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Popeye (1980)

The adventures of the sailor man and his friends in the seaside town of Sweethaven.



(screenplay), (based on characters by)
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3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Popeye
... Olive Oyl
... Poopdeck Pappy
... Wimpy
... Bluto
... Geezil
... The Taxman
MacIntyre Dixon ... Cole Oyl
... Nana Oyl
... Castor Oyl
... Rough House (as Allan Nicholls)
... Swee'pea
... Ham Gravy, the Old Boyfriend
Robert Fortier ... Bill Barnacle, the Town Drunk
David McCharen ... Harry Hotcash, the Gambler


Buff sailor-man Popeye arrives in an awkward seaside town called Sweethaven. There he meets Wimpy, a hamburger-loving man; Olive Oyl, the soon-to-be love of his life; and Bluto, a huge, mean pirate who's out to make Sweethaven pay for no good reason. Popeye also discovers his long-lost Pappy in the middle of it all, so with a band of his new friends, Popeye heads off to stop Bluto, and he's got the power of spinach, which Popeye detests, to butt Bluto right in the mush. Watch as Popeye mops the floor with punks in a burger joint, stops a greedy tax man, takes down a champion boxer, and even finds abandoned baby Swee'pea. He's strong to the finish 'cause he eats his spinach! Written by Dylan Self <robocoptng986127@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The sailor man with the spinach can! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Popeye - Der Seemann mit dem harten Schlag  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Popeye Meets Sindbad the Sailor" (1936), the first animated Popeye special in color, was nominated for an Academy award for Best Animated Short. It is also routinely called one of the best cartoon shorts of all time, having recently been placed #50 in the Greatest 100 animated films of all time list. It was also deemed "culturally significant" by the National Film Registry. Conversely, Robert Altman's 1980 live action version of Popeye was slammed by the critics and was a box office bomb. See more »


When Bluto is beating up Popeye and making threats of how taxed the Oyls were going to be, Bluto's mouth is not moving at all. See more »


The Tax Man: You just docked?
Popeye: I has.
The Tax Man: Ah ha, let's see here, that'll be 25¢ docking tax.
Popeye: What for?
The Tax Man: Where's your sea craft?
Popeye: It ain't no sea craft, it's me dinghy and it's under the wharf.
The Tax Man: Ah ha. ahh-ha. This your goods?
Popeye: They is.
The Tax Man: Yeah. You're new in town right?
Popeye: If you call this a town, yes.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens and ends with the Sailor's Hornpipe, a famous nautical song. This song is heard as part of Popeye's theme song in the opening, then is heard in its full form at the end of the film. See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


Swee'pea's Lullaby
Music and Lyrics by Harry Nilsson
Performed by Robin Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

Altman's Utopia

I feel so content to see that viewers' opinions about "Popeye" are changing. I liked this motion picture since its release and just as someone else mentions here, I sit and watch it again whenever it's playing on television. I was a fan of Popeye's cartoons when a kid, and as a grown up I have become an indeclinable admirer of the films of Robert Altman, who I consider one of the greatest directors of American cinema. As someone wrote in a review of "Dr T. & the Women", Altman is a genre by himself. One may go to see an Altman comedy, but it is better to be warned that one must emphasize the director's name instead of the genre. This is indeed a film version of a comic-strip character, but I believe "Popeye" is mainly Altman's (and writer-cartoonist Jules Feiffer's) vision of Utopia in a town by the sea called Sweethaven, where "Flags are waving wet people from the sea, safe from democracy, sweeter than a melon tree" (lyrics to "Sweethaven", an anthem by Harry Nilsson). It is a love postcard from the filmmaker to his fellow Americans, who so far have preferred to follow the critics' failed opinions about his work, or his peers' disdain when the time comes to give out awards. And then Sweethaven is also more than that: it is Altman's surrealistic vision of humanity dealing with its basic emotions and needs. For the recreation of a world where "God must love us" (Op. cit.), Wolf Kroeger created marvelous sets in Malta, photographed by Giuseppe Rotunno (the magician of light who captured so many of Fellini's clowns and buffoons), peopled with a cast giving its best and to the rhythm of simple, sweet and affectionate songs by Nilsson, that seem more than appropriate for this universe --I do not agree with negative opinions about the songs: they are in complete atonement with the spirit of the film and cartoons. (Do you remember Olive singing "I Want a Clean, Shaven Man"?) What I find disturbing about the film is its sudden change of mood, from observation of people's strength and foibles, into an action movie. It makes me wonder if "Popeye" was severely cut by its distributors. In the soundtrack album, there are songs never heard in the movie. It would be great to see a restored version of "Popeye". But there are many wonderful things about it as it is, that I can pass the deficiencies. For example, one of my favorite scenes is Popeye's first dinner with the Oyls: it is pure Altman, with overlapping dialogues and his brand of humor all over the place. Then you have the whole engagement sequence, with Olive escaping from home as she sings "He's Large", meeting Popeye and finding Swee'pea, while Bluto destroys her house. All the humanity contained in the "cartoonish" frame makes me love this film. I just can't help it.

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