The Entertainer ()

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

  • Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations.
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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

Archie Rice (as Lawrence Olivier)
Phoebe Rice (as Brenda De Banzie)
Billy Rice
Jean Rice
Frank Rice
Mick Rice
Tina Lapford (as Shirley Ann Field)
Ada Lapford
Miriam Karlin ...
Harold Hubbard
MacDonald Hobley ...
McDonald Hobley (as McDonald Hobley)
Anthony Oliver ...
Max Bacon ...
Charlie Klein
George Doonan ...
Eddie Trimmer
James Culliford ...
Cobber Carson
Gilbert Davis ...
Brother Bill
Hope Jackman ...
Morecambe Mother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Baker ...
Radio Newsreader (uncredited) (voice)
Jimmy Charters ...
Man in Pub Listening to Billy Sing (uncredited)
Theatre Manager (uncredited)
Angie Dean ...
Alhambra Sister (uncredited)
Debbie Dean ...
Alhambra Sister (uncredited)
London Pub Customer (uncredited)
Jo Linden ...
Gloria (uncredited)
Tony Longridge ...
Wilfrid Lapford (uncredited)
Roger Manvell ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
Shirli Scott-James ...
Girl (uncredited)
Tony Selby ...
Teddy Boy (uncredited)
Jack Sharp ...
Man in Pub Listening to Billy Sing (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

Written by

John Osborne ... (adapted from the play by)
John Osborne ... (screenplay) and
Nigel Kneale ... (screenplay)

Produced by

John Croydon ... associate producer
Harry Saltzman ... producer

Music by

John Addison

Cinematography by

Oswald Morris ... director of photography

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

Peter Yates ... assistant director
Roy Millichip ... second assistant director (uncredited)
Michael Stevenson ... third assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

Edward Marshall ... assistant art director (as Ted Marshall)
Basil Mannin ... scenic artist (uncredited)
Fred 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)
Bert Cann ... still photographer (uncredited)
Ginger Gemmel ... second camera operator (uncredited)
Ronnie Maasz ... focus puller (uncredited)
Mike Rutter ... clapper loader (uncredited)
Michael Walter ... key grip (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Barbara Gillett ... wardrobe (as Barbara Gillette)

Music Department

John Addison ... conductor
Ronald Cass ... associate music director (as Ronnie Cass)
William Blezard ... music arranger: Chopin (uncredited)

Other crew

Honor Blair ... Laurence Olivier's numbers staged by
Maggie Unsworth ... continuity (as Margaret Shipway)
Pat Moon ... production secretary (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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 relations to manage a hotel in Ottawa, Canada, while Archie, always one step ahead of his creditors for his current show, wants to mount another for the winter season. Long suffering Phoebe often drowns her sorrows with booze. One person in their immediate family who has somewhat escaped their life is Archie's daughter, Jean Rice, an art school teacher in London, she who is still trying to find her place in the world. Her pre-engagement boyfriend Graham wants her to move to Africa with him for a job, which she is reluctant to do if only because of not yet being ready to leave her dysfunctional family behind, they who she still feels to need to watch over. Unlike Archie, Jean is more concerned about the fact of her brother Mick Rice just having been shipped overseas to fight in the Suez Crisis. Archie's steps in his determination to mount that new show, seemingly at any cost, may break the family apart once and for all. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines As the applause grew fainter ... As the spotlight grew dimmer ... His women were younger! See more »
Parents Guide Add content advisory for parents »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Le cabotin (France)
  • El animador (Spain)
  • Kun hymy hyytyy (Finland)
  • Music-hall (Poland)
  • O Comediante (Portugal)
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  • 96 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Did You Know?

Trivia Theatrical movie debut of Albert Finney (Mick Rice). See more »
Movie Connections Featured in The 51st Annual Academy Awards (1979). See more »
Soundtracks Why Should I Care? See more »
Quotes Archie Rice: Look at these eyes. I'm dead - behind these eyes. I'm dead.
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