7.4/10
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203 user 101 critic

Topsy-Turvy (1999)

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 ...
...
...
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

Country:

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Release Date:

11 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mike Leigh Untitled  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

£10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

At the beginning of the scene showing the recital in which Sullivan's song "The Lost Chord" was sung, the pianist is shown playing the last few bars of the Nocturne No. 4 in E-flat major, Op. 36, by Gabriel Fauré. The piece was first published in 1884, not long before the events depicted in the film. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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


Soundtracks

A More Humane Mikado
(1885)
from "The Mikado"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert
Performed by Timothy Spall and chorus
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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