Monday, 7 January 2013


2012 - Dir: Simon Curtis - 1 hours 35 minutes
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 26th January, 2013

The year 1956 was a pivotal one in British history. The Suez crisis rocked the nation's standing in the world, and Anthony Eden's authority as prime minister began unravelling. In the theatre, John Osborne's Look Back in Anger premiered at the Royal Court, effectively sweeping away generations of genteel, escapist British plays. Against this backdrop, Colin Clark, a young man of 23, talked himself into a lowly job with Laurence Olivier's film production company. Clark was hired as third assistant director on the film The Prince and the Showgirl, shot at Pinewood Studios and starring Olivier, leading light of the conservative British acting establishment, and Marilyn Monroe, then the hottest star in Hollywood. Young Mr Clark had the presence of mind to write a diary about his experiences on the film, and chronicle a monumental clash of egos and cultures. Clark, who went on to make more than 100 arts documentaries and who died in 2002, published his diaries, The Prince, the Showgirl and Me, to great acclaim in 1995.

Monroe took a shine to the confident yet innocent Clark, and at one point whisked him away from the set to spend a week virtually alone with her, an escape from the pressures she felt Olivier was imposing on her. Together they enjoyed what might be called a chaste romance, though the week in question is omitted from the diary. But in 2000, following the success of the first book, Clark published My Week with Marilyn, an account of their nine days together, an experience, Clark said, 'so dramatic and extraordinary that it was impossible to include it in my daily chatterings'. It is this later book that forms the basis for this film. Diary writing runs in Mr. Clark’s family - his brother was the flamboyant and indiscreet MP Alan Clark. His father was the renowned art historian Kenneth Clark, best known as the writer and presenter of the television series Civilisation.

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