Opening 19 Apr 2012
Writing credits: Adrian Hodges, Colin Clark
Principal actors: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond, Pip Torrens
The Prince and the Showgirl was filmed in London in 1956; it starred Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier. Film assistant was Colin Clark, who describes his time on the set with Monroe. Director Simon Curtis has made an excellent docudrama with brilliant performances by Michelle Williams (Monroe), Kenneth Branagh (Olivier) and Eddie Redmayne (Clark).
It was Monroe’s first trip to London; her then husband, Arthur Miller, appears sporadically during the shoot. She forgets her lines, is coddled by her “minder” Paula Strasberg (Zoë Wanamaker), and is alternately a tease or totally absent. Because of her, the work is hardly professional. While she enchants the press, Olivier is not amused, in fact he is furious. Only Dame Sybil Thorndike (Judi Dench) has a kind word for the diva. Clark and Monroe share a love of spontaneous action and disrespect for authority. He advises her to drop the Monroe façade and “be herself.” The film follows the trend of movie revival, and if you liked The Artist, you’ll find much to love during the one week with these 1950s stars. (Becky Tan)