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The Return of Gilbert & Sullivan (1952)




(operettas) (as William S. Gilbert), (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
The Sportsmen Quartet ...
(as The Sportsmen)
Billy Gray
Dee Turnell
Mara Lynn
Marie Bryant
Richard Karlan
Joe Graves
(as Al Hammer)


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Short | Music





Release Date:

May 1952 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

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20 August 2007 | by ( – See all my reviews

A quickie, filmed on a sound set in two days. G&S are dead (well they are, indeed), and about to listen to their own music in the Paradise throughout the eternity. But lo - their copyright expires, and the place worse than hell - Broadway - attacks the pray, jazzing up their music. So they rush down to save the day, by offering to compose an entirely original new hit musical.

There are loads of G&S tunes turned into pop, and sometimes quite cleverly. First we get a hillbilly version of Little Buttercup, then the scat version of When the Foreman Bears His Steel, which must have been the wildest kind of pop music back in 1952. And then there's the original musical, called Trial by Error, a nifty whodunit mystery which smashes pieces of different operas together in quite a witty way. There are some good singers and dancers. New lyrics are sometimes funny and rather Gilbertian.

This short film was actually better than I thought. I'm only sorry that the version recently released uses a washed out black and white copy instead of a crisp color one. The flick offers a good look at what was considered "old fashioned" and "extremely hip" in 1952, when they still actually were a part of the traditional musical system, before rock came along and changed the concept of pop music, divorcing it from "classical" forever.

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