The Entertainer

The Entertainer

DVD - 2001
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A drama of seedy music hall life centering on Archie Rice, an egotistical, third-rate British music hall performer whose career and personal life are in a down-hill spiral.
Publisher: Santa Monica, CA : MGM Home Entertainment, 2001
ISBN: 9780792850106
0792850106
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (104 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in

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stuvw27
Aug 30, 2010

This tour de force, in glorious big screen black & white, features astonishing acting by one and all, not to mention stunning camera work, an exquisite music track and top-notch scripting. The story focuses on a veteran stage entertainer Archie Rice who, to his friends and family is “a bit of a bastard.” Despite a lifetime of trying to achieve the fame of his father Archie knows that he does not have what it takes. As he puts it: “I’m dead behind these eyes.” With a cast like this you’d expect more than your money’s worth of acting and the film does not disappoint, but it does not rest on the acting laurels alone. Originally a stage play, the film has been ably taken to the streets of (mostly) Blackpoole adding a soupcon of spice. Early on there’s an interior scene that is shot a few degrees off horizontal. Just when you begin to wonder why it’s off kilter, the camera slowly tilts until the image is straight… and then keeps going (!) finally coming to rest a bit off center in the other direction, perfectly illustrating the world these characters live in. The story takes another step off the deep end when you consider the history going on around the Rice family: Suez and the fall of the British Empire. Which is, after all, what it’s all about.

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