5.7/10
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7 user 3 critic

Mack the Knife (1989)

In nineteenth 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rachel Robertson ...
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Coaxer
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Chrissie Kendall ...
Miranda Garrison ...
Esmeralda
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Storyline

In nineteenth 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:

Smooth. Sharp. Deadly. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

2 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Koldusopera  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Raul Julia went on to play Gomez Addams in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993), a role previously played on television by John Astin. Bill Nighy had previously played Sam Gamgee in BBC Radio's Lord of the Rings production. That role was subsequently played on film by Sean Astin. See more »

Quotes

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

Version of Die Dreigroschenoper (1972) 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
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User Reviews

 
Pretty Good Despite Weaknesses
30 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

I gave "Mack the Knife" a 7.

It does have some weaknesses:

1) A couple of unfortunate cuts -- "Moon Over Soho" and "What Keeps Mankind Alive?" were the ones that seemed most notable to me, especially since Mack refers to "Moon" late in the film, as though he had in fact sung it earlier on. 2) Translations that are more bland than they need to be -- for instance, Jenny and Mack's ode to "that whorehouse where we used to live" has been considerably toned down. 3) Occasional overacting. 4) Laughably bad (but generally short) dance sequences. 5) Weak ending -- but that's a problem with the original, too.

The film also has some strengths: 1) Good songs remain, including the opening and closing "Mack The Knife"; "Pirate Jenny," which looks like something out of Pink Floyd's "The Wall"; and the cat-fight duet between Lucy and Polly. 2) Likeable performances by all the leads, especially Julia.

In all, a mixed bag, but I'm glad I watched it.


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