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The Pirate Movie (1982) Poster

Trivia

According to 'A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography', "This send-up of The Pirates of Penzance was clearly inspired by the success of Papp's Pirates on Broadway."
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The film started gaining a cult status in the late '80s largely due to repeat screenings on HBO.
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The song "How Can I Live Without Her?" sung by Christopher Atkins from this movie went to No. #71 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
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Reportedly, after this movie was released, Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins were approached by record companies regarding individual recording contracts.
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Christopher Atkins' hair was permed for this movie. His hair is naturally straight.
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The production required special permission for the filming of scenes approaching the cliff as this location was situated on sacred Aboriginal lands.
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The sword fighting scenes took several months of training and rehearsals.
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Publicity for this picture at the time of release declared that with a budget of $9 million the film was the most expensive Australian movie ever made.
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Ted Hamilton (The Pirate King) was also the executive producer.
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Christopher Atkins had never sung professionally and underwent extensive vocal coaching. Although he was credited in the film and on the soundtrack/singles, his singing voice was dubbed by screenwriter Trevor Farrant - though no one in the production bothered to inform Atkins. In a 2001 interview with The Pirate Movie Page, Atkins remarked, " I don't sing well in the shower! Thank God for machines. The can make a dog sing!"
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Members of the cast extensively trained on a rope course for this movie.
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The picture was nominated for Worst Picture at the Hastings Bad Cinema Society's 5th Stinkers Bad Movie Awards in 1982.
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Ken Annakin was not the first choice for directing. He was brought in after production had already begun. The original director, Richard Franklin, left over creative differences regarding the film's script.
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Joseph Papp's Broadway revival of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta 'The Pirates Of Penzance' was an enormous success in 1981. When Universal Pictures announced plans to faithfully adapt the show as a film utilizing the Broadway cast, Fox hurriedly pushed the send-up that they had been developing into production in a successful attempt to beat Universal to the screen. Fox's "The Pirate Movie" was theatrically issued six months before Universal's The Pirates of Penzance (1983) was released. Both films were considered theatrical flops, but each went on to garner loyal cult followings due to heavy exposure on television and home video.
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This musical combines songs from the original stage production with new original songs written specially for this movie
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This movie is one of few filmed adaptations of Gilbert & Sullivan's 'The Pirates Of Penzance' musical not to be known by that title, 'The Pirates Of Penzance'. Others include The Parson's Pirates (2004) and Die Piraten (1968).
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Christopher Atkins kept the shirt, pants and boots that he wore in the film. Years later he sported the outfit (sans the vest) for some photos when he returned to Australia.
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Boasts the most Razzie nominations for an Australian film.
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According to 'Allmovie', the story "loosely follows the structure" of the Pirates of Penzance operetta.
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According to Nathan Rabin in 'The Onion A.V. Club', Director Ken Annakin " . . . blames the film's commercial and critical failure on the presence / popularity of an infinitely more faithful TV version of The Pirates Of Penzance. He also blames writer Trevor Farrant, who spoke out against the film after it deviated from his script."
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Garry McDonald plays two characters in this movie, the Sergeant of Police and the Inspector. The Sergeant character is from the 'The Pirates Of Penzance' stage musical by Gilbert and Sullivan; his Inspector character was not so much a spoof or parody of Inspector Clouseau but virtually a mimic of Peter Sellers' characterization of Clouseau.
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Actress Maggie Kirkpatrick replaced Jill Perryman.
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The soundtrack album was released in 1982 by Polydor Records on both cassette and as a two-record vinyl LP set. Most versions boast the poster artwork with Mabel and Frederic wrapped in a flag; the German edition features alternate poster art of Frederic brandishing a flaccid sword. 7" and 12" vinyl singles were released for "First Love"/"Come Friends Who Plough the Sea" and "How Can I Live Without Her"/"I Am a Pirate King." The soundtrack has never been officially reissued. CDs adorned with Rhino Records and Lightning Music logos frequently pop up for sale online, but these are cleverly designed bootlegs which were "digitally remastered" from a vinyl source.
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Interiors and exteriors of the Major General's home were shot at the Werribee Park Mansion, which was constructed in the 1870's and is actually an hour's drive away from the sea. From the 1920s to '70s, it functioned as a Catholic seminary, and a new wing erected during this era is now utilized as a hotel.
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Kristy McNichol did sing in a movie prior to this, in The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981) and in Only When I Laugh (1981).
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Kristy McNichol wears extensions in this movie.
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This picture was filmed in Australia. After this movie, Christopher Atkins returned to Australia to appear in Wet and Wild Summer! (1992) as well as Bullet Down Under (1994).
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Christopher Atkins had never sung professionally prior to making this picture.
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The movie's main movie poster shows Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol wrapped-up together in a large black sack marked with the traditional pirates skull and crossbones emblem. Atkins is clearly not wearing a top and there is a suggestion that McNichol is completely topless behind the black sack, this imagery evoking the nudity and scant clothing of The Blue Lagoon (1980), Atkins' earlier box-office hit movie he appeared in with Brooke Shields.
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This film was one of three Australian movies made in Australia during 1981-1982 which were musicals, a watershed year for the Australian movie musical. The pictures include Starstruck (1982), The Pirate Movie (1982) and The Return of Captain Invincible (1983).
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One of a number of pirate movies made between the mid 1970s and mid 1990s which were a flop at the box-office. The films include Pirates (1987), Yellowbeard (1983), Swashbuckler (1976), Nate and Hayes (1983), The Pirate Movie (1982) and Cutthroat Island (1995).
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The soundtrack album includes an additional verse in "First Love," an unused lyrical segment in "The Modern Major General's Song" (while Mabel briefly converses with her father) and complete versions of all of the other fragmented songs.
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The pirate ship is the Polly Woodside, which had its first voyage in 1885 and made regular treks from Australia as a cargo vessel until 1922, when it downgraded to being used as a coal refueling barge until the late '60s. It ultimately became a popular tourist attraction at the Melbourne Maritime Museum.
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On several occasions Kristy McNichol's Mabel character breaks the fourth wall when she looks into the camera and speaks as if she is talking to the audience watching the movie.
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Kristy McNichol has said that her character of Mabel in this movie was really two characters, one a shy introverted girl at the beginning who becomes this funny really alive gal.
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Kristy McNichol received top billing for this movie, Christopher Atkins received second billing.
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Kristy McNichol sang in a movie prior to this, in The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981).
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This movie is one of few filmed adaptations of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates Of Penzance musical not to be known by that title, The Pirates Of Penzance. Others include The Parson's Pirates (2004) and Die Piraten (1968).
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According to Nathan Rabin in The Onion A.V. Club, Director Ken Annakin " . . . blames the film's commercial and critical failure on the presence / popularity of an infinitely more faithful TV version of The Pirates Of Penzance. He also blames writer Trevor Farrant, who spoke out against the film after it deviated from his script."
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'Kjell Nilsson', who plays the very muscular pirate, played the character of Lord Humongous, leader of the desert bikers, one year earlier in the movie _The Road Warrior (1981)_.
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This picture was filmed in Australia. After this movie, Christopher Atkins returned to Australia to appear in Exchange Lifeguards (aka Wet and Wild Summer! (1992) and Bullet Down Under (1994).
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Debut Australian theatrical feature film of American actor Christopher Atkins who would later go on to appear in such other Australian movies as Bullet Down Under (1994) and Wet and Wild Summer! (1992).
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