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In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado. He lights upon Nanki-Poo, a ... See full summary »
Without sound, in three movements. Title cards declare that what a person likes and his manner of liking them reveals character. There are long looks at forms and rhythms. The film begins ... See full summary »
In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado. He lights upon Nanki-Poo, a strolling minstrel who loves the beautiful Yum-Yum. But Yum-Yum is also loved by Ko-Ko, and Nanki-Poo, seeing no hope for his love, considers suicide. Ko-Ko offers to solve both their problems by executing Nanki-Poo, and an agreement is reached whereby Ko-Ko will allow Nanki-Poo to marry Yum-Yum for one month, at the end of which Nanki-Poo will be executed, in time for the arrival of the Mikado. But what Ko-Ko doesn't know is that Nanki-Poo is the son of the Mikado and has run away to avoid a betrothal to an old harridan named Katisha. The arrival of the Mikado brings all the threads of the tale together.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sir W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan's comic opera "The Mikado or, The Town of Titipu" was their ninth of fourteen collaborations. It opened on March 14, 1885 in London at the Savoy Theatre and ran for 672 performances. See more »
Flawed but well made, well sung and interesting film of The Mikado
The Mikado is one of Gilbert and Sullivan's best works, and I was most interested in seeing this version after trying to view as many G&S productions as possible. I personally prefer the Lesley Garrett/Eric Idle 1987 version, but while flawed this Mikado is still interesting. Much has been said about the cuts, and I have to agree. I can understand why there were some, but some either didn't make sense to be cut or are just too good, KoKo's Little List number was especially true to this. I also thought the spoken prologue was rather pointless and characters have a tendency in important scenes in drift in and out of range.
However, visually and technically it is splendid, the Technicolour looks gorgeous and the costumes and sets are wonderfully authentic. The music is among G&S's best, and while you do wish it was complete it is beautifully performed and conducted. The comedy is sparkling and witty also, and the story is still charming enough. The performances are generally great, Kenny Baker is not quite as impressive as Nanki-Poo, vocally the singing is bright and clear and he looks the part but his acting is rather bland. On the other hand, Jean Collins sings Yum-Yum beautifully and Constance Willis is wonderfully arrogant and poignant as Katisha. John Barclay is an imposing Mikado, Gregory Stroud is good in the insubstantial role of Pish-Tush and Sydney Granville is delightfully pompous as Pooh-Bah. But the best performance easily comes from the splendid KoKo of Martyn Green, one of the best ever in this role, that's for sure.
All in all, interesting and generally well-made and sung, but at the same time perhaps not the most ideal of versions. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
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