6.3/10
53
3 user 1 critic

The Beggar's Opera (1983)

| Crime, Musical | TV Movie
A historical adaptation of John Gay's 18th Century ballad opera, exuberantly performed for BBC television. With its story of a condemned highwayman, it brings to life the greed, lust and ... See full summary »

Director:

Jonathan Miller

Writer:

John Gay (by)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Bob Hoskins ... Beggar
Graham Crowden ... Player
Stratford Johns ... Peachum
Gary Tibbs Gary Tibbs ... Filch
Patricia Routledge ... Mrs. Peachum
Carol Hall Carol Hall ... Polly Peachum
Roger Daltrey ... Macheath
Gawn Grainger Gawn Grainger ... Ben Budge
Anthony Pedley Anthony Pedley ... Matt of the Mint
Ken Stott ... Jemmy Twitcher
Don Estelle ... Crook Fingered Jack
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rosemary Ashe Rosemary Ashe ... Lucy Lockit
Peter Bayliss ... Lockit
John Benfield ... Jailer
Isla Blair ... Jenny Diver
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Storyline

A historical adaptation of John Gay's 18th Century ballad opera, exuberantly performed for BBC television. With its story of a condemned highwayman, it brings to life the greed, lust and corruption of low-life London. Written by L. Buis

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Genres:

Crime | Musical

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of CBS Television Workshop: The Beggar's Opera (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

 
For fans of the original
3 October 2009 | by newatt-2See all my reviews

This is a really interesting outing which attempts to be naturalistic with a deeply artificial form. I have watched it tens of times because I love the original and I love this version.

As always, MacHeath and Polly are not terribly likable - which is more a fault of changing mores and the script than the acting.

However, everyone else in the cast is brilliant, with the most amazingly chewy performance by Patricia Routledge as Mrs. Peachum. Peachum and Lockit and Lucy and Filch are all very likable. Bob Hoskins does an excellent cameo.

The production values are really high. The costuming is wonderful. The music is lush. The scenery is appropriately grotty and dark.

The meta-ness of the attempt to be natural with it can turn one's head inside out occasionally, particularly with the lovely ending gallop to "Thus I stand like the Turk", which substitutes for a curtain call. All in all, if you like the play, you should really enjoy this TV-made film.


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