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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Australia
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    I like this film for a number of reasons. Chiefly because it brings back a lot of memories of the English seaside as it once was. Check out the seaside beauty contest - not a Twiggy in site.

    The stellar cast of Sir Laurence Olivier, Roger Livesy, Alan Bates, Albert Finney, Joan Plowright, Daniel Massey, Thora Hird, Miriam Karlin and Shirley Anne Field combine to make a wonderful. if not a slightly dark, film.

    Laurence Olivier re-enacts his stage role of Archie Rice with great style. Although I did feel at times that he played Archie as being a little too effeminate even though in the film he is a womaniser.

    Archie is not a likeable character or one you feel sorry for but the storyline and the superb acting holds your attention all the way through.

    Filmed in Morecombe, it's a joy to revisit the pier and seafront activities of that time.



    Dave.

  2. #2
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    I love the line that Archie delivers to the audience, after he has"died" on stage, "One day I'll come and watch YOU work."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I enjoyed this film for many reasons, but mainly because I was brought up in a seaside resort and I live in one now, and the old flavour of the simple British working class summer holiday is something that's in my heart and soul. I have also known a few live comedians and "showmen", old and new, from when I was a kid and also in the present day.



    Some of the old timers who were getting on a bit back in the late 1970s were from the Archie Rice school of optimism, with hardly any talent, desperation engraved in their sad eyes, but they all shared an overwhelming belief that bigger things were just around the corner and that a season in a big show at Great Yarmouth or Blackpool, or a slot at The London Paladium was imminent.



    Whenever a big star hit town like Leslie Crowther or Mike and Bernie Winters the Archie Rice types would be full of gossip about them, how they worked with them in the early days and were treated very badly by them and they only got where they were because they'd climbed over real talent to make it to the top. They always talked about them as if they were on first name terms, but the sad truth was that it was pure fantasy but nevertheless the tall tales would earn them a few drinks in the local pubs.



    I bumped into one here a few days ago, in fact last Saturday, who must be in his late sixties, and he looked like he did more trips to the off licence than he did to the grocers. Even in his unkempt and dishevelled state he was telling me how he was writing gags for a new TV series, the name of which escaped him, and he was taking a few weeks off from performing so he could concentrate on his writing. The only time I ever saw him perform he was using stolen material from other people, and it was so old and moth eaten that the awkward silences between gags made me feel very sad indeed!



    If anyone tells you it's okay to steal gags, please believe me it's not! As a former stand-up myself who spent hours writing and performing original material on the comedy club circuit, there's nothing worse than finding out that someone else is using your stuff and claiming it as their own! It happens so often these days, and the worse thing is if you send material in to somewhere like the BBC the show's regular writers often steal it and put their own names to it. It's happened to me and many others, and you feel like you've been mugged!



    I wholeheartedly agree that The Entertainer had a brilliant cast including the wonderful Brenda De Banzie as Archie's neurotic alcoholic partner, Roger Livesey was just great as the talented member of the Rice clan, and even in crisp black and white it brings back memories of long summer days, real seaside characters and simple charm!



    A good evening in at the seaside would be: Brighton Rock, The Entertainer, The Punch & Judy Man and Quadrophenia!

  4. #4
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    (samkydd @ Jan 9 2006, 05:58 PM)

    A good evening in at the seaside would be: Brighton Rock, The Entertainer, The Punch & Judy Man and Quadrophenia!
    Yes, but depressing as HELL!

  5. #5
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    (samkydd @ Jan 9 2006, 05:58 PM)

    I enjoyed this film for many reasons, but mainly because I was brought up in a seaside resort and I live in one now, and the old flavour of the simple British working class summer holiday is something that's in my heart and soul. I have also known a few live comedians and "showmen", old and new, from when I was a kid and also in the present day.



    Some of the old timers who were getting on a bit back in the late 1970s were from the Archie Rice school of optimism, with hardly any talent, desperation engraved in their sad eyes, but they all shared an overwhelming belief that bigger things were just around the corner and that a season in a big show at Great Yarmouth or Blackpool, or a slot at The London Paladium was imminent.



    Whenever a big star hit town like Leslie Crowther or Mike and Bernie Winters the Archie Rice types would be full of gossip about them, how they worked with them in the early days and were treated very badly by them and they only got where they were because they'd climbed over real talent to make it to the top. They always talked about them as if they were on first name terms, but the sad truth was that it was pure fantasy but nevertheless the tall tales would earn them a few drinks in the local pubs.
    I agree Sam, there is a certain kind of magic about the English seaside resort of yesterday.

    Many a big star started on the pier boardwalk. I used to enjoy hearing people like Morcambe & Wise, Jimmy Tarbuck, Des O'Connor ect.. retell stories of their times sharing digs at special seaside B&B's with other visiting entertainers and the very special landladies that used to look after them.

    Also their tales of other unusual acts that used to share the bill at seaside variety shows.

    Seems they were very hard times for most aspiring entertainers but looking back they all remembered those days fondly with very happy memories.

    'Confessions Of A Seaside Landlady' would make a great read.

    Is the British seaside variety show still alive and well in your area Sam?



    Dave.



    Dave.

  6. #6
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    (Lady Lois @ Jan 13 2006, 02:07 AM)

    Yes, but depressing as HELL!
    Well I didn't say all things at the seaside were joyful! Okay I suppose we could include that Carry On film as well.

  7. #7
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    (David Brent @ Jan 13 2006, 06:50 AM)

    Is the British seaside variety show still alive and well in your area Sam?



    Dave.



    Dave.
    Yes in the summer we always make a regular pilgrimage to the Pier Theatre to see all manner of farce. In recent years we've seen Doctor in the House with Robin Askwith, 'All 'Allo with Britt "Wicker Man" Ekland no less, and all those "Oops Oo'er Vicar Where's My Trousers" type shows as well as Olde Tyme Music Hall with Ken "Settle Down Now" Goodwin and Trevor "Are You Free Mr Humphries" Bannister plus Hinge and Bracket! It's a tradition I've kept going since childhood having seen many similar shows at Cromer Pier Theatre as a youth.



    People knock it for being old fashioned and unsophisticated but if it's a toss up between sitting in watching TV, going to the pub, or going to see live entertainment of this type I'd always prefer to see a live performance. It's what people have been doing for centuries and no matter how rubbish some of the jokes and script is, and endless innuendo, everybody has taken a lot of time and trouble to put it all together and the actors obviously enjoy performing it otherwise they'd all be doing double-glazing ads on the telly!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: United States theuofc's Avatar
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    (Lady Lois @ Jan 13 2006, 02:07 AM)

    Yes, but depressing as HELL!
    I have to agree. The Entertainer had superb acting and perfectly shot in b/w, but like Jack Cardifif's excellent Sons and Lovers, b/w, with Wendy Hiller and Trevor Howard, that time frame and slice of life get their desired effect in me: MAJOR DEPRESSION and a wave of relief that I wasn't living those lives.



    In synch with SamKydd's nostalgic look at seaside towns and performers, Jack Cardiff's parents were in vaudeville and played those sea-side towns. Jack was born on a one-night stand in Great Yarmouth and he has fond memories from his parents' and his own enjoyment of those days on the boards, which he recounts in his Magic Hour and Conversations with Jack Cardiff.



    Barbara

  9. #9
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    (samkydd @ Jan 13 2006, 02:18 PM)

    Yes in the summer we always make a regular pilgrimage to the Pier Theatre to see all manner of farce. In recent years we've seen Doctor in the House with Robin Askwith, 'All 'Allo with Britt "Wicker Man" Ekland no less, and all those "Oops Oo'er Vicar Where's My Trousers" type shows as well as Olde Tyme Music Hall with Ken "Settle Down Now" Goodwin and Trevor "Are You Free Mr Humphries" Bannister plus Hinge and Bracket! It's a tradition I've kept going since childhood having seen many similar shows at Cromer Pier Theatre as a youth.



    People knock it for being old fashioned and unsophisticated but if it's a toss up between sitting in watching TV, going to the pub, or going to see live entertainment of this type I'd always prefer to see a live performance. It's what people have been doing for centuries and no matter how rubbish some of the jokes and script is, and endless innuendo, everybody has taken a lot of time and trouble to put it all together and the actors obviously enjoy performing it otherwise they'd all be doing double-glazing ads on the telly
    Many of the jokes they use have been going for centuries as well

    It's good that people like you go and see them and keep them all gainfully employed in those end of the pier shows in wet & windy British seaside resorts. It keeps them off the telly.



    More seriously, it is good that they keep live theatre going. And even the dodgy shows like the ones you mention are often worth going to see.



    Steve

  10. #10
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    I have not seen the Entertainer, looks like I am in for a treat. Especially looking forward to seeing the great Roger Livesey.

  11. #11
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    I love this film. Laurence Olivier is great in it, since the character is supposed to be a bit of a ham for a change. And the supporting cast are great, too. And the Morecambe locations. Lovely.



    Can anyone tell me what happens in the last five or so minutes? There's a problem on my DVD, and I haven't been able to watch the very end for ages!



    SPOILER



    The bit I always get up to is the son's funeral. Then it just cuts. Is there much more than that?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Rattigan
    I love this film. Laurence Olivier is great in it, since the character is supposed to be a bit of a ham for a change. And the supporting cast are great, too. And the Morecambe locations. Lovely.



    Can anyone tell me what happens in the last five or so minutes? There's a problem on my DVD, and I haven't been able to watch the very end for ages!



    SPOILER



    The bit I always get up to is the son's funeral. Then it just cuts. Is there much more than that?
    SPOILER



    His show's funding falls through when it is discovered he is sleeping with the Sponsers daughter (Shirley Anne Field). Billy Rice is pressed into coming out of retirement to save Archie and Billy dies in the wings. Archie ruined decides to leave the country while his brother settles with his creditors. During his last performance (at the end of the film) Archie uses innuendo to imply the audience is on the game - 'let me know where are working tonight and I'll come and see you'.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England faginsgirl's Avatar
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    Whenever I hear the words `The entertainer` I remember I read that Jack Wild requested that they play it at his funeral.



    I do think this would have been a wonderful tribute to him. Does anyone know if this did happen?



    I imagine he and Ollie are having a great time wherever they are!



    Fagins girl xx

  14. #14
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    For me one of the best films ever made, in no small part to John Osbourne's writing. When first given the play Olivier thought he was going to play the old man's part that became Livesy's in the film. I also read somewhere that Sir Larry once claimed that he was more like Archie Rice than any other character he had played. Bravado perhaps ?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brent
    I like this film for a number of reasons. Chiefly because it brings back a lot of memories of the English seaside as it once was. Check out the seaside beauty contest - not a Twiggy in site.

    The stellar cast of Sir Laurence Olivier, Roger Livesy, Alan Bates, Albert Finney, Joan Plowright, Daniel Massey, Thora Hird, Miriam Karlin and Shirley Anne Field combine to make a wonderful. if not a slightly dark, film.

    Laurence Olivier re-enacts his stage role of Archie Rice with great style. Although I did feel at times that he played Archie as being a little too effeminate even though in the film he is a womaniser.

    Archie is not a likeable character or one you feel sorry for but the storyline and the superb acting holds your attention all the way through.

    Filmed in Morecombe, it's a joy to revisit the pier and seafront activities of that time.



    Dave.


    You have missed out Brenda De Banzie who in my opinion steals the show. She is sensational.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevie boy
    I have not seen the Entertainer, looks like I am in for a treat. Especially looking forward to seeing the great Roger Livesey.
    Well I saw it,great film,but I thought Roger was miscast.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK Ray's Avatar
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    I love The Entertainer, but I don't find it depressing, just gritty and realistic, and my all time favourite Olivier performance.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: Australia wadsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevie boy
    You have missed out Brenda De Banzie who in my opinion steals the show. She is sensational.


    Agreed!!!!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy bentley
    I also read somewhere that Sir Larry once claimed that he was more like Archie Rice than any other character he had played. Bravado perhaps ?
    I'm sure I read that Sir Larry made his stage debut at the Music Hall that was the Brighton Hippodrome, something about him tripping as he first set foot on the professional stage and falling flat on his face. Anyhow, if true - the debut bit, if not the tripping - then the Archie Rice's of his world in those days (Max Miller? Or was he too young?) may have made quite an impression on the young Thespian mind.




  20. #20
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    Moor Larkin although I don't know the date at which Max Miller stopped performing, I'm fairly confident that Olivier would have at very least been aware of him. I always thought of Max as too low brow for Sir Larry, perhaps the point Olivier was trying to make was that he was not ?

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