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The Pirates of Penzance

4.6 out of 5 stars 558 customer reviews

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(Sep 14, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

The Pirates of Penzance, Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic musical comedy of mistaken identity, comes swashbuckling to the screen with all the laughs, songs and stars that made it a long-running Broadway smash! Kevin Kline reprises his Tony Award winning role along with Angela Lansbury, Linda Ronstadt, George Rose and Rex Smith in the story of a roguish pirate king and his adventurous young charge who explore the coastline in search of treasure and romance. Digitally remastered for optimum picture quality, it’s a fresh, funny and colorful extravaganza that’s the very model of a modern movie musical.

Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury, Linda Ronstadt, George Rose, Rex Smith
    • Directors: Wilford Leach
    • Writers: Wilford Leach
    • Producers: Joseph Papp, Edward R. Pressman
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
    • Subtitles: English
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: G (General Audience)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010
    • Run Time: 112 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (558 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00005JM6A
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,388 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Pirates of Penzance" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
    Unlike a previous reviewer, I am a long-time Gilbert and Sullivan lover who loved this movie--I first saw it some 15 years ago, and I waited for many years for it to come out on video. Needless to say, when I finally bought a VCR, I bought this as soon as I could find it.
    The three key roles in Pirates are the Major General, the Pirate King, and the Sergeant of Police. All are well cast here. Tony Azito has a bit less vocal heft than a true Savoyard would like in the Police Sergeant's role, but he is superb at the physical comedy the role demands. George Rose is a superb Major General (that's, in Anna Russell's immortal phrase, "the little man who prances around and sings the patter song.") Best of all, Kevin Kline turns in a terrific performance as the Pirate King, showing once again what a wonderfully versatile actor he is.
    Of the rest of the cast, Linda Rondstadt and Rex Smith, as the young lovers, are good. As Mabel, Rondstadt's job is primarily to sing with gusto, which she certainly does. G&S purists may be annoyed by Smith's casting as Frederic, since he does not have the pure tenor voice the role calls for, but he acquits himself well in the comic moments.
    All in all, this is a movie to be enjoyed over and over. And for any of you out there who don't like it, a suitable penalty has been prepared. Something with boiling oil in it, I fancy. Yes, boiling oil or molten lead.
    2 Comments 180 of 190 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: VHS Tape
    I can't add to much to what others have already said. Too many G&S traditionalists have lost sight of what great fun this piece can be, but this production gets it right! Like others, I'd single out Kevin Klein, Linda Rondstadt, and Tony Azito for special praise. George Rose, a G&S veteran, is also excellent. Other characters are equally good - and especially Mabel's sisters. Although most of the principles are the same as in the Broadway production, one positive move was adding Angela Lansbury to play Ruth
    So, what's not perfect? I have the CD of the Broadway production and it's obvious this video was edited to fit a broadcast time slot. The additions at the end are funny, but it's disappointing that they cut one verse of the Major General's song and several of the prettiest and/or more amusing bits by Mabel and her sisters. I'm even disappointed that they didn't include "Sorry Her Lot", which isn't really from PofP, but is on the Broadway CD and works perfectly in context. I understand why they did it, but I don't have to like it.
    Also, as almost everyone else has said, WHERE'S THE DVD?!? I'm a little better off than most since I have it on a LaserDisc, but a DVD would be more convenient (and besides, I could play it on my computer while I'm working).
    The bottom line... My list of favorite films has remained fairly stable for at least the past decade. Every so often a new film or video comes along to join the top 10, and a few inevitably drop off. However, I can't imagine this production ever droping out of even my top 5.
    2 Comments 90 of 100 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    By A Customer on June 30, 2000
    Format: VHS Tape
    I first saw this when Rex Smith was a heart throb. In fact, if it were not for Rex and Linda being in this show, I would not have watched it at all because I was a fan of theirs. Thanks to them, I became introduced to a whole new world: the outrageous world of Gilbert and Sullivan.
    Linda amazes me that she can hit that high note and her innocent facial expressions are to die for!
    I still to this day love Rex Smiths voice in this movie, and it takes me back to the good old days of innocent fandom. Rex Smith updated this movie enough to make it live in the present, even though it was set in the past. He was fresh, innocent and I loved his facial expressions as well!
    Kevin Kline unexpectedly took my breath away. (What a MAN.. at least in this movie)He can kidnap me any day as long as he stays in THIS character role!
    I found myself amazed at Tony Azito's agility which was hilarious and George Rose was fabulous as well. I found myself trying to sing as fast as he could. He almost challenges you to keep up with him and he also wears you out listening to him! A real delight!
    Angela breaks my heart.. because she is SO GOOD! Her charactor is so real that I found myself feeling what her character felt. That is great acting!
    Ok.. so some people don't like Rex (although why? I don't know..), but let me tell you this: If Rex had not been in the lead, many young people of MY day would not have been introduced to Gilbert and Sullivan. That would be the biggest shame of all.
    3 Comments 75 of 83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This version of Pirates of Penzance has always been rather amazing. Rex Smith's strong tenor vocals, Lind Ronstadt's surprisingly stunning soprano and Kevin Kline's aerobatic, physical, and vocal antics. It's just ridiculously silly, and the tiny touches that each actor adds,(which could only be captured by a camera and by viewing multiple times) makes this version of the operetta, just a festival of fun.
    Not unlike Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, Kevin Kline as the Pirate King, is a scene stealer. If you just spend the whole film watching his unscripted mannerisms with his face, his movement and his blocking, he is really as funny as anything else that was written into the script. He supports any dull
    moments in the play. If you are losing interest at any time(which I would doubt)
    just look to Kevin and he's hamming it up for the camera in every scene. I'd say he's just a master of shenanigans and for a piece like this, it's priceless.

    I have been waiting for a DVD version of this to show up since I heard about DVD's and finally, someone heard our pleas and really did this DVD up right.
    In WIDE-SCREEN, FINALLY, the film seems virtually brand new. There was so much
    chopped off in the VHS presentation, that seeing it now on DVD, I hardly recognize it. It's Just like seeing for the first time. And the enhancement of the print is STUNNING. Now we can actually see the film the way it was intended. The colors are dazzling; the pastels on the beautiful sets, combined with the vibrant costuming and full scope of the lens, makes this DVD version just lovely to look at.
    Additionally, the enhanced and obviously remastered soundtrack is a JOY!
    Watching the VHS tape for years, there were tons of lyrics I never understood.
    Read more ›
    Comment 30 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Sign the petition for DVD release
    GREAT NEWS. I have a family member in the industry and learned today that Pirates of Penzance (yes,the movie) will be released by Universal on DVD September 14, 2010. The picture and sound have been completely remastered for quality. No word yet on a possible Blu-ray, expect a formal announcement... Read More
    Jun 8, 2010 by R. Siegel |  See all 22 posts
    Ws sub dol
    I'm assuming that
    Sub=Subtitles available
    Dol= Dolby 'something' (in regards to the sound, so like Dolby Surround, or something along those lines)

    Again, that's just me assuming
    Jun 20, 2010 by Silvermoon |  See all 3 posts
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