The Entertainer


Action / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Charles Gray Photo
Charles Gray as Columnist
Laurence Olivier Photo
Laurence Olivier as Archie Rice
Nigel Davenport Photo
Nigel Davenport as Theatre Manager
Albert Finney Photo
Albert Finney as Mick Rice
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
858.07 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S ...
1.63 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by AlsExGal9 / 10

How could anyone be anything but enthralled by this?

As an American, getting a peek at post-War Britain in decline, a look at Olivier as a most interesting character in the person of never-was vaudevillian Archie Rice, and a look at several British players (Joan Plowright, Anthony Bates, and Albert Finney) very early in their careers is priceless.

Archie Rice is a despicable character, and the drama centers on his problems of having all of his financial issues - including some long overdue tax debt - come to a head just as he can finally get no more work as a vaudevillian even in the bad music halls. He has a way out - one of his relatives will pay off his debts if he'll accept his drunken wife's nephew's offer to run a motel in Canada. But like any Briton who can remember England's finer days he's just not about to cut and run, and even though I can despise the lying, the cheating on his used up wife, his odd ideas about parenting, and his willingness to use his own father, I can't help but admire his "pioneer spirit" to use an American term. He'd rather fail on his own terms than succeed on someone else's.

Joan Plowright is the other lead, and she plays Archie's daughter, Jean. She shows some pioneer spirit herself. She shares some characteristics with dad - she's a painter who can't paint, Archie's a vaudevillian who can't entertain. Unlike dad, she owns up to her shortcomings and wants to make a contribution anyways by teaching art to poor slum kids. She has a way out of Britain just like dad does. Her fiancé has been offered a job opportunity in Africa, and he encourages her to leave her dead country behind, but she just isn't ready to give up on England or her family just yet. The two have a falling out and Jean goes to visit her dysfunctional family, in which she finds comfort.

I just don't get people who say that they don't like this one because it's boring, depressing, ugly. Every minute of this film held my interest and stayed with me long after I'd watched it. I think you need to have lived awhile, to have had disappointments, and to have dealt with those disappointments in ways you may not be proud of to really appreciate this film.

Reviewed by jotix1008 / 10

A life in the theater

Archie Rice, the fifty-something vaudeville man at the center of the action, has seen better days. He is relegated to play almost empty houses in a seaside resort of England where he lives with his second wife, Phoebe, his father Billy, and retired vaudevillian, and grown children. Archie has an eye for good looking women, the younger, the better. Archie Rice is a pathetic figure who lives in a world of his own, always scheming about who to involve for one of his new shows, that no one seems to care about.

Jean Rice, the young daughter living in London, comes home for a visit and she is horrified when she finds out what his father has turned out to be. Jean sees what Archie is doing to Phoebe when he sees his father kissing a much younger woman in a local restaurant. Archie has been trying to convince her parents about the talents Tina doesn't have, in order to take money from them to produce his new venture, which is only an idea in his wild imagination.

Tragedy strikes when young Mick Rice, who we had seen earlier as he goes to fight in the Suez conflict, is first reported being taken prisoner and eventually killed. While Phoebe goes to pieces, Archie keeps doing what he only knows what to do. His final speech to an empty theater, but directed to his daughter Jean, reveals the soul of this troubled man.

Tony Richardson made a great impression with his second directorial job. He was attuned to the work of John Osborne, one of England's best playwrights of the fifties and sixties that revolutionized the theater. Mr. Richardson is helped by the crisp black and white cinematography by Oswald Morris, who looks as sharp today as when the film was released.

The main reason for watching "The Entertainment" is Laurence Olivier. He completely dominates the action and makes us see how pathetic his Archie Rice is. Mr. Olivier knew this man, having been connected to the theater all his life. No one could have done a better job than him in baring his soul for all of us to see. Laurence Olivier shows a tender side in his scenes with Tina, the young woman who has captured his fancy, and who is so young, she could be his own daughter.

The rest of the cast is perfection. Roger Livesey, is seen as Archie's father, Billy Rice, a man that has seen a lot during his lifetime and now lives with a son that he knows is up to no good. Brenda DeBanzie is fine as Phoebe, a woman of a certain age that is losing Archie. Joan Plowright was Jean, the young daughter. Also in minor roles some actors that will go to stardom in their own right, Alan Bates, Albert Finney, and Daniel Massey, who died much too young.

"The Entertainer" is a fine film that shows the talents of Laurence Olivier and Tony Richardson.

Reviewed by MartinHafer7 / 10

Very good character studies, though it's tough to care about any of them

This film is about a not especially talented vaudeville-style actor (played by Olivier) who sings a little and does some comedy--but not especially well. It's set in some British town by the sea (probably Brighton) and is set in 1956--when this sort of low-brow entertainment was on its way out and during the Suez Incident (the younger son is sent there soon after the film begins). This actor is pretty obnoxious and brings misery to his family since he's basically no good and selfish. The film switches from his viewpoint to his daughter's (played by Olivier's soon wife-to-be, Joan Plowright). She sees again and again that he's a jerk but despite everything, she is strangely loyal to this rogue. The rest of the family is pretty much living in Olivier's shadow and caters to his every obnoxious whim. The only exception is Olivier's father--an excellent character study of a man who tries to do the right thing by everyone.

Technically speaking, this is a very good film--the actors all did a fine job and the writing was pretty good as well. The problem for me was that I just didn't feel much of a connection, as it was hard to care about any of them. Now this isn't a complaint so much as saying that this type of character study may apply to some, it's not a film that will appeal to a wide audience. I guess my problem is that I have known people like the jerk Olivier played in the film and I felt irritated with him and his family for accepting his obnoxious behaviors. Sure, this is true to life--there are people like the one Olivier played who are users and ne'r do wells and there are many family members that put up with the lies and mistreatment. In some ways, I could see the film as being very therapeutic for some--it just wasn't something I particularly enjoyed or needed to see.

Read more IMDb reviews