I will start off this post with the upmost honesty; I love Marilyn Monroe. She is one of my favorite actresses of all time, and I will forever try to show others how wonderful she is. Many people I talk to (including my wife) think that Marilyn
Monroe is a sex symbol first, singer second and lastly an actress. Although I have tried desperately over the years to correct this way of thinking (in everyone, not just my wife), I seem to be forever fighting an uphill battle. Even today, Marilyn’s status as a sex icon hasn’t wavered, but many movie fans, especially the younger generations, haven’t seen many of Marilyn’s movies. If someone hasn’t seen many of Marilyn Monroe’s movies, then of course she would be remembered as a sex symbol. Everywhere I go I see pictures or images of Marilyn posed or photographed in some kind of sexy pose. You can purchase her image on T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, as well as thousands of other obscure places too. What the Marilyn fans of the world need to do is get people once again watching her movies.
With that being said, I am here today to promote her 1957 comedy film, The Prince And The Showgirl. If you have seen the 2011 film My Week With Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams, then you should be familiar with The Prince And The Showgirl. Marilyn plays Elsie Marina, who is a showgirl that the Prince Regent Charles (Laurence Olivier) invites to his embassy for supper. She doesn’t know it until she gets there, but Charles is only looking for one thing. Unfortunately for Charles, Elsie has no intention of being his “one night girl”.
What ensues is a comic masterpiece of awkward circumstances and hilarious dialogue. Marilyn and Olivier are an unsuspected comic force that works better than I ever thought possible. These stars, along with great performances from Charles’ son, King Nicolas (Jeremy Spenser), the Dowager Queen (Sybil Thorndike) and Charles’ British civil servant, Northbrook (Richard Wattis), make every single scene of this movie laugh out loud funny.
Marilyn holds her own against actors that many causal movies fans would consider to be superior. Olivier is an unparalleled actor, who has acquired the upmost respect from everyone with whom he works. Yet it is Marilyn who steals the film. She is witty, clever and extremely lovable. You never are rooting for Prince Charles, but rather hoping that he gets beyond his hard outer shell and allows himself to enjoy Elsie’s company, even if only for a short while.
I don’t claim that The Prince And The Showgirl is an all around great movie, but I think it is an excellent example of Marilyn Monroe’s acting ability, without overly promoting her sexuality. I doubt this was Olivier’s goal when he set out to direct the picture, but he must have known that she was capable of a heart-felt performance, in order to undertake this unforgettable collaboration.
Special thanks goes to Paul!
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