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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.

Director:

Laurence Olivier

Writers:

Terence Rattigan (by), Terence Rattigan (screenplay)
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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
Sybil Thorndike ... The Queen Dowager
Laurence Olivier ... The Regent
Harold Goodwin ... Call Boy
Gladys Henson Gladys Henson ... Dresser
Marilyn Monroe ... Elsie
Jean Kent ... Maisie Springfield
Charles Victor Charles Victor ... Theatre Manager
Daphne Anderson ... Fanny
Vera Day ... Betty
Gillian Owen Gillian Owen ... Maggie
Esmond Knight ... 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:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

13 June 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sleeping Prince See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first non-Shakespearean movie directed by Sir Laurence Olivier. 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: It all goes back to the Holy Roman Empire. The grand duke is a nephew by marriage of the Emperor Franz Josef of Austria.
Fanny: No wisecracks about Austria.
Northbrook: I sincerely hope no wisecracks about anything. In these troubled times the lightest remark can have bad repercussions.
Fanny: I can see the history books: "The War of Elsie's Remark."
See more »

Connections

Featured in Marilyn Monroe: Auction of a Lifetime (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Duke of York
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Cecil H. Jaeger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Showgirl Reigns
12 March 2005 | by abelardo64See all my reviews

I've seen enough of Laurence Olivier's work for the cinema to understand why, previous generations, considered him the greatest actor that ever lived. I was introduced to him in "The Boys From Brazil" so I didn't quite get it. Then in "Marathon Man" he was chilling. Only recently I've seen "Wuthering Heights" "Rebecca" "Hamlet" "Henry V" and "The Entertainer". He was unquestionably great. "The Prince and the Showgirl" presents an interesting picture of that famous "test of time" thing. The greatest actor that ever lived is, this time, not only acting with Marilyn Monroe but he's also directing her. Apparently they didn't get along. Olivier was, naturally, fed up with her lateness and her moods. He wasn't a model of diplomacy. He complained that her teeth looked yellow on the screen. That alone put her out of business for a couple of days. But now in 2005 we look at the film, forgetting all those amusing bit of nonsense and what do we see? The greatest living actor, acting, yes, acting up a storm. Doing justice to Rattingan's words and rhythms in the most respectful theatrical tradition. His performance, amusing as it is, seems completely embedded in 1957. Marilyn Monroe on the other hand travels with the times and her performance is as fresh and natural today as his is stuffy and calculated. She is glorious. Isn't funny, how time does what it does? I call it justice.


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