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Pippin: His Life and Times (1981)

TV Movie  -   -  History | Musical | Romance
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 321 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

At the goading of the ominous and omnipresent Leading Player, Pippin, the eldest son of King Charlemagne, samples life's pleasures to discover his place in the world and the meaning of his life.

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Title: Pippin: His Life and Times (TV Movie 1981)

Pippin: His Life and Times (TV Movie 1981) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Leading Player
...
Leslie Denniston ...
Catherine
Benjamin Rayson ...
Martha Raye ...
...
Fastrada
Joanie P. Oneill ...
Player
Debra Phelan ...
Player
Linda Haberman ...
Player
Kate Wright ...
Player
Allison Williams ...
Player
John Mineo ...
Sword Bearer
Charles Lee Ward ...
Peasant
Lee Mathis ...
Beggar
Frank Mastrocola ...
Noble
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Storyline

At the goading of the ominous and omnipresent Leading Player, Pippin, the eldest son of King Charlemagne, samples life's pleasures to discover his place in the world and the meaning of his life.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first Broadway musical to be videotaped in live performance for television broadcast. The Mary Martin version of "Peter Pan" was broadcast live in 1955 and 1956, and videotaped in 1960, but all these telecasts were done at the NBC television studios, not in a theatre before a live audience. See more »

Quotes

The leading player: You're supposed to read the line "naggingly!"
Catherine: He put his hand on my thigh, they've never done that before ...
The leading player: I don't care where he puts his hand!
See more »

Connections

Version of Pippin See more »

Soundtracks

Finale
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Sung by Ben Vereen, William Katt and The Players
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User Reviews

 
Yeah, the Video Taped version ain't great
16 April 1999 | by (Iowa City, IA) – See all my reviews

But it still manages to capture the look, feel, and spirit of the original stage production. Great musical numbers and dance numbers compensate, IMO, for the flaws of bringing it to video (and the original "director's cut" unedited version makes up for much of the cited flaws anyway).

Pippin isn't really adapted for video, but is rather simply a taping of a stage production (compare it to Cats - the video version _was_ staged for video). This is a mild flaw. Cats obviously takes advantage of F/X, close-ups, etc., while Pippin's camerawork is pretty much static.

The standout is Ben Vereen, at his peak here carrying the show. Chita Rivera (Fastrada) and Benjamin Rayson (Charlemagne) are the best of the supporting player. Katt and Denniston are kinda weak, and Martha Raye, while adequate, isn't as good as Irene Ryan in the original Broadway production.

Overall, Pippin is an entertaining musical which is competently captured on the (complete) video.


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