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The Entertainer (1960)

Not Rated | | Drama | 2 December 1960 (Denmark)
Archie Rice (Sir Laurence Olivier), an old-time British music hall performer sinking into final defeat, schemes to stay in show business.

Director:

Tony Richardson

Writers:

John Osborne (adapted from the play by), John Osborne (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Olivier ... Archie Rice (as Lawrence Olivier)
Brenda de Banzie ... Phoebe Rice (as Brenda De Banzie)
Roger Livesey ... Billy Rice
Joan Plowright ... Jean Rice
Alan Bates ... Frank Rice
Daniel Massey ... Graham
Albert Finney ... Mick Rice
Shirley Anne Field ... Tina Lapford (as Shirley Ann Field)
Thora Hird ... Ada Lapford
Miriam Karlin ... Soubrette
Geoffrey Toone ... Harold Hubbard
MacDonald Hobley MacDonald Hobley ... McDonald Hobley (as McDonald Hobley)
Anthony Oliver Anthony Oliver ... Interviewer
Max Bacon Max Bacon ... Charlie Klein
George Doonan George Doonan ... Eddie Trimmer
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Storyline

On the far side of middle age, Archie Rice (Sir Laurence Olivier) lives in a British seaside resort with his father, retired successful vaudevillian Billy Rice (Roger Livesey), second wife Phoebe Rice (Brenda de Banzie), and doting son Frank Rice (Sir Alan Bates). 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 ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Seamy, Searing Story Behind the Smile!... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 1960 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Tribunehelten See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of Albert Finney (Mick Rice). See more »

Quotes

Archie Rice: Look at these eyes. I'm dead - behind these eyes. I'm dead.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Harry Saltzman: Showman (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Staffordshire Knot
(uncredited)
Music by William James Duthoit
See more »

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User Reviews

The last, golden days of Morecambe...
13 July 2000 | by bakerjpSee all my reviews

As someone who lives only a couple of miles away from where this film was set, it makes me practically WEEP to see how busy and vibrant Morecambe used to be in the 50s/60s. OK, so the film is about how it's passed its heyday, but compared to how it is now - seeing the same scenery (it's hardly changed) - the Midland Hotel, The Winter Gardens (now a nightclub), it's hard not to get painful pangs of nostalgia.

This is ultimately a depressing film - Archie is one of those people who deals with tragedy by "blanking" it out with bad jokes. In the film he seduces the winner (2nd place) of a beauty contest - a woman old enough to be his daughter. Shortly after the film, Laurence Oliver married Joan Plowright who actually PLAYED his daughter in this film. Anyone for irony?

There are some wonderfully subtle takes on British "class" - I love Thora Hird (a long way from Praise Be and Stannah Stairlifts here) as the grasping mum of the Beauty-contest winner, while Brenda de Banzie is great as neurotic, looked-over, teary, nervy Phoebe - "I've got a new job in Woolworths, on the electrical counter. It's OK, but the girls are a bit common." Well Phoebe, you'll be pleased to know that the branch of Woolworths is still there...


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