Topsy-Turvy (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  11 February 2000 (USA)
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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 10 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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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?


In the actual opening-night performance of "The Mikado", the Act 2 finale began with "The Threatened Cloud Has Passed Away". This version was felt to be too short, so "For He's Gone and Married Yum-Yum" was later added, as seen in the film and modern performances. See more »


When Dr. Gilbert is complaining about the telephone, he sits down twice. See more »


Sullivan: [to Mr. Hurley, the bassoonist] You was late, Mr. 'Urley.
See more »


A More Humane Mikado
from "The Mikado"
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

Thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying.
1 February 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

This period film is unique in that the writer/director chose not to invent some contrived plot to push the movie along. It is as if we are simply witness at crucial points during normal goings on in the lives of Gilbert and Sullivan during the late 1800's. I found it fascinating and was not aware of the length (almost 3 hours) during the picture.

If you have ever been in a musical, have a love of theater, or have any interest in the 1800's, you must see this film. From the superb acting, to the set design (amazing accuracy), to the technique - this film is a gem to behold.

28 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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