The Entertainer

Synopsis: On the far side of middle age, Archie Rice lives in a British seaside resort with his father, retired successful vaudevillian Billy Rice, second wife Phoebe Rice, and doting son Frank Rice. Following in retired Billy's footsteps, Archie is a song-and-dance music hall headliner, with Frank supporting his dad as his shows' stage manager. The waning popularity of Archie's type of shows, a dying form of entertainment, is not helped by Archie's stale second rate material, which brings in small unappreciative crowds. Archie clings to his long held lifestyle, including heavy drinking and chronic infidelity, of which Phoebe is aware. What Archie has not told his offspring is that Phoebe was his mistress while he was still married to their now deceased mother. His want to be a music hall headliner is despite his financial problems, he an undischarged bankrupt who now signs Phoebe's name to everything. Phoebe wants them to escape this life to something more stable, such as the offer from her rel
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Tony Richardson
Production: Continental
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

(man) Why should I care?

Why should I let it touch me?

Why shouldn't I

Sit down and try to

let it pass over me?

Why should they stare?

Why should I let it get me?

What's the use of despair

If they call you a square?

You're a long time dead

like my old pal Fred

So why oh why should I

Bother to?

If they see that you're blue

they'll look down on you

So why oh why should I

Bother to care?

Thank God I know more

Why oh why should I

Bother to care?

God bless you.

- I haven't seen him on the TV. Have you?

- What's that?

- I've not seen him on TV.

- Who?

Archie Rice.

It's only a lot of daft girls

standing about with nothing on.

- Come on, Father.

- He looks daft.

- Will you come on when I tell you?

- He's never been on TV.


Granddad! Granddad!

- Hello, Granddad.

- Jean! I wondered who it was.

- I'm sorry if I startled you.

- I didn't know who it was.

- I was miles away.

- It's good to see you.

It's good to see you, my darling.

Give your grandfather a kiss.

- Give me your case.

- I can manage.

Hold your bloody noise.

Your stepmother's in

one of her moods so I came out.

I can't stand rows with Phoebe any more,

so I come and sit on the pier.

Albert. Take care of this for me, will you?

- This is my granddaughter.

- Have you come to see your dad?

Thank you. Come on.

- Who's that?

- Archie Rice's daughter.

It's good to see you.

How long are you going to stay?

Just a few days, I expect.

- Have you heard from young Mick?

- Yes, he's fine.

He'll be all right. But it's a nasty

business to get mixed up in.

All those people in Egypt

and God knows where else.

They seem to do what they like

to us nowadays.

I went to the rally last Sunday.

- What for, for God's sake?

- I don't know.

I've got myself steamed up

about a lot of things lately.

You want to have your bloody head read.

- That's more or less what Graham said.

- Graham?

My fianc.


- Can we go now, miss?

- All right.

Paints and brushes on this table

and paintings over here.


(rock 'n' roll music from next room)

- Finished?

- Yes, miss.

Don't you want to go and dance?

You don't have to go if you don't want to.

Good night.

Here, watch out where you're going!

- Am I late?

- (wolf-whistle)

No, his train doesn't leave for an hour.

You were making a lot of noise.

Well, my little social worker,

what was it tonight?

The bicycle-chain ball

or the flick-knife excuse-me?

Can't see the soldier brother off

to the wars with a long face like that.

No, I should look pleased

about it, shouldn't I?

How do you think you could ever

make anything out of those monsters?

Don't let's do this again.

You are never going to do anything

with those sort of people.

Don't talk to me about

those sort of people.

If it weren't for your sort of people

still in other people's countries,

my brother wouldn't be

going off to fight.

- The telegram came at breakfast.

- Why didn't they wait till February?

Oh, I don't know.

I'm thinking of signing on.

Well... up the flag, Mick.

Here's to you.

Let's hope it's a false alarm.

Thank you.

- You're leaving tonight?

- No, they're flying us out in the morning.

It's nice of you to come and see me off.

- Off to defend the Empire.

- My queen and country need me.

I wish I could think it was funny.

Give him a break. He'll be all right.

Jean's always taken everything seriously.

I've always taken it as it comes,

but not Jeannie.

Cheer up, love. Life isn't as bad as all that.

Even if it is, there's nothing we can do.

I must be off.

- Come on.

- Well, that needs cleaning for a start.

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John Osborne

John James Osborne (Fulham, London, 12 December 1929 – 24 December 1994) was an English playwright, screenwriter and actor, known for his excoriating prose and intense critical stance towards established social and political norms. The success of his 1956 play Look Back in Anger transformed English theatre. In a productive life of more than 40 years, Osborne explored many themes and genres, writing for stage, film and TV. His personal life was extravagant and iconoclastic. He was notorious for the ornate violence of his language, not only on behalf of the political causes he supported but also against his own family, including his wives and children. Osborne was one of the first writers to address Britain's purpose in the post-imperial age. He was the first to question the point of the monarchy on a prominent public stage. During his peak (1956–1966), he helped make contempt an acceptable and now even cliched onstage emotion, argued for the cleansing wisdom of bad behaviour and bad taste, and combined unsparing truthfulness with devastating wit. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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