Popeye begins his movie career by singing his theme song, demonstrating his strength at a carnival, dancing the hula with Betty Boop, pummeling Bluto, eating his spinach and saving Olive Oyl from certain doom on the railroad tracks.
Buff sailor-man Popeye arrives in an awkward seaside town called Sweethaven. There he meets Wimpy, a hamburger-loving man; Olive Oyl, the soon-to-be love of his life; and Bluto, a huge, mean pirate who's out to make Sweethaven pay for no good reason. Popeye also discovers his long-lost Pappy in the middle of it all, so with a band of his new friends, Popeye heads off to stop Bluto, and he's got the power of spinach, which Popeye detests, to butt Bluto right in the mush. Watch as Popeye mops the floor with punks in a burger joint, stops a greedy tax man, takes down a champion boxer, and even finds abandoned baby Swee'pea. He's strong to the finish 'cause he eats his spinach! Written by
Dylan Self <email@example.com>
During the song "I'm Mean" Bluto picks up large chair. Three people standing by a window disperse to avoid being hit by the chair when Bluto turns to throw it out the window. We see Bluto throw the chair, but when the camera cuts back to the window it is not the chair but a small barrel that goes through the window. See more »
The film opens and ends with the Sailor's Hornpipe, a famous nautical song. This song is heard as part of Popeye's theme song in the opening, then is heard in its full form at the end of the film. See more »
This project was reviled by critics and disowned by Altman and Williams. It corresponded to DuVal's breakdown, and was all but the end of the heavy drinker Nilsson's adventures in film.
But I think its great. You have to remember that it predates every comic/cartoon to film project except 'Superman,' which really was a version of the TeeVee show. And you have to appreciate that 'Popeye' the cartoon is one of the very few that featured humans and therefore was more abstract than most.
Watch it now, and see that it was well ahead of its time and now stacks up as extremely introspective: along the lines of 'Alphaville.'
It had Robin Williams and Ray Walston, both famous TeeVee aliens, or so they were known at the time. It was penned by the notoriously ironic, cartoonist Feiffer, someone who specialized in personal social angst. The songs - a major element here - were by the self-destructive genius Nilsson, and directed by Altman when he was interested in social commentary.
All, plus Duvall, were at the height of their powers. Even the quirky Van Dyke Parks appears.
What makes this project so interesting and appealing is that everyone is completely simpatico with Feiffer's Jarryesque vision, which is disconnected from reality and had no cinematic model.
How so many talents could be so adventuresome and coordinated at the same time is a real puzzle.
The bit about how 'large' Bluto is - and how Shelly mentions it - makes me smile every time I recall it. The social text is a bit heavy, but so what?
This is what made Tim Burton possible.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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