The Prince, The Showgirl and Me – The Colin Clark Diaries

The Prince,The Showgirl and Me

The Prince,  The Showgirl and Me

Colin Clark wrote ‘The Prince, The Showgirl and Me,’ a collection of extracts from his diaries during the six months he spent working as the third assistant director on the movie ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ starring Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. The film was shot entirely at Pinewood Studios on the outskirts of London, and Clark had access to all the ups and downs of the production, despite his lowly position.

In 1956, Marilyn Monroe was a sensation in Western film, thanks to her recent success in ‘The Seven Year Itch’ and her iconic photographs standing over a New York subway grate. Meanwhile, Laurence Olivier was considered the greatest actor of the time, with an Oscar for film direction under his belt. The two seemed like a perfect pairing to star in the film, with Olivier also directing.

The movie was based on Terence Rattigan’s play ‘The Sleeping Prince,’ which had previously starred Olivier and his wife, Vivien Leigh. The play’s plot was described as ‘paper-thin’ and involved the Regent of Carpathia falling in love with a showgirl during his Coronation preparations.

Laurence Olivier Productions joined forces with Marilyn Monroe Productions to produce the film. Shooting had to take place within a narrow window of time to reduce costs, and there was much tension surrounding Monroe’s punctuality, as she was known for being notoriously late.

Clark was a privileged young man, educated at Eton and Christchurch, and the son of renowned art historian Kenneth Clark. His parents knew several people in the entertainment industry, including Olivier and Leigh. When Clark expressed his desire for a career in the film industry, Vivien Leigh persuaded Olivier to give him a job with his production company.

Clark secured a position as the third assistant director on ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ through several weeks of persistence and initiative. Despite his low position, he gained an insider’s perspective of several months of filming on a set that was far from harmonious.

Monroe’s Hollywood icon status led to curiosity about her, and Clark’s diaries provide a close-up perspective of working with her. There was considerable tension between her and Olivier, with Monroe frequently showing up late and requiring several hours of hair and makeup before shooting. Clark suggests that the rest of the cast and crew had to accommodate her difficulties.

Monroe was newly married to playwright Arthur Miller, and their relationship was reportedly rocky, with Miller leaving her mid-shoot to return to the US.

Clark’s diaries also provide insight into the process of shooting a film and the differences between film and theater production. He presents a sympathetic portrayal of Monroe, highlighting her vulnerability, insecurities, and the pressure she faced shooting a film in a foreign country with unsympathetic people. Given her personal troubles, this period must have been challenging for her.

Foxed Quarterly provided a copy of Clark’s diaries for review, and all opinions expressed are the author’s own.

The Prince,The Showgirl and Me
The Prince, The Showgirl and Me – The Colin Clark Diaries
Uncategorized
admin

The Prince, The Showgirl and Me – The Colin Clark Diaries

‘The Prince, The Showgirl and Me’ are a set of extracts from the Diaries of Colin Clark for the six months he was on the sets of a movie starring Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. The movie, ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ was shot in its entirety at Pinewood Studios, on the outskirts of London and … Continue reading The Prince, The Showgirl and Me – The Colin Clark Diaries…

Read More »
Book Reviews
admin

Marjorie Grant’s 1921 Novel “Latchkey Ladies”

I have been having a rather good month reading things for #ReadIndies all of which have turned out to be great. Latchkey Ladies by Marjorie Grant was a Christmas present from family, and one of three Handheld Press books I have tbr. I am glad I chose this one as it turned out to be […]…

Read More »
Book Lists
admin

Picture Books to Prepare Kids for the School Year

Back-to-school season is always so exciting. I remember the thrill of new backpacks, new pencils and notebooks, and even new shoes! But, not every kid finds the season as fun as some do. For some kids, it can be depressing, scary, or just plain intimidating to return to a new or old school. The great thing about books, however, is that they strive to cover a wide range of experiences — and that’s what this list of back-to-school picture books is about. Whether your kids love school or dread the first day of school, there’s an encouraging tale for them on…

Read More »
1930s
admin

D.E. Stevenson’s Novel “The Empty World”

Did you know that D.E. Stevenson had written a post-apocalyptic novel? I didn’t, until I read the description of this one and was intrigued by how different it sounded from her usual light romances and family sagas. First published in 1936, it’s available in ebook format from independent publisher Lume Books. I’m not sure whether … Continue reading The Empty World by D.E. Stevenson…

Read More »
Book Lists
admin

Exploring Middle Grade Graphic Novels for Girls

Graphic novels are such a unique format — for kids and adults alike — and I cannot make enough lists about them. Really, we have an entire series of graphic novel recommendations by age (for ages eight, nine, ten, and eleven). This list of middle grade graphic novels for girls is for graphic novels featuring female protagonists. Of course, the books on this list aren’t only for girls but may appeal more to them!
The post Middle Grade Graphic Novels for Girls appeared first on Reading Middle Grade….

Read More »

Exploring the Historical Accuracy of Real People and Fictional Characters in Musings #78

Welcome to my monthly post on all things historical fiction! This month, I’m going to look at two different kinds of historical novel – those that insert fictional characters into historical settings and those that focus on real historical figures. The second type of book is sometimes referred to as a ‘biographical novel’ and ranges … Continue reading Historical Musings #78: Real people or fictional?…

Read More »