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Topsy-Turvy (1999)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 9,071 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 197 user | 102 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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."

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Title: Topsy-Turvy (1999)

Topsy-Turvy (1999) on IMDb 7.4/10

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Louis
Sukie Smith ...
Clothilde
Roger Heathcott ...
Banton
Wendy Nottingham ...
Helen Lenoir
Stefan Bednarczyk ...
Frank Cellier
Geoffrey Hutchings ...
Armourer
...
Francis Lee ...
Butt
...
Cook
Adam Searle ...
Shrimp
...
...
...
Kate Doherty ...
Mrs. Judd
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Storyline

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 <scf@w0x0f.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The egos. The battles. The words. The music. The women. The scandals. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mike Leigh Untitled  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£139,700 (UK) (18 February 2000)

Gross:

$6,201,757 (USA) (19 May 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are three Shakespearean quotes. The first is a line from Macbeth Act III, Scene 3 "O horror, horror, horror!...", spoken by Gilbert at breakfast in relation to the prospects for an extended run for 'Princess Ida'. The second is from Othello, Act I, Scene 1 : "What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe,/ If he can carry 't thus!" , spoken at the restaurant when discussing General Gordon's death at Khartoum. The third is also from Macbeth, Act II, Scene 2 : "A little water clears us of this deed," spoken by Helen Lenoir when comforting Rutland Barrington, who was ill from eating oysters. See more »

Goofs

This well known quote from the film is a factual mistake: "If you wish to write a Grand Opera about a prostitute, dying of consumption in a garret, I suggest you contact Mr Ibsen in Oslo. I am sure he will be able to furnish you with something suitably dull". The city of Oslo got the name in 1925 - a long time after Ibsen's death in 1906. During Ibsen's lifetime, the capital of Norway was called Kristiania. See more »

Quotes

Sullivan: This work with Gilbert is quite simply killing me.
Richard D'Oyly Carte: Working with Gilbert would kill anybody.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Imagine: The One and Only Mike Leigh (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

This Helmet, I Suppose
(1884)
from "Princess Ida"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by William S. Gilbert
Performed by Timothy Spall and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
fascinating, funny, and true as gold
14 September 2000 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

I loved this film, yet I have a hard time understanding many of the comments other viewers have made. I never liked G&S all that much, thought they were rather light weight stuff. Never liked the late Victorian era much either. Kind of a dull time, I thought. Musicals are definitely not my thing.

Yet this movie struck me as one of the greatest I have ever seen, right up there with Greed and Citizen Kane and all that lot. I suppose it's because I like period pieces, and I think it's damned difficult for anyone to draw an accurate -- or even an evocative -- picture of any time that is not their own. This movie does that, and it never even appears to strain so much as a single hair to do so.

In the end, this movie is deeply *humane.* Like many another Mike Leigh epic, the characters here are drawn in the round, flaws and talents all on view, just like real human beings. And he likes them all, even the stinkers. Likes them well enough to paint them as they are, not as cardboard figures.

If you like your characters pre-digested and redrawn larger than life and your plots full of twists and turns, you might find this movie tame. If you like people, you'll find it fascinating, funny, and true as gold.

And why do I rate it so highly? Because it hangs together so perfectly, all of a piece. It's luscious to look at, delightful to hear, and sweet as candy without ever once becoming saccharine or cheap.

Some reviewers complained you had to "already know" something to enjoy this movie: the music, the time, the language, the whatever. I say, all you have to know is human beings. If you find them interesting, you'll love this movie.


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