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The Beggar's Opera (1953)

When the composer of an opera about a swashbuckling, wenching highwayman meets his hero's real life counterpart he's disappointed with his lack of dash.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
George Rose ...
1st Turnkey
Stuart Burge ...
1st Prisoner
Cyril Conway ...
2nd Prisoner
Gerald Lawson ...
3rd Prisoner
...
Polly Peachum
George Devine ...
Peachum
...
Mrs. Peachum
Edward Pryor ...
Filch
...
Mrs. Trapes
...
Mr. Lockit
...
Lucy Lockit
...
Inn Keeper
...
Jenny Diver
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Storyline

Authentic rendering of John Gay's 18th century musical, filmed in Technicolor, about Captain MacHeath, a highwayman, and his love for too many beautiful women. Betrayed by Jenny and Sukey, two of his bygone lovers, and temporarily freed by two others, MacHeath is arrested and condemned to death. While waiting to be hanged, the captain is entertained by a musical beggar, who has written an opera of which the highwayman is the hero. Written by Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | History | Musical

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1953 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die Bettleroper  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kenneth Williams in his biography 'Just Williams' claimed he was horrified to find that they had over-dubbed his voice and feared what people would say, and so was relieved when the film was pulled after just one week. See more »

Quotes

The Beggar: You're never Captain MacHeath, sir!
Captain MacHeath: Never Captain MacHeath, sir? At my mother's breast I was Captain MacHeath, sir!
The Beggar: I would rather not think so! You're not at all as I imagined. No... no... no. I've overwritten you. My captain is higher by two or three inches.
Captain MacHeath: Hmmm. Wll, sir, thanks to you I shall be higher this time tomorrow by the height of a hangman's card.
The Beggar: No, Captain, you'd never do. There is more of you in two bars of my opera than there is in your own body.
Captain MacHeath: Well, I'm sorry for it.
The Beggar: [...]
See more »

Connections

Version of CBS Television Workshop: The Beggar's Opera (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

How Happy Could I Be With Either
(uncredited)
Sung by Laurence Olivier
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User Reviews

A thoroughly delightful spoof of movie musicals.
24 November 1998 | by See all my reviews

John Gay's original Beggar's Opera was a spoof of the high-blown operas of his day. The Olivier film is a spoof of--movie musicals! Sir Laurence sings on horseback; people burst into arias at the worst possible time. The plot goes from the absurd to the absurd. However, if the viewer tries to see it "straight," she will be confused and put off. I don't know why this delightful film is not available on laserdisc or even videotape. Someone should dig it out of the vault and re-introduce it to the world.


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