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The Entertainer
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The Entertainer (1960) More at IMDbPro »

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John Osborne (screenplay) and
Nigel Kneale (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Entertainer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 December 1960 (Denmark) See more »
As the applause grew fainter ... As the spotlight grew dimmer ... His women were younger!
Archie Rice, an old-time British music hall performer sinking into final defeat, schemes to stay in show business. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(22 articles)
Best of the Week: Film
 (From SoundOnSight. 14 March 2015, 3:54 PM, PDT)

John Osborne on Film: The Entertainer
 (From SoundOnSight. 13 March 2015, 4:25 PM, PDT)

John Osborne on Film: Look Back in Anger
 (From SoundOnSight. 6 March 2015, 7:35 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
An extraordinary film See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order)

Laurence Olivier ... Archie Rice
Brenda de Banzie ... Phoebe Rice

Roger Livesey ... Billy Rice

Joan Plowright ... Jean Rice

Alan Bates ... Frank Rice
Daniel Massey ... Graham

Albert Finney ... Mick Rice
Shirley Anne Field ... Tina Lapford
Thora Hird ... Mrs. Ada Lapford
Miriam Karlin ... Soubrette
Geoffrey Toone ... Harold Hubbard
MacDonald Hobley ... Himself - the TV star (as McDonald Hobley)
Anthony Oliver ... Interviewer
Max Bacon ... Charlie Klein
George Doonan ... Eddie Trimmer
James Culliford ... Cobber Carson (as James Cuillford)
Gilbert Davis ... Brother Bill

Charles Gray ... Columnist
Gwen Nelson
Hope Jackman ... Morecambe Mother
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Nigel Davenport ... Theatre Manager (uncredited)
Angie Dean ... Alhambra Sister (uncredited)
Debbie Dean ... Alhambra Sister (uncredited)
Jo Linden ... Gloria (uncredited)
Tony Longridge ... Mr. Wilfrid Lapford (uncredited)
Roger Manvell ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Shirli Scott-James ... Girl (uncredited)
Tony Selby ... Teddy Boy (uncredited)
James Thornhill ... Stage Door Keeper (uncredited)
Vicky Travers ... Nude (uncredited)
Mercia Turner ... Britannia (uncredited)
Constance Wells ... Scots Singer (uncredited)
Hermon Wells ... Scots Singer (uncredited)

Directed by
Tony Richardson 
Writing credits
John Osborne (screenplay) and
Nigel Kneale (screenplay)

John Osborne  adaptation

Produced by
John Croydon .... associate producer
Harry Saltzman .... producer
Original Music by
John Addison 
Cinematography by
Oswald Morris 
Film Editing by
Alan Osbiston 
Casting by
Maude Spector (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Ralph W. Brinton  (as Ralph Brinton)
Costume Design by
Jocelyn Rickards 
Makeup Department
Bill Griffiths .... hairdresser
Tony Sforzini .... makeup artist
Production Management
R.L.M. Davidson .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Stevenson .... third assistant director
Peter Yates .... assistant director
Roy Millichip .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Ted Marshall .... assistant art director
Basil Mannin .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Tony Woollard .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Chris Greenham .... sound editor
Peter Handford .... sound
Bob Jones .... sound
Norman Bolland .... sound maintenance (uncredited)
Des Edwards .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Ken Ritchie .... boom operator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Denys N. Coop .... camera operator (as Denys Coop)
Ginger Gemmel .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Ronnie Maasz .... focus puller (uncredited)
Mike Rutter .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Barbara Gillett .... wardrobe (as Barbara Gillette)
Music Department
John Addison .... conductor
Ronald Cass .... associate musical director (as Ronnie Cass)
William Blezard .... music arranger: Chopin (uncredited)
Other crew
Honor Blair .... stager
Maggie Unsworth .... continuity (as Margaret Shipway)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min | USA:105 min (TCM print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Australia:X (original rating) | Finland:S | Netherlands:14 (orginal rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | UK:X (original rating)

Did You Know?

Includes the movie debuts of Albert Finney, Alan Bates, and Joan Plowright.See more »
Frank Rice:Cheer up love, life isn't as bad as all that, and even if it is, there's nothing we can do about it.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Harry Saltzman: Showman (2000) (V)See more »
La donna è mobileSee more »


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30 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
An extraordinary film, 14 June 2006
Author: barefoot-gal from United States

It is amazing to me how many critics and reviewers of this film seem to have missed the subtleties in this story, and in Archie's character. Far from living in a world of futile fantasies, I think, Archie's character is much more accurately expressed by the line "The only thing I know how to do is to keep on keeping on." All available options (Canada, failure, escape, or perhaps, suicide) being unthinkable, what choice has he but to chase another hopeless dream of somehow, finally, nailing a successful show? Perhaps I identify with Archie more strongly than many viewers, having myself been at the helm of a sinking ship (a business.)

One unreasonably scathing critic (did he actually watch this film??) commented on Archie's daughter, Joan's, "blind love" for her father. I think it was not "blind love" at all, but a recognition of the (probably useless) courage Archie has to muster to continue to face each day -- a day likely to hold for him only more demoralizing failure and unceasing accusation and blame. And far from being totally selfish, as some commentators have written, Archie really seems to be the only person in the family able to look beyond the extremely small focus on their own interests: he is, in fact, the only person in the Rice tribe making a real effort, despite the pain, to find a path out of the mess to a place of security for them all.

Perhaps we have forgotten how dependent families were in that era on the earnings of "the breadwinner," and yet, reviewers seem to have been just as blind as many wives and families of that time to what a man often had to give up in order to be that breadwinner, including, as in Archie's case, any fantasies of greatness or even, finally, his last shreds of self-esteem. Was Archie aware of his utter failure? Oh, I think absolutely so. This is why his admission to his daughter that he was "dead" behind his eyes. All the brightness of hope or illusions of personal excellence have been hammered out of him on the iron-cold anvil of real-world failure. Even so, he found it in him to dredge up the understanding and compassion to alleviate his wife, Phoebe's drunken crash into despair and hostility; and shore up his father's nostalgic dreams. Though, alas, the latter, too, led to yet another "unforgiveable" tragedy (-- or was it?.

The most exquisite and poignant tragedy of it all is that maybe, just maybe, Archie might have pulled it off, but for the failure of his clueless family to understand him or the grim realities of his doomed profession. Forget metaphors of Imperial England, this tale has surely played itself out millions of times, whenever a new technology has made an old craft obsolete -- as when the printing press replaced scribes, or when electric lights eliminated the town's lamp lighter, or when automated projectors replaced skilled projectionists. Many of the movie's reviewers, in my opinion, are as blind to what is really going on here as is Archie's family. They assume that Archie's failures are the result of his negligence and selfishness, and that his dalliance with the beauty queen is a real romance (and threat to their security), when, in his eyes, it is just another, necessary, desperate and ultimately demeaning business deal. Joan alone, it seems, finally understands -- far too late to avert the inevitable end. Ultimately, every family member's myopic conception of Archie's reality leads them to take the reflexive steps that seal his doom.

Shakespeare would have been completely a home with this tragic tale, and I think it was not such a great leap away from Hamlet for Olivier.

The story is richly-detailed, unexpected and though-provoking. And Olivier is superb. A stunning performance from beginning to tragically inevitable end.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (26 total) »

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