The Prince, the Showgirl and Me: The Colin Clark Diaries

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9780002556422: The Prince, the Showgirl and Me: The Colin Clark Diaries

In 1956, fresh from Eton, Oxford University and the RAF, the 23-yerar-old Colin Clark - with the help of his father, Kenneth - got his first job working as a humble "gofer" on the film of "The Prince and the Showgirl". From his lowly, but in some ways privileged position, Colin Clark was to see it all first hand. Monroe's self-confidence was continually undermined by her chronic inability to learn even the simplest lines (one scene had to be shot 29 times), and Olivier's increasing exasperation with his co-star's waywardness and indiscipline was to result in his giving perhaps the least satisfactory performance of his own career. Additional complications were Monroe's total reliance on her American acting coach, who would painstakingly explain her "motivation" for each scene; the presence of her new husband, Arthur Miller; and the offstage activities of Olivier's wife, Vivien Leigh, who had created Monroe's role on stage but had been passed over for the film. Every night, after a physically and emotionally draining 12 hours or more on the set at Pinewood, Colin Clark would retire to his digs and record the days events in his diary.

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From the Back Cover:

In June 1956, fresh from Eton and Oxford, the 23-year-old Colin Clark, younger son of Sir Kenneth, worked as a humble 'gofer' on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl – the film that united Britain's foremost classical actor, Sir Laurence Olivier (who was also directing), with Hollywood's most glamorous sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe (on honeymoon with her new husband, the playwright Arthur Miller). The resulting confusions and complications are deliciously exposed in Colin Clark's first-hand record of the time.

"Hurrah. Another Clark diary. Fruity, lascivious, apple-cart upturning, this has all the elements we have come to expect from the Clark school of diarifying...quite wondrously and toe-curlingly frank... Not only is it packed with the tastiest little nuggets of gossip about Monroe's domestic unprofessionalism, Arthur Miller's selfishness and Olivier's surprising weakness of character, but on top of that it is the record of a fresh and roving Clark eye."
JOANNA PITMAN, 'The Times'

"One of the best filming-of-a-film diaries I have ever read...This is a wildly funny book about raging egocentric neurotics. Now that most of them are no longer within reach of their lawyers, Clark has been able to unearth a scurrilous yet loving and hugely perceptive account of a peculiarly intense summer around the studios.
SHERIDAN MORLEY, 'Sunday Times'

"Extraordinarily compulsive reading... a fascinating document."
NIGEL WILLIAMS, 'Mail on Sunday'

"Sheer delight... a diarist who is as sharp, funny and irreverent as his older brother Alan."
CHARLES SPENCER, 'Sunday Telegraph'

About the Author:

Colin Clark was the younger brother of the famous diarist Alan Clark and younger son of Kenneth (‘Lord Clark of Civilisation’). His first book, The Prince, the Showgirl and Me, was published to huge critical acclaim in September 1995. Born in 1932, Colin Clark was educated at Eton and Oxford. After The Prince and the Showgirl, he became personal assistant to Laurence Olivier before moving to Granada Television. Subsequently he produced and directed over 100 arts documentary films in America and Britain. His autobiography Younger Brother, Younger Son was published in 1997.

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