Sunday, July 3, 2011
let me entertain you, let me make you smile
laurence olivier is the most famous british actor. we love him for 'heathcliff' and for being the adoring husband of vivien leigh. he was a talented, handsome, and knighted shakespearean actor. he ruled the stage and gave many great film performances. it is his role as 'archie rice' in 'the entertainer' that leaves the longest echo.
olivier said that 'the entertainer' is the film he is the most proud of. it is easy to understand why. the film was made in 1960, the director was tony richardson, and the writer was john osborne. those ingredients are like a molotov cocktail. the young dark eyed actress who played olivier's daughter was joan plowright. he and joan met on this film. she became his third and last wife.
the movie is bleak, brilliant and beautifully british. the theme song is achingly lovely.
As Olivier later stated, "I am Archie Rice. I am not Hamlet."
the simple act of removing one's greasepaint after a performance is turned into poetry in this touching portrayal of a man who is out of step with the changing world.