The Prince and the Showgirl

Synopsis: June, 1911. Among the dignitaries from the Balkan State of Carpathia in London for the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary is the Regent, His Serene Highness the Grand Duke Charles. The London foreign office places great importance on Carpathia because of an unstable geopolitical situation with Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany set to overthrow its monarchy government if allowed. The Regent, a Prince originally from Hungary, and the most recent and now deceased Queen married for convenience. As such, the Regent has spent time with a series of lady friends while on his travels in his somewhat "free" state. In meeting one of those London women, music hall actress Maisie Springfield, and the company of her current production "The Coconut Girl", the Regent instead has his eyes set on one of the minor players in the show, American actress Elsie Marina. When seemingly simpleminded Elsie receives a party invitation from the Regent for that evening, Elsie is not so simpleminded to understand th
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Laurence Olivier
Production: Warner Bros.
  Nominated for 5 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
115 min

"Today's arrivals for the coronation

of King George V and Queen Mary. . .

. . .include the regent of Carpathia,

His Highness the Grand Duke Charles.

He will be accompanied by the present

king, his son, and the Queen Dowager.

They will be in residence

at the Carpathian Embassy. . .

. . .Belgrave Square, southwest. "

Oh, law.

You mean to say you know nothing

about Carpathia whatever?

Don't even know where

the place is, for a start.

How long in the Foreign Office?

15 years. But I'm in

the Far Eastern Department.

That's no excuse.

What would you think if I said

that I knew nothing about Siam?

Don't think I'd mind much.

-That remark will get you nowhere.

-Out of this job?

Certainly not.

Your predecessor had a riding accident

and you are now in his saddle.

Attached to the suite of the

Grand Duke Charles of Carpathia.

I made jolly plans for the coronation.

And I don't speak a word of Carpathian.

That's all right. They're

excessively proud of their English.

Now, look here, Northbrook.


A mixed German-Slav population

of 111/2 millions.

The most efficient railways

in the Balkans. . .

. . .and the fourth largest

army in Europe.

So delicately poised is the balance

of power right now. . .

. . .that the secession of this

from this. . .

. . .to that. . .

. . .would make the aggressor

strong enough to start his war.

I presume even in the Far Eastern

Department they have some idea. . .

. . .who that aggressor

would be likely to be.

Kaiser Bill.

Precisely. Kaiser Bill.

They should've left the station

by now. Get along to their embassy.

Yes, by Jove! Here they are.

There, Northbrook.

There is your future charge.

Who's the boy?

The king, of course. The regent's son.

Don't you know anything?

Unhappily, the boy is pro-German.

A cousin of the Kaiser.

In 18 months when he comes to power,

we shall have to look out for trouble.

That's the Queen Dowager beside him.

The boy's grandmother,

the regent's mother-in-law.

Quite a formidable old lady.

And there is the regent.

A character, Northbrook,

definitely a character.

By the way, Grand Ducal Highness,

not Serene.

And all for formalities,

backing out, all that sort of thing. . .

. . .he's very touchy about that.

He's a very touchy

proposition altogether. . .

. . .but a very vital one.

He must not, by one jot

or one tittle, be offended.

You are the instrument chosen by fate

and by me to see to that happy result.

Tonight, entertain him.

The opera, whatever he wishes.

The opera? I say.

I said, Northbrook,

whatever he wishes.

-Who is it?

-Miss Marina, you'll be late.


-Principals to meet the royal party.

Miss Springfield's lining them up now.

-My shoulder thing is busted.

-Keep still.

-What party?

-That Carpathian lot in the royal box.

Oh, gosh.

You'll be all right, dear,

only hurry.

Quickly, quickly, everyone into line.

He's coming.


Quiet, everyone! Into line.

He's coming.

-Who's missing?

-Elsie Marina.

Can't that girl ever make

an entrance on time?

Chorus, into your groups.

You're to be seen, not heard.

And principals. . .

. . .you're not to speak unless

directly addressed.

Should that privilege be yours,

the regent is to be addressed. . .

. . .as Your Grand Ducal Highness.

May I present Miss Maisie Springfield?

I know Miss Springfield.

We're old friends.

Grand Ducal Highness.

What a charming character

is this coconut girl.

I'm happy to hear you say so.

It is a character that goes deeper

than most in musical comedy.

Yes, indeed, quite so.

I've been anxious to find a role

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Terence Rattigan

Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan, CBE (10 June 1911 – 30 November 1977) was a British dramatist. He was one of England's most popular mid twentieth century dramatists. His plays are typically set in an upper-middle-class background. He wrote The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952) and Separate Tables (1954), among many others. A troubled homosexual, who saw himself as an outsider, his plays centred on issues of sexual frustration, failed relationships, and a world of repression and reticence. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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