7.1/10
3,098
54 user 8 critic

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)
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 (Rex Smith) has fallen in love with sweet innocent Mabel Stanley (Linda Ronstadt). Yet his vocation is an impediment to their union. Perhaps the situation can be rectified by his old nurse, Ruth (Dame Angela Lansbury), who made a dreadful blunder years before. A highlight is the song and dance, "A Policeman's Lot is Not a Happy One". Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The swashbuckling adventure. The fabulous fun. The rollicking romance. 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

Gross USA:

$694,497

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$694,497
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

Joseph Papp's Broadway revival of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta "The Pirates Of Penzance" was an enormous success in 1981. When Universal Pictures announced plans to faithfully adapt the show as a movie utilizing the Broadway cast, Twentieth Century Fox hurriedly pushed their send-up The Pirate Movie (1982) that they had been developing into production in a successful attempt to beat Universal Pictures to the screen. Twentieth Century Fox's The Pirate Movie (1982) was theatrically issued about six months before this movie. Both movies were considered theatrical flops, but each went on to garner loyal cult followings due to heavy exposure on television and home video. See more »

Goofs

As the Sergeant does a backbend while Mabel sings to him, the position of his hand on his chest keeps changing between shots (as opposed to the actual movement prescribed by the choreography). See more »

Quotes

Sergeant: They come in force with stealthy stride. Our obvious course is now to hide!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in VeggieTales: Lyle, the Kindly Viking (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Exactly, why wasn't this movie a hit?
8 February 2002 | by TheNovelistSee all my reviews

This movie's great even though it's quite clear that this movie was low budget. Still, why wasn't it a hit? It's wonderful! Linda Ronstadt's Mabel is superb, I wish I could hit those high notes as flawlessly as she does and plus she is so pretty! Who can play the Pirate King as charismatically as Kevin Kline? You just have to love his crazy antics and that voice, oh! It's obvious he has great talent and that Tony Award he won for his portrayal of The Pirate King on Broadway was well-deserved. I wonder if he can still sing and dance... Rex Smith is divine as Frederic; his singing voice is powerful yet has a tender appeal. He is quite talented in his portrayal of a gullible yet loveable Frederic. Angela Lansbury is lovely in her portrayal of the deaf nursemaid and she has such a wonderful voice; it fits the role perfectly. The pirates, the daughters, the policemen, were all wonderful. I especially love the policemen's song-and-dance numbers. Tony Azito's nasal voice and rubber-like movements are perfect as the Sergeant. I have nothing bad to say about this movie, only I wish it were longer and it did not end so soon! See this movie! It's funny, romantic, and has good music.


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