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Topsy-Turvy (1999)

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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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Won 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Gilbert & Sullivan & So Much More See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

11 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mike Leigh Untitled  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$6,201,757 (USA) (19 May 2000)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Andy Serkis learned to play the violin for a scene which didn't make it to the final cut. See more »

Goofs

When Gilbert enters the night's take for Princess Ida in his ledger, the date can be seen to be listed as Monday, 10 June, 1884. That date actually occurred on a Tuesday in that year. See more »

Quotes

Lucy Gilbert (Kitty): Schwenk speaks to The Savoy every morning in code, father-in-law. Just in case the telephone operator should be eavesdropping.
Gilbert's Father: One might as well open the window and shout down the street.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Incantation
(1877)
from "The Sorcerer"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert
Performed by Martin Savage, Kevin McKidd, Shirley Henderson and chorus
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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!


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