The Entertainer

  • 1975
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Originally made as a television special, this film was later released as a feature. Unfortunately it falls short of the Olivier version on most levels. Elliott Baker, adapting the hit play by John Osborne, has switched the location and time to accommodate American accents. It now takes place in an American seaside resort in 1944. Lemmon is Archie Rice,...read more

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Originally made as a television special, this film was later released as a feature. Unfortunately it falls short of the Olivier version on most levels. Elliott Baker, adapting the hit play by John Osborne, has switched the location and time to accommodate American accents. It now takes

place in an American seaside resort in 1944. Lemmon is Archie Rice, a failed middle-aged vaudevillian who is still struggling to get laughs. His act is a hodgepodge of old jokes and feeble attempts at off-color humor. His father, Billy (Bolger), is a star, but Archie would be quite lucky to become

a second banana. He's a mean man in many ways, neglecting his wife, Phoebe (Thompson), and his son, Frank (Cristofer), a successful playwright. Archie has no qualms about exploiting his loved ones to jumpstart his stalled career.

Lemmon learns that his eldest son has been killed in a car accident. He is left on-stage alone, a pitiable figure.

Lemmon isn't bad but he's no Olivier. Nor does the picture have the bite of the original. It suffers from the transposition to American shores. An apt parallel would be to take something as uniquely American as Tom Sawyer and put it into the mouths of Liverpudlians. Several songs by Marvin

Hamlisch and some deliberately awful Ron Field choreography fail to elevate this effort above a good television special.

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  • Released: 1975
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Originally made as a television special, this film was later released as a feature. Unfortunately it falls short of the Olivier version on most levels. Elliott Baker, adapting the hit play by John Osborne, has switched the location and time to accommodate… (more)

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