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Pippin: His Life and Times (1981)

Not Rated | | History, Musical, Romance | TV Movie
At the goading of the ominous and omnipresent Leading Player, Pippin, the eldest son of King Charlemagne, samples life's pleasures to discover his place in the world and the meaning of his life.


David Sheehan

On Disc

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2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Vereen ... The Leading Player
William Katt ... Pippin
Leslie Denniston Leslie Denniston ... Catherine
Benjamin Rayson Benjamin Rayson ... Charlemagne
Martha Raye ... Berthe
Chita Rivera ... Fastrada
Joanie P. Oneill Joanie P. Oneill ... Player
Debra Phelan Debra Phelan ... Player
Linda Haberman Linda Haberman ... Player
Kate Wright Kate Wright ... Player
Allison Williams Allison Williams ... Player
John Mineo John Mineo ... Sword Bearer
Charles Lee Ward Charles Lee Ward ... Peasant
Lee Mathis Lee Mathis ... Beggar
Frank Mastrocola Frank Mastrocola ... Noble


At the goading of the ominous and omnipresent Leading Player, Pippin, the eldest son of King Charlemagne, samples life's pleasures to discover his place in the world and the meaning of his life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Canada | USA



Filming Locations:

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Production Co:

Elkins Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The original Broadway production of "Pippin" opened at the Imperial Theater in New York on October 23, 1972, ran for 1944 performances and was nominated for the 1973 Tony Awards for the Best Musical, Book and Score. The 1973 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical was won by Ben Vereen who recreated his stage role in this filmed production. See more »


The Lead Player sings during the song "Simple Joys" that wouldn't you rather be... "a twig on a fig in Galilee." The line from the song that is supposed to be sung is "a fig on a twig in Galilee". See more »


Pippin: GLORY'S IN THE AIR! GLORY'S IN THE AIR! AND WHAT AM I DOING? I'm running around in a dark stage like an Idiot.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Additionally, in recent years, a rough cut containing all items deleted from the original broadcast version for issues of time has surfaced on the Internet, disappearing only to reappear numerous times. See more »


Version of Pippin See more »


Kind of Woman
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Sung by Leslie Denniston and The Players
See more »

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User Reviews

A Broadway production; not a Broadway performance
24 February 2013 | by skippyd89See all my reviews

I just want to point out a misconception many reviewers here keep expounding: this filmed record of PIPPIN in performance was not done on Broadway. This is either a national tour or a performance of the original show mounted in another city (LA, Chicago, San Francisco, London?). William Katt, Martha Raye, nor Chita Rivera, ever appeared on Broadway during the show's original 5 year run. This could explain the paring down of the script in this video record. Vareen, as pointed out, with his TONY already on his mantle for this role, is an originator. What is most important about this video is that it is the only record of Bob Fosse's work as choreographer and director of a complete show in existence. His dances for PAJAMA GAME and DAMN YANKEES, SWEET CHARITY exist in their Hollywood film versions, but not his conceptual Broadway work. The film of CHICAGO is a homage to him stylistically. However, that's the work of Rob Marshall.

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