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The Entertainer [1960]

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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(Mar 01, 2004)
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Product details

  • Actors: Laurence Olivier, Brenda de Banzie, Roger Livesey, Joan Plowright, Alan Bates
  • Directors: Tony Richardson
  • Writers: John Osborne, Nigel Kneale
  • Producers: Harry Saltzman, John Croydon
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Mono, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Mar. 2004
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00015N574
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,998 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

A tatty, ageing seaside performer is a failure as a family man and as an entertainer. Laurence Olivier plays the excruciating Archie Rice, with an ego that destroys the lives of those closest to him. Albert Finney and Alan Bates make their film debuts as his sons.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Entertainer of the title is Archie Rice, a mediocre music hall artist upholding a dying tradition in an English seaside against a background of the 1956 Suez Crisis. Laurence Olivier stars and is supported by a superb cast including a young Alan Bates as his son, Roger Livesey as his kindly, now retired, always more talented and popular father, and Joan Plowright as his daughter (who, ironically given the story, married Olivier the following year). Albert Finney makes his screen debut in a tiny role and the remarkable cast also features Daniel Massey, Shirley Anne Field, Thora Hird and Charles Gray. Archie himself is a hollow man who brings pain to all around him, and while Olivier's brilliant performance reveals the layers of cynicism which disguise the emptiness inside, the emotional resonance lies with those forced to endure Rice's manipulations, adulteries and deceits.

On stage John Osborne's play proved to be a signature part for Olivier, and director Tony Richardson--who filmed Osborne's equally sour Look Back In Anger (1958)--handles the material with unvarnished realism. Unfolding like a dark variation on Chaplin's Limelight (1952), the film equally casts a shadow over the less stellar Tony Hancock vehicle The Punch and Judy Man (1963), ultimately working as both family tragedy and allegory for a declining post-war England. Surprisingly an American 1976 TV movie remake starring Jack Lemmon held its own against this minor British classic.

On the DVD: The Entertainer is presented letterboxed at 1.66:1, and sourced from an excellent print preserves the look of the original black and white cinematography very well. Even so a little material is clipped from either side of the image, though this is most notable on the left of the picture. The mono sound is very good. There are no features other than optional subtitles, including English for those hard of hearing. --Gary S Dalkin

34 customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

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