- Actors: Donald Adams, Philip Potter, John Reed, Kenneth Sandford, Thomas Lawlor
- Directors: Stuart Burge
- Writers: William S. Gilbert
- Producers: Anthony Havelock-Allan, John Brabourne, Richard B. Goodwin
- Format: Classical, Color, NTSC
- Rated: R (Restricted)
- Number of tapes: 1
- Studio: Video Artists Int'l
- VHS Release Date: March 30, 1999
- Run Time: 122 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000001BP7
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,831 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado (1966 D'Oyly Carte) [VHS]
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Though made for the screen, this version derives closely from a stage production. It takes place before a painted backdrop, and neither the actors nor the camera moves a great deal. The cast's thick makeup has not been modified for the intimacy of film; some of it, like the bald caps on several of the men, verges on the grotesque. There is plenty of comic business, much of it drained of spontaneity. But Kenneth Sandford, as the most rigid of Pooh-Bahs, is very effective, such as when Ko-Ko remarks on "the awkwardness of your position" while Pooh-Bah raises only his lower half into a standing posture. The one real breath of comic energy, however, comes from John Reed's Ko-Ko. Diminutive and agitated, he breaks through the stodginess around him, kicking up his heels like a vaudevillian, coyly flirting with Katisha. Reed wonderfully sang the comic leads on those great '60s recordings; it's even more delightful to see him in action. --David Olivenbaum
Top Customer Reviews
If you have the lyrics memorized it might be comprehensible, as I was able to mostly follow along after finding a text copy of the lyrics/dialogue on the web. The first time I tried to watch it, I listened for about five minutes, realized I had no idea what the *#&@! they were saying, and started looking for other resources beacuse otherwise I was going to return it. No subtitles, more's the pity.
Frankly, it sounds like a typical Frumpies album: literally taped in someone's bathroom. It's musical, but with a ton of echo... maybe this was originally filmed in mono? The audio stream claims to be 2-channel Dolby. Impressively awful, whatever it is.
As for the video, it looks like it was filmed in Ektachrome, exposed to UV light for about twenty years, then soaked in water for another twenty. My inexpert guess is that it was actually filmed in Technicolor and not preserved very well, and whoever did the DVD transfer either did it from a poor VHS copy (unlikely) or didn't try to do any restoration/enhancement to the film transfer. A bit grainy, but the worst problem by far is the washed-out colors; everyone looks like they've been living in a cave, wearing the same clothes, for the last 40 years. Odd flashes of color, but it's mostly drab.
I recommend this one, but only because the vast majority of G&S video productions are horrid things guaranteed to induce agony and irritation.Read more ›
Donald Adams (The Mikado, The Pirate King) and Christene Palmer, who played all the mezzo soprano roles (Katisha, Buttercup and Ruth). These singers are at the top of their game on this film,
their voices are fresh and the performance is to die for. Phillip Potter is romantic as the minstrel son of the Mikado, Donald Adams is regial, Christene Palmer is an imperious and vengeful dragon lady, Valerie Masterson is sweet, youthful and charming as Yum-Yum. John Reed is as comical as ever.The Mikado is delivered here in the manner of Kabuki Japanese theatre. It really works. The authentic kimono wardrobe, music and poses from the actors gives the whole thing an artsy Japanese look. In addition, the camera does'nt move much, giving this a very staged and museum-style feel. Even if some say its campy, it does'nt diminish its value. It's a classic film that all Gilbert and Sullivan fans have to watch.
If you're just starting to learn about Gilbert & Sullivan, this is the very (indeed ONLY!!!) video to start off with. A must for any lover of G&S, of light opera, of true theatre, or for a truly classic video collection!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wasn't sure what to expect regarding its quality, but it turns out to be great! It was exactly what I was hoping it would be!Published 15 days ago by akdjh
Masterful Doyly Carte production. A must have for the serious collector features major principals from the Company circa 1960's.Published 2 months ago by Deacon
I saw this production with the identical cast in 1967in Los Angeles, and although I had no knowledge of G & S or any of the Savoy operettas I became an instant fan, and have... Read morePublished 10 months ago by ClassicalLover
In order to introduce a friend to The Mikado I viewed all the DVD versions I could find and chose this one. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Suki Robins
I was lucky enough to i see the D'Oyly Carte company perform "The Mikado" with this very cast when I lived in the Chicago area. Read morePublished 22 months ago by J. P.
This was a first-rate production, well filmed, well-sung and acted, with appropriate sets and costuming. I would have enjoyed seeing more of Ko-ko's prancing and dancing.Published on April 5, 2013 by O. Hedden
Unlike the corrupt 1939 movie version, this is the definitive record of a D'Oyly Carte production, at least circa 1952-1966. Read morePublished on October 8, 2012 by gesualdo
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