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Gilbert and Sullivan (1953)

The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan (original title)
The common career of W.S. Gilbert,a barrister turned comic writer, and Arthur Sullivan, a classic composer turned converted against his will to light music, who wrote fourteen operettas between 1871 and 1896, to great public acclaim.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Martyn Green ...
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Muriel Aked ...
Michael Ripper ...
Louis
Bernadette O'Farrell ...
Ann Hanslip ...
Bride
Eric Berry ...
Yvonne Marsh ...
Second bride
Lloyd Lamble ...
Joseph Bennett
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Storyline

The common career of W.S. Gilbert,a barrister turned comic writer, and Arthur Sullivan, a classic composer turned converted against his will to light music, who wrote fourteen operettas between 1871 and 1896, to great public acclaim.

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Hear the glorious voices of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company with the London Symphony Orchestra See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

15 February 1953 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Gilbert and Sullivan  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.37 : 1
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Trivia

This film contains extracts from the following Gilbert & Sullivan's classics: - Trial by Jury (1875) - H.M.S. Pinafore (1878) - Pirates of Penzance (1879) - Iolanthe (1882) - The Mikado (1885) - Ruddigore (1887) - The Yeomen of the Guard (1888) - The Gondoliers (1889) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frasier: They're Playing Our Song (2000) See more »

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Backstage to the Mikado
27 May 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Biography documenting the fraught and creatively tense relationship between master opera collaborators William S.Gilbert (played with aplomb by the portly Morley) and Arthur Sullivan (Evans). The film documents their collaboration from their first operetta in 1871, through to Sullivan's premature death at just 58, and Gilbert's subsequent knighthood early in the 20th century. Sullivan's growing reluctance to compose the light opera demanded of him serves as a constant bane upon which the collaboration with Gilbert (the lyricist) is often strained. When the pair eventually agree to part ways, those around them manage to cajole the pair together to resurrect their fragile partnership time and time again.

While the subject matter obviates the need for plenty of musical numbers, also present are colourful sets and vibrant exteriors of the Thames and English countryside, wry dialogue that depicts their egos humorously, and an attractive supporting cast that includes Peter Finch as the talent agent who masterminds the pairing, while stalwarts Dinah Sheridan and Wilfrid Hyde-White also feature prominently.

Rotund and expressive, the presence of Morley ensures that the tone is mostly comedic, and while it's a lavish production, the momentum is often lacking pace and I found the biopic sometimes tedious. Nevertheless, if you're a fan, there's ample excerpts of "Pirates of Penzance" or "The Mikado" (among others) to enjoy and perhaps discover more about the eccentric relationship 'endured' by the famed duo.


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