for her role as Phoebe Rice which she recreated in the filmed production. See more »

Quotes

Archie Rice: Old Archie isn't going to get his oats after all.
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Soundtracks

Kitty, Kitty, Isn't It a Pity (Kitty the Telephone Girl)
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Gifford, Alf Lawrance, Tom Mellor and Huntley Trevor
Sung by Roger Livesey and George Doonan at the pub
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User Reviews

 
A Wonderful film with almost Greek tragedy sentiment
20 May 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Entertainer is one of those great films that makes you stop and think about the has been entertainers like Archie after their heyday. I could see the relationship between Joan Plowright and Laurence Olivier evolve from the screen into a love affair. Joan is quite brilliant playing his daughter and Larry is well one of Britain's greatest treasures from the theater. I also enjoyed Dame Thora Hird's role as the mother of a contest winner. The story is rather complicated but it is richly interpreteted onto the film. We feel sorry and love Archie despite his obvious flaws and faults. We support him in the end and know why he did it? After all the show must go on. Morecambe, Lancashire is also Dame Thora's birthplace and hometown. It's great to see legends like Dame Thora Hird, Dame Joan Plowright and Lord Laurence Olivier.


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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