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Mack the Knife (1989)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 261 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

In the 19th century London, a young girl falls for a famous womanizing criminal and they decide to get married. Her family strongly disapproves so her father "the king of thieves" gets the gangster arrested.

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Title: Mack the Knife (1989)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Julia Migenes ...
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Rachel Robertson ...
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Coaxer
Louise Plowright ...
Elizabeth Seal ...
Chrissie Kendall ...
Miranda Garrison ...
Esmeralda
Mark Northover ...
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Storyline

In the 19th century London, a young girl falls for a famous womanizing criminal and they decide to get married. Her family strongly disapproves so her father "the king of thieves" gets the gangster arrested.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Scoundrel, liar, thief... They all loved him. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mackie Majcher  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rachel Robertson receives an "introducing" credit. See more »

Quotes

Peachum: Locks, bolts and bars can't stop a bitch in heat!
See more »

Connections

Version of The 3 Penny Opera (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

I Prefer Duet
Written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill with English lyrics by Marc Blitzstein
Performed by Richard Harris & Julie Walters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An embarrassingly misjudged and shoddy version of a great show
24 March 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The fact that most of the budget for this presumably went on the heavy-duty cast list shouldn't have mattered if it had been staged with flair and imagination and some sympathy for the original's satirical intent. Instead we get risibly bad song and dance sequences featuring picturesque beggars and whores, and the final alienation is accomplished by pulling back to reveal the action has taken place on a music-hall stage, appropriately enough for a production that's more Lionel 'Oliver' Blair than Brecht. The acting talent is shamefully misused: Migenes and Walters are good but don't have to try very hard: Migenes at least has a great voice and some feel for the material. Julia looks perfect as Mack, but struggles with the character, straitjacketed by a fake plummy accent. Harris's Peachum is embarrassingly mannered and Polly is atrocious. The adaptations of lyrics, script and music are often awkward: it was a bad move to base the film on Marc Blitzstein's bowdlerised Broadway version, but at least his words were singable, unlike most of what's been interpolated in gestures of faithfulness. And the attempt at overcoming the low budget by filming at claustrophobic angles on mist-shrouded sets lit in garish blues and oranges as if by some bargain-basement Vittorio Storaro fails utterly -- the film just looks cheap, shoddy and thoughtlessly made. Disgraceful.


4 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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