The Entertainer 

Drama |English | 107 minutes


Jean Rice, a young art teacher in London, visits a seaside English resort to see her family. She’s emotionally wrought: Graham, her fiancé, wants her to quit teaching  and go with him to Africa; Mick, her soldier brother, may be called during the Suez Crisis; and she just participated in a peace rally in Trafalgar Square. The seaside resort Jean visits is shabby and declining in popularity. Jean is aware that the run down-down music hall is featuring her father, Archie Rice, a down-and-out singer/dancer. Archie is bankrupt, alcoholic, but still hopeful to make a major stage comeback. While serving as the host at a Miss Great Britain beauty contest, he begins an affair with Tina Lapford, the contestant who came in second. Tina’s wealthy parents agree to back his new show if Archie promises her a major part. This arrangement never materializes. After Jean’s brother is killed during the Suez war, the family is bereft, with a few emigrating to Canada. But Archie remains in Britain. His next gig, he hopes, will be his comeback. Performing at  a run-down music hall the audience is sparse and apathetic.

Laurence Olivier (Archie Rice) / Joan Plowright (Jean Rice) / Daniel Massey (Graham) / Albert Finney (Mick Rice) / Shirley Anne Field (Tina Lapford)
Why Stream This Film?

 After doing heavy acting in Shakespearean plays, Olivier loved playing this part in The Entertainer. He commented to a friend, “If at one time someone had offered me a job as a song-and-dance man at a seaside music hall, I would have eagerly  accepted. I would have called myself Larry Oliver and been happy as a lark.”

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 77%
  • Metacritic Score: 70
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Laurence Olivier)
  • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival: Winner, Best Actor (Laurence Olivier)
  • BAFTA Awards: Nominated, Best Actor (Laurence Olivier); Best  Screenplay (John Osborne, Nigel Kneale); Most Promising Newcomer (Joan Plowright)
THE ENTERTAINER is a cultural event of the first importance.
Peter Rainer

Los Angeles Times

THE ENTERTAINER shatters forever – or for the moment, at least – a fond belief. Acting as a tinhorn song-and-dance man in second-rate English music halls, Mr.Olivier, who might be regarded as the first gentleman of the British stage, brings forth a brilliant performance of a cheap, sentimental theatrical fraud.
Bosley Crowther

The New York Times

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