Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT CONTESTS
FREE EVENTS
WATCH MOVIES
NEW MOVIES
FESTIVAL VIDEOS
PICTURES
READ POETRY
MOVIE SCENES
SUBMIT your FILM
POETRY CONTEST
DAILY PODCASTS
WATCH FREE FILMS
THE LAST RITE
2010 MOVIES
ACTORS
ACTRESSES
DIRECTORS
MOVIES by YEAR
FILM FRANCHISES
MOVIE GENRES
NOTES and IDEAS
WATCH VIRAL
GET OUR E-ZINE!
CONTACT US
TOP 100 Sex
FAQ
2011 MOVIES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

THE ENTERTAINER, 1960
Movie Review

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
movie trailersMOVIE TRAILERS
SEE the UPCOMING films. Plus reviews!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!

WATCH today's TOP SHORT FILMS
EXPLORE and WATCH the TOP PAGES on THE NET!!
wildcardWATCH the best of WILDCARD PICTURES!
wildcardWATCH - BEAUTIFUL short film!
wildcardWATCH - NOSTALGIA short film!
wildcardWATCH - EMBEDDED short film!
wildcardWATCH - YARDSALE short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE AUDITION short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE ADDICT short film!
wildcardWATCH - 48 short film!
wildcardWATCH - DIM SUM OF ITS PARTS short film!
wildcardWATCH - START TO FINISH classic 8min. short film!
wildcardLISTEN TO DAILY ENTERTAINMENT PODCASTS!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIE PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of film!
TOP 100 SEXTOP 100 SEX PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of sex pages online!
NAKED SCENESWATCH the TOP 100 SEX VIDEOS on the NET!
SEE the best of sex online!!
WATCH MOVIESWATCH Today's MOVIES
Best of NEW films on the NET!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIES of ALL-TIME
See the best of film!
DIRECTORTOP 100 DIRECTORS of ALL-TIME
SEE THE LIST. Reviews, Photos and Scenes!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCRIPTS
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!

THE ENTERTAINER MOVIE POSTER
THE ENTERTAINER, 1980
Movie Reviews

Directed by Tony Richardson
Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright
Review by Virginia De Witt



SYNOPSIS:

Archie Rice, a third rate English music hall performer in post-war Britain, is desperately trying to get financial backing for one more show which he feels certain will finally lift him out of debt. His personal life intrudes as he pursues a much younger woman whose parents may be able to give him the funds for his project, despite his being married to the long suffering Phoebe. When his girlfriend’s parents discover Archie’s marriage, his backing falls through. At the same time, one of his sons, Mick, who is in the British Army, is sent to Egypt during the Suez crisis of 1956, and is taken prisoner. Taking pity on Archie, his father, Billie Rice, a one time star on the music hall circuit, agrees to perform with him to save his show. However, Archie can’t rise above his problems or his past, and after successive failures, he is forced to confront the choice of leaving England for Canada or face jail for income tax evasion.

CLICK HERE and watch 2009 MOVIES FOR FREE!

REVIEW:

John Osborne, the playwright who wrote “The Entertainer”, was one of the “angry young men” of Britain’s post-war period and he was a seminal writer in the new “kitchen sink” realism of 1950’s British theatre. The desire here was to break thoroughly with the drawing room drama of the pre-war era, where the middle and upper classes were deemed the only strata of British society whose lives were worth examining. If working class problems were thought about at all, it was almost always through the perspective of the upper classes. Writers like Osborne, who also wrote “Look Back in Anger”, Joe Orton and Arnold Wesker, were determined to show working class lives in their actual context. At the same time, Osborne wanted to go further than “Look Back in Anger”, and offer a stinging political critique of a crumbling British Empire abroad and a socially stagnant society at home. “The Entertainer”, first produced on the London stage in 1957, was his ambitious attempt to combine all of this commentary into one searing dramatic experience.

The play, and later the movie, also provided an aging Laurence Olivier with a vehicle to energize his career and keep him relevant in a swiftly changing theatrical scene. His performance as Archie Rice anchors the film. Archie, after all, is meant to be the embodiment of all that is wrong with contemporary Britain. “Look, look at my eyes. I’m dead behind these eyes. I’m dead, Just like the whole dumb shoddy lot out there,” Archie speaks these words to his daughter, Jean (Joan Plowright) at the climax of the film and it is via this speech that Osborne makes explicit his underlying political message.

Archie is hopelessly out of date without realizing it; a cad and a fraud he has almost no redeeming qualities. He is the practitioner of the worst kind of performance ethics - he has nothing but contempt for his audience, and thus contempt for himself. Osborne brings this truth about Archie home by comparing his style of entertaining to his father’s, a music hall veteran who as a first rate performer in his day is still able to communicate honest joy in his work to his audience.

It is Olivier’s brilliance as a performer, his energy and charisma, as well as his identification with the rather pathetic figure of Archie Rice that gives, what otherwise might be a relentlessly pessimistic film, it’s kick. That is the great irony of watching “The Entertainer” nearly a half century after its initial release. The politics of the piece are no longer urgent. What lives on is Olivier’s great performance as a decadent, reptilian music hall trouper. Olivier, who spent most of his adult life on the stage, understood completely the amoral soullessness of a certain kind of show business. It’s hard to see how this performance would not have been an influence on Joel Grey in his great turn as the corrupt emcee in “Cabaret”. Both performances have the same chilling quality.

Tony Richardson, directed the stage version of “The Entertainer”, and, as a member of the British “New Wave”, included a number the leading lights of a generation of new actors, who would have go on to have major careers in the 60s. Joan Plowright, who would soon become the third Mrs. Olivier, plays Archie’s daughter, Jean, who is meant to be the social conscience of the film. Plowright gives her a welcome down to earth quality while mainly having to offer a quiet commentary on Archie’s behaviour. If you blink you will miss Albert Finney, who has only one scene as Archie’s son, Mick Rice. Alan Bates, who plays the second son, Frank, gives solid support and plays well off Olivier.

The older actors, Brenda de Banzie as the panicked, emotionally grasping Phoebe Rice and Roger Livesey as Archie’s dignified father, Billy, are allowed to shine in their respective roles.

Richardson shot entirely on location in Morecambe, England, which was then a busy, seaside resort. The crisp, almost documentary, black and white photography gives the film added energy.

As a record of a great performance and an interesting cultural moment in British theatre and film history, “The Entertainer” is still very much worth the viewer’s time.

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
MOVIE KILLSEE 1000s of PICTURES
Best of photos, images and pics
MOVIE YEARMOVIES YEAR BY YEAR
Pages from 1900 to present


The Entertainer


footer for The Entertainer page