An interesting, explicit and very personal look at film production
This is not a documentary in the sense of a serious journalistic investigation. It is a reading, along with archive footage and photos, of a young man's diary written while working on a famous motion picture: "The Prince and the Showgirl" (1957), starring Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe.
Colin Clark was a minor part of the production (3rd Assistant Director), and this is his personal (as befits a diary) record of what went on. Written in the language and style expected of a 1950s upper-class Englishman, the diary is quaint and diffident towards its subjects, but in other parts it pulls no punches.
Although clearly an admirer of Olivier, Clark doesn't whitewash his stern and often condescending attitude towards Monroe. According to Clark, Laurence Olivier agreed to do the film in order to revitalise himself by working with a new young "hot" actress -- but far from revitalising him, the demands of Monroe and her erratic behaviour wore him down.
Monroe (who part-funded the film) had just married Arthur Miller -- a man described in the diary as crude, arrogant and unpleasant, and with little respect for his new wife. Considering her difficult behaviour (lateness, problems remembering her lines) the diary is quite kind to Monroe. It paints a picture of a wounded and lost girl forever chased by a baying press and with little genuine emotional support. It also leaves the viewer/reader with an unpleasant view of Monroe's acting coach and "minder" Paula Strasberg (wife of "Method" acting guru Lee)... a women who, if we believe Clark's diary, was a truly dreadful sycophant.
At one hour long, this is an interesting, explicit and very personal look at film production and the scene surrounding it in Britain during the 1950s.
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