Down 648 this week

Topsy-Turvy (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  11 February 2000 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 9,701 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 200 user | 101 critic | 31 from

After Gilbert and Sullivan's latest play is critically panned, the frustrated team threatens to disband until it is inspired to write the masterpiece "The Mikado."



Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 27 Mar 2013
a list of 33 titles
created 15 Jul 2013
a list of 44 titles
created 30 Jul 2013
a list of 28 titles
created 30 Sep 2013
a list of 46 titles
created 23 Jul 2014

Related Items

Search for "Topsy-Turvy" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Topsy-Turvy (1999)

Topsy-Turvy (1999) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Topsy-Turvy.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Career Girls (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

2 young women reunite and rekindle their friendship after having said goodbye at their college graduation, six years earlier.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Katrin Cartlidge, Lynda Steadman, Kate Byers
Life Is Sweet (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A waitress, her cook husband, & their twin daughters ponder their lives over a few weeks in a working-class suburb north of London.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent, Claire Skinner
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket. Their daughter Rachel cleans in a home for ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen
High Hopes (1988)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful, mum's ghastly upper-middle-class neighbors, and ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Philip Davis, Ruth Sheen, Edna Doré
Vera Drake (2004)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent, Heather Craney
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a lower-class white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan
Another Year (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A look at four seasons in the lives of a happily married couple and their relationships with their family and friends.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Samuel Roukin
Bleak Moments (1971)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Moments from the uncompromisingly bleak existence of a secretary, her intellectually disabled sister, aloof and uneasy teacher boyfriend, bizarre neighbor and irritating workmate.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Anne Raitt, Sarah Stephenson, Eric Allan
Naked (1993)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Parallel tales of two sexually obsessed men, one hurting and annoying women physically and mentally, one wandering around the city talking to strangers and experiencing dimensions of life.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge
Mr. Turner (2014)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner's life.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson
A Sense of History (TV Short 1992)
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The 23rd Earl of Leete shares brief moments of his life, the truth behind his family estate and his particular glorious moment when he murdered his wife and his brother.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Stephen Bill, Belinda Bradley


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sukie Smith ...
Roger Heathcott ...
Stage Doorkeeper
Wendy Nottingham ...
Stefan Bednarczyk ...
Frank Cellier
Geoffrey Hutchings ...
Francis Lee ...
Adam Searle ...
Kate Doherty ...


After their production "Princess Ida" meets with less-than-stunning reviews, the relationship between Gilbert and Sullivan is strained to breaking. Their friends and associates attempt to get the two to work together again, which opens the way to "The Mikado," one of the duo's greatest successes. Written by Steve Fenwick <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gilbert & Sullivan & So Much More See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of risque nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | | |

Release Date:

11 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mike Leigh Untitled  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$32,718 (USA) (17 December 1999)


$6,201,757 (USA) (19 May 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


As Sir Arthur Sullivan and his mistress Fanny Ronalds casually discuss aborting their baby, the incidental music is a passage from Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe." The lyric which goes with the music is, "Plead for my boy. He dies." See more »


Length of Sullivan's cigarette and ash during their lengthy discussion See more »


Richard Barker: And now, sir, I am going in search of some Italian hokey-pokey, and I care not who knows it.
See more »


Featured in The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010) See more »


Behold! the Lord High Executioner
from "The Mikado"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by William S. Gilbert
Performed by Martin Savage and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Sumptuous Cinematic Treat
20 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

TOPSY-TURVY, director Leigh's spectacularly entertaining look at the lives and times of the nineteenth-century British duo that gave the world such musical treasures as The Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore. Leigh's film finds G & S in 1884 at a creative impasse following the disappointing reception of their new flop operetta, Princess Ida. Sullivan (Allan Corduner), tired of writing music for the increasingly trite and repetitive librettos of Gilbert (Jim Broadbent), wants to give up their lucrative partnership and write "serious" grand opera. But when an exhibition of Japanese art and culture travelling through London inspires Gilbert to begin writing The Mikado, both men see the opportunity to create something unique and extraordinary. Praise for this stunning film must extend from top to bottom, beginning to end. The music, of course, is wonderful and ever present. The costumes, sets and cinematography are exemplary in their attention to atmosphere and detail. Leigh's script and direction not only bring the period to life, but make it crackle with drama, wit, and social comment. And the performances are fabulous, notably the magnificent Broadbent as mercurial Gilbert; Corduner, warm and charming as the more sweet-natured Sullivan; and Leigh regular Timothy Spall (SECRETS & LIES) as a veteran actor fearful that his big number may be cut. This is quite simply one of the most vastly entertaining, joyous and fascinating films ever made about the creative process. I actually saw it twice within a three-day period and wasn't bored for one second of either viewing!

26 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
what's up with the French? cwashburn
Wherefore art thou, O DVD? stevem-26
... so many fish in the sea aegisthus
The daugher-in-law elect aegisthus
Jessie Bond's Leg blondie3
Snore Lucky-63
Discuss Topsy-Turvy (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: