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The Pirates of Penzance (1983)

7.3
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This movie is an adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta of the same name, with parts of other of their operettas stirred in. Frederick has fallen in love with sweet innocent ... See full summary »

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Title: The Pirates of Penzance (1983)

The Pirates of Penzance (1983) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ruth
Linda Ronstadt ...
Mabel
George Rose ...
...
Tony Azito ...
Sergeant
David Hatton ...
Samuel
Stephen Hanan ...
Samuel (singing) (voice)
Anthony Arundell ...
Pirate
John Asquith ...
Pirate
Mohamed Aazzi ...
Pirate
...
Pirate
Ross Davidson ...
Pirate
Mike Grady ...
Pirate
Simon Howe ...
Pirate
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Storyline

This movie is an adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta of the same name, with parts of other of their operettas stirred in. Frederick has fallen in love with sweet innocent Mabel. Yet his vocation is an impediment to their union. Perhaps the situation can be rectified by his old nurse, Ruth, who made a dreadful blunder years before. A highlight is the song/dance A Policeman's Lot is Not a Happy One. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Broadway's smash hit is now the movie! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

18 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Pirates of Penzance  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's failure at the box office had nothing to do with the reviews, which were often quite positive. The real problem lay with Universal's decision to release the film simultaneously to SelectTV and to theaters. Theater owners were so angry that they boycotted the film; in the end, a grand total of 92 theaters agreed to show it, and it enjoyed a long run at only one of them (in Washington, DC, where it became a cult success and played several weeks). See more »

Goofs

As the Sergeant does a backbend while Mabel sings to him, the position of his hand on his chest keeps changing between shots (as opposed to the actual movement prescribed by the choreography). See more »

Quotes

Pirate King: Left, right, left, right.
[shouts]
Pirate King: Stop dinghy!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.117 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Worthy staging of G&S's best operetta
11 January 2004 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

I recently had the task, for a organization's class, to assemble various performances of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta "The Pirates of Penzance". This has always been my favorite G&S work, and I have heard many live performances, plus I have played the Pirate King in a revue type staging of the work.

I recall seeing the Kevin Kline version many years ago, and did not recall the details. Obtaining a copy to view for my project, I was very impressed with the wit and overall quality of the performances. There are a few small issues, such as the fudging of Linda Ronstadt's and Rex Smith's vocal parts (It is clear, whenever Smith sings, that lots of electronic enhancement is being used to bring his voice into the same universe with the other more capable singers, but still he has right delivery and it works well; for Ronstadt, she does very well, but for "Poor Wandering One" her part has been transposed down a bit, probably so that she can manage the highest notes), and the overdubbing of a couple other performer's singing by better singers, but overall the dancing and singing is as good as any I have seen.

The staging is deliberately campy, somewhere between traditional stagecraft and a movie set, and it adds extra charm to the proceedings. There has been some carping about Angela Lansbury's singing, but what she does is in line with the requirements of the role, and is in fact typical of other performances of Ruth's character (I recall the director, during casting of the performance I was in, saying of Ruth, "we don't need a GOOD singer, only a FUNNY singer).

A quick review of the offerings of Pirates on Amazon reveals that the only DVD version of this cast is taken from an outdoor staging in New York (and without Lansbury). It is one of the mysteries of DVD releases that the film version does not exist on on DVD; it certainly one of the best.


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