The Pirates of Penzance (USA/UK, 1983)

the-pirates-of-penzance-movie-poster-1983-1020209631Directed by: Wilford Leach. Ugh, please don’t ask me why. You can blame it on Topsy-Turvy, which was a genuinely good movie about Gilbert and Sullivan, and my budding interest in the pair’s classic English-language operas. Lingering in my brain, alongside a vague desire to eventual be really smart and knowledgable about impressionist paintings and poetry and bird-watching, is a vague interest in one day being an old and distinguished appreciator of opera, and Gilbert and Sullivan offer a soft way in, being in English, and being really silly and whacky, and offering songs that are genuinely really catchy and with a lot of pop hooks. Basically, I really wanted to hear the “Major General” song, and my significant other was away for the week, giving me a chance to safely indulge. But unfortunately, of all the renditions of this particular opera I could have picked, I picked this one, an Americanized, post-Altman Popeye, 80’s, bizarro, self-conscious, nostalgia-via-parody, parody-via-nostalgia, slapstick piece of shit. I won’t lie that it’s really satisfying to see Kevin Kline do almost anything, but just as honestly, I’m afraid that he’s almost the only aspect of this shit-show that doesn’t make me puke. Yes, Angela Lansbury; yes, Linda Ronstadt (for some reason), and yes the performances are amazing, but I suspect that it’s actually just the musical parts that are amazing. Okay, I’ll relent, if those actors actually sang all that shit, then that’s super amazing. But my god, if you’re remotely interested in Gilbert and Sullivan, I’d still avoid this like the plague, and the rest of you, I wouldn’t even read this review if I were you.

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2 responses to “The Pirates of Penzance (USA/UK, 1983)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

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