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The Story Of Gilbert and Sullivan NR CC

Available on Prime
4.1 out of 5 stars (41) IMDb 7.3/10

The sometimes stormy partnership between Gilbert and Sullivan brought about the creation of many well-loved comic operas, such as "Trial By Jury", "H.M.S. Pinafore", "The Pirates of Penzance", "Iolanthe". In HD.

Starring:
Robert Morley, Maurice Evans
Runtime:
1 hour, 45 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Musical
Director Sidney Gilliat
Starring Robert Morley, Maurice Evans
Supporting actors Eileen Herlie, Martyn Green, Peter Finch, Dinah Sheridan, Isabel Dean, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Muriel Aked, Michael Ripper, Bernadette O'Farrell, Ann Hanslip, Eric Berry, Yvonne Marsh, Lloyd Lamble, Ian Wallace, Owen Brannigan, Richard Warner, Perlita Neilson, Charlotte Mitchell
Studio Canal Plus
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas are gaining popularity and the delightful music rings loud and strong throughout the USA. The story of this collaboration has been told two times to my knowledge, the first being `The Story of Gilbert & Sullivan' made in England during the early 1950's with a strong cast. It was well directed, the acting was first class with the photography giving it authentic and colorful images set to light semi-classical music. The film was a delight to watch! But for some reason the film has not kept up with technology and alas has not been transferred to DVD let alone High Definition/BluRay.

The reason I am writing this message is that I am hoping that someone will realize that it is about time `The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan' is taken out of the last century and released in all its glamour and glory it deserves. One has only to check the number of Gilbert and Sullivan societies that are popping up to ponder the reason we are accepting such mediocre, unintelligent and deafening noise we suffer as acceptable entertainment. If you haven't seen `The Story of Gilbert & Sullivan' you have missed a gem that would make you smile for many months and if you are like me, years of pleasant memories.

The more recent release of the Gilbert and Sullivan story entitled `Topsy-Turvy' is excellent in may ways in that it tackles a number of problems besetting both Gilbert and Sullivan in their private lives along with the production of `The Mikado' from Gilbert's point of view. It is a wonderful and thoughtful production of behind the scenes problems of many of the characters, also well worth seeing. Topsy-Turvy is released in all glory with the latest technology into DVD and BluRay.

It would be nice if the 1950's story was kept up to date before it's too late. (I think Gilbert would like that.)
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It's astonishing that "The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan" (1953) is not more readily available -- it has never been issued as a DVD and the VHS version is barely held by any libraries, at least in the Chicago area. So streaming the movie through Amazon Prime is virtually the only way for anyone to see it. And it's well worth the effort for G & S fans -- an overview of their careers together, as opposed to Mike Leigh's wonderful "Topsy Turvy", which focuses on the creation of "The Mikado." Robert Morley couldn't be more perfectly cast as Gilbert, and Maurice Evans is wonderful as Sullivan. The story is told with reasonable accuracy for a biopic (the co-author of the screenplay wrote a major biography of G & S) and yet with a strong sense of drama and pacing. The ending actually moved me to tears. One of the reasons to see "The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan" is the setpieces depicting scenes from their comic operas. Especially fine is the "Trial by Jury" segment, shrewdly adapted so that it feels like the whole piece is being shown in maybe ten minutes. Martyn Green, a famous D'Oyly Carte Company member, plays the comic leads, committing his important interpretations of these parts to film. You know, maybe I should have given this movie 5 stars, not 4!
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Format: Amazon Video
These operas are timeless, and it's high time for the DVD HD release, for goodness sake. Our educational system is sorely lacking, and pieces such as this would help. I, for one, could watch this over and over again, which is why video streaming is not for me.

The story of Gilbert & Sullivan is fascinating, and Martyn Green lived and breathed his characters. No one does it better, and his Jack Point will tear at your heartstrings. His Lord Chancellor and Major General will make your heart sing, as will the music and lyrics of the great Gilbert & Sullivan. May they live on forever.
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By the standards of the 1950s, this is surprisingly accurate for a biopic. It does omit Mrs. Ronalds, as well as all mention of PRINCESS IDA, UTOPIA LIMITED, THE GRAND DUKE, and -- except for a few incidental images of Oscar Wilde and, unless I heard wrong, a snatch of music near the end, PATIENCE. But of the other operas, it not only uses generous excerpts, it uses them in a wide variety of ways, always to enhance the storyline; e.g., juxtaposing the start of the Carpet Quarrel in a backstage office at the Savoy with "In a contemplative fashion" being sung onstage. Such liberties as this movie takes with history, it takes with a view of creating a lively story, and in that it succeeds very well. I heartily enjoyed everyone's performance. While not the research tour de force 1999's TOPSY TURVY is -- you probably wouldn't want to give THE STORY OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN a serious and earnest footnote in any paper of pure scholarship -- it nevertheless remains highly enjoyable.
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Sullivan's point of view of his musical career with Gilbert done in the style of a Gilbert and Sullivan musical. That part I found cute. Not enough of his childhood and I expected a movie triangle of them tangling over some girl. The conflict was that Sullivan felt the theater was beneath him, but to make up enough money to marry, he went ahead and sold music to the theater, and that is how he got started.. Dry and not enough content vs. good music and cleverness to put a boring life into the same style as they music they wrote. Worth watching for the musical numbers..
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