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The Pirates of Penzance
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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.
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.
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This 1983 movie musical is a family favorite! It's a film version of Joseph Papp's 1980 stage production, and it features most of the original cast. Read morePublished 20 hours ago by Rebekah A
Amazing voices, especially Linda Ronstadt, and wonderful acting by all. I have watched this video at least 6 times.Published 2 days ago by David A. Young
the actual stage play is better. I had few, good, memorable songs. My girls sat through it since I claimed it was classic, but it's hard to follow, very repetitive and at times... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Cynthia Murray
Been looking for thos on Dvd for a long time andffinally found it and got it. One of my favorite movies!Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a VERY RARE recording/video from the early '80s. Kevin Kline is great, and so is Linda Ronstadt (it's sad that she can't sing anymore).Published 22 days ago by David L Miller
A family favorite for years. My five children loved it when they were young, and enjoy it even more so now that they are adults. Very entertaining.Published 23 days ago by Kathleen M Watson
From a bygone era that should remain bygone. Combines worst of 1940s and 1970s. Yeeeeeech!Published 23 days ago by Doctor Quick
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|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
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
|Close Caption||Be the first to reply|
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