7.2/10
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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

The part of Ruth played by Angela Lansbury was played on stage in the Broadway theatre production by actress Estelle Parsons who was the only lead cast member who didn't reprise her role in this movie version. In the 1980 television version of the New York Stage production, the character of Ruth was portrayed by Patricia Routledge. 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 (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gilbert and Sullivan still have a strong and legitimate appeal
16 January 2005 | by bbhlthphSee all my reviews

History records that Gilbert and Sullivan were personally often at odds when producing their great comic operettas - no doubt that, if they are still monitoring this, they are surprised to find both their humour and their music - despite its limitations in both time and location - still has a great appeal to audiences throughout much of the world. The music of course is timeless, but music too evolves and many people today have no appreciation of the types of lyrics which G & S exploited so shamelessly. Perhaps the remarkable thing is the wide and continuing appeal of so many of their works. This film is a movie version of a 100th anniversary Broadway stage production of this operetta in New York. A review of previous comments show, not unexpectedly, that it has been adored by numerous G. & S. fans; but that its appeal to those who are not in this category is much more limited. They also make it clear that this is a very fine production; and it would be a serious omission if I did not re-emphasise it is almost a classical example of the way in which a major stage production should be presented on film, both to retain the best of the original production and to as fully as possible exploit the more fluid form of presentation that is possible on the screen.

To your reviewer who reports fears about wearing out her taped version, I would recommend doing what I have done and converting this to a VCD disk that she can play, almost for ever, on her DVD player. It is, I believe, a great film; and my wife and I have also viewed it repeatedly whenever we have been a little "blue", we never fail to feel cheered up afterwards. However we recognise that most members of the contemporary generation would not respond in this way, and that our appreciation will not even be understood by them. We remain thankful that minority tastes can still be satisfied without infringing on the perogatives of the majority, and that in the process of doing so the film will be seen by many who initially have little sympathy with the production, but who find that - as with so many of us in the older generation - they have come to appreciate both its music and its humour.


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