7.2/10
2,884
53 user 7 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)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Pirates of Penzance (TV Movie 1980)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young man named Frederick leaves the zany band of pirates he was raised by to find true love and respectability, but when the Pirate King turns up to call on an old debt, Frederick must ... See full summary »

Directors: Wilford Leach, Joshua White
Stars: Kevin Kline, G. Eugene Moose, Rex Smith
The Pirates of Penzance (TV Movie 1994)
Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Frederic was sent in the care of his nursemaid, Ruth, to be apprenticed to a pilot. But she misunderstood her instructions, being hard of hearing, and apprenticed him instead to the Pirate King.

Directors: Peter Butler, Craig Schaefer
Stars: Jon English, Helen Donaldson, Toni Lamond
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Teddy, working at an advertising agency, has to come up with a campaign for frozen porridge.

Director: Jim Clark
Stars: Marty Feldman, Judy Cornwell, Garry Miller
The Pirates of Penzance (TV Movie 2006)
Adventure | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Director: Bruce Best
Stars: Anthony Warlow, David Hobson, John Bolton-Wood
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three prospectors confront their ex-partner who, 15 years earlier, ran off with all the gold from their mine and they also plan to kidnap his wife.

Director: Don Taylor
Stars: Lee Marvin, Oliver Reed, Robert Culp
The Music Man (1962)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Harold Hill poses as a boys' band leader to con naive Iowa townsfolk.

Director: Morton DaCosta
Stars: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett
The Pirates of Penzance (TV Movie 1982)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

As a young child, Frederic had been apprenticed to a pirate by mistake when he should have been apprenticed to a pilot. Now, having reached his 21st year, Frederic's indentures are at last ... See full summary »

Director: Rodney Greenberg
Stars: Keith Michell, Alexander Oliver, Janis Kelly
Jinxed! (1982)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Harold, a professional gambler, and his girlfriend Bonita, a lounge singer, follow Willie, a young blackjack dealer, around the western U.S. Harold has a jinx on Willie and can't lose with ... See full summary »

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Bette Midler, Ken Wahl, Rip Torn
Carefree (1938)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of married couple Irene Castle and Vernon Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Based on THE SMASH BROADWAY MUSICAL! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pirates See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Show-business trade paper 'Variety' reported that "with the exception of Angela Lansbury . . . all other principal cast members have repeated their Broadway performances here". Moreover, 'Allmovie' states that this cinema movie "features Angela Lansbury as Ruth (the sole major casting change from the Broadway production - Estelle Parsons played the role on stage)." See more »

Goofs

About 40 minutes into the film, while Mabel sings "Poor Wandering One," a bird flies behind Frederic and hits the "sky" backdrop, causing the bird to fall to the ground. This is only visible if watching the film in its original aspect ratio of 2.35 to 1. For television airings which have modified the dimensions of the film, the bird is still shown but you do not see it hit the backdrop. See more »

Quotes

Fredric: You make it a point of never attacking a weaker party than yourselves, and when you attack a stronger one you invariably get thrashed!
[Pirates approach him with great indignation]
Pirate King: [Holding up finger] There's some truth in that.
See more »

Connections

Version of Die Piraten (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Worthy staging of G&S's best operetta
11 January 2004 | by backseat-2See all my reviews

I recently had the task, for a organization's class, to assemble various performances of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta "The Pirates of Penzance". This has always been my favorite G&S work, and I have heard many live performances, plus I have played the Pirate King in a revue type staging of the work.

I recall seeing the Kevin Kline version many years ago, and did not recall the details. Obtaining a copy to view for my project, I was very impressed with the wit and overall quality of the performances. There are a few small issues, such as the fudging of Linda Ronstadt's and Rex Smith's vocal parts (It is clear, whenever Smith sings, that lots of electronic enhancement is being used to bring his voice into the same universe with the other more capable singers, but still he has right delivery and it works well; for Ronstadt, she does very well, but for "Poor Wandering One" her part has been transposed down a bit, probably so that she can manage the highest notes), and the overdubbing of a couple other performer's singing by better singers, but overall the dancing and singing is as good as any I have seen.

The staging is deliberately campy, somewhere between traditional stagecraft and a movie set, and it adds extra charm to the proceedings. There has been some carping about Angela Lansbury's singing, but what she does is in line with the requirements of the role, and is in fact typical of other performances of Ruth's character (I recall the director, during casting of the performance I was in, saying of Ruth, "we don't need a GOOD singer, only a FUNNY singer).

A quick review of the offerings of Pirates on Amazon reveals that the only DVD version of this cast is taken from an outdoor staging in New York (and without Lansbury). It is one of the mysteries of DVD releases that the film version does not exist on on DVD; it certainly one of the best.


22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 53 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed