In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado. He lights upon Nanki-Poo, a strolling minstrel who loves the beautiful Yum-Yum. But Yum-Yum is also loved by Ko-Ko, and Nanki-Poo, seeing no hope for his love, considers suicide. Ko-Ko offers to solve both their problems by executing Nanki-Poo, and an agreement is reached whereby Ko-Ko will allow Nanki-Poo to marry Yum-Yum for one month, at the end of which Nanki-Poo will be executed, in time for the arrival of the Mikado. But what Ko-Ko doesn't know is that Nanki-Poo is the son of the Mikado and has run away to avoid a betrothal to an old harridan named Katisha. The arrival of the Mikado brings all the threads of the tale together. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Sir William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan's comic opera "The Mikado or, The Town of Titipu" was their ninth of fourteen collaborations opening on March 14, 1885 in London at the Savoy Theatre and ran for 672 performances. See more »
Admittedly, there are some magnificent performences here. Ko-Ko is truly delightful, and probably quite canonical. However, the cuts and interpolations made to turn the play into a movie are absolutely vile. Several totally uncessary scenes are added, songs are given to the wrong characters, and several of the best are cut. What's The Mikado without "I've Got A Little List" or Katisha's magnificent "Oh, Living I" aria? I'd also be more comfortable with classic Japanese costumes (which, BTW, Gilbert insisted on) rather than these exaggerated, silly versions of them. Sigh. The D'Oyley Carte association with this film led me to expect an absolutely authentic production, and I was terribly disappointed.
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