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The Pirates of Penzance (1983)

After a young man leaves a band of pirates, hilarity ensues.

Director:

Wilford Leach

Writers:

W.S. Gilbert (operetta) (as Sir William Schwenck Gilbert), Wilford Leach (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Kline ... The Pirate King
Angela Lansbury ... Ruth
Linda Ronstadt ... Mabel Stanley
George Rose ... Maj. Gen. Stanley
Rex Smith ... Frederic
Tony Azito Tony Azito ... Sergeant
David Hatton ... Samuel
Stephen Hanan Stephen Hanan ... Samuel (singing voice)
Anthony Arundell Anthony Arundell ... Pirate
John Asquith John Asquith ... Pirate
Mohamed Aazzi Mohamed Aazzi ... Pirate
Tim Bentinck ... Pirate
Ross Davidson Ross Davidson ... Pirate
Mike Grady ... Pirate
Simon Howe Simon Howe ... Pirate
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Storyline

This movie is an adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta of the same name, with parts of other of their operettas stirred in. Frederic has fallen in love with sweet innocent Mabel. Yet his vocation is an impediment to their union. Perhaps the situation can be rectified by his old nurse, Ruth, who made a dreadful blunder years before. A highlight is the song/dance A Policeman's Lot is Not a Happy One. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gilbert and Sullivan's classic comic operetta bursts to life in this energetic 1983 film production, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Broadway stage production in New York. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pirates See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$255,496, 21 February 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$694,497, 6 March 1983
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A boom on the Pirates' ship carries the friendly label "Watch Your Head." This is visible during the "I am a Pirate King" number. See more »

Goofs

The lip-synching is often off (or ceases altogether), especially in choral numbers like "When the Foeman Bares His Steel". See more »

Quotes

Major General Stanley: Now that I've introduced my self I should like to know what's going on here?
See more »

Connections

Version of The Pirates of Penzance (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Magical...simply magical
26 June 1999 | by swansong-2See all my reviews

Ah, Gilbert & Sullivan, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! This movie is pure fantastical enjoyment. The cast is an absolute joy, especially Kevin Kline as the Pirate King. Kline is truly one of the most over-looked and under-appreciated actors of our time. His ability to convey his characters through body language, facial expression, and voice is unparalleled. He is one of my favourite actors, and he plays the Pirate King to the hilt -- what a lark!

The vocal talent in this film adaptation of the stage play is phenomenal! I have never heard a more beautiful, powerful, yet sensitive male voice as Rex Smith's, and Linda Ronstadt is, of course, pretty as a picture as Mabel. Angela Lansbury may not have as fabulous a voice as the rest of the cast, but her characterization of Ruth more than makes up for it. Tony Azito absolutely cracks me up as the Chief of Police, those "undaunted men in blue" make me laugh every time.

The one person that everyone seems to forget, however, is the one whose performance I enjoyed even more than Kline's -- and that's saying something. George Rose as the Major-General is perfect, and I never laughed so hard at an individual character as I did when he was tiptoeing through the tulips with the pirates in close pursuit! What a hoot!

This movie is truly a classic, and it's a shame that it's been so overlooked. I finally managed to tape it off the TV one night, since I've never managed to find it on video (other than for rent), and I've watched it so many times, I may have to re-tape it soon. All of the subtle (and not-so-subtle) G&S jokes are a true joy, and the music is pure magic. If you love musicals, you HAVE to see this movie!!


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