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OK, show of hands: Who wants Popeye (1980) on DVD?


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74 replies to this topic

#1 of 75 Scott Weinberg

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Posted June 01 2002 - 08:46 AM

I know there are a handful of insane people (like me) who are dying to see this movie released on DVD.

Strikes against it:

Critical flop.

Box-office bomb.

Co-production between Disney and Paramount. (Not sure who currently owns home video rights.)

Potential "rights issues" with any/all of the music (although this may not be an issue, since all the songs were written for the film.)

Reasons it should be released:

At this point in his roller-coaster career, Robert Altman is particularly respected. (Yes, he's always been respected, but Gosford Park did a lot for his visibility.)

It's one of the most criminally underrated (and original) comic adaptations ever.

Robin Williams.

Much like other highly vilified movies (aka Hudson Hawk, Ishtar and 1941), Popeye has a loyal fanbase. If Popeye isn't a cult flick, I don't know what is!

--

Look, I can clearly see why this one was a flop. It's odd and weird and not really a "kid's" flick. But I figure if people (again, like me) get excited for 'niche' releases like Krull, Killer Klowns and UHF, then Popeye surely deserves its day on DVD.

Considering the reportedly difficult production and subsequent thrashings this movie received, I'd pay an extra 25 bucks for a Robert Altman commentary. Posted Image

Somebody back me up here!

#2 of 75 HenrikTull

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Posted June 01 2002 - 08:56 AM

Posted Image

Okay. I'd buy a copy.
A Little Slice of Heaven

#3 of 75 Rob Lutter

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Posted June 01 2002 - 09:06 AM

I'd buy it Posted Image

yug ga ga ga ga. Posted Image

#4 of 75 David Lambert

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Posted June 01 2002 - 09:07 AM

Posted Image

What an idea! Count me in.
DAVE/Memphis, TN

...Want to see your favorite show on DVD?

#5 of 75 Scott Weinberg

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Posted June 01 2002 - 09:11 AM

Henrik and Rob are officially now my good friends. After posting my original comments, I did a little snooping around and discovered some fascinating goodies:

Near the end of the 1970's, Producer Robert Evans commissioned screenwriter (and political cartoonist, novelist, and playwright) Jules Feiffer to write a script for a live action version of "Popeye." The script was passed from one director to another (including Hal Ashby, Arthur Penn and Mike Nichols) before Robert Altman ("M*A*S*H", "Nashville") ended up heading the project. At one point Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin were signed on as Popeye and Olive.

Altman took the cast and crew to Anchor Bay on the island of Malta. Over 100 men worked seven months to construct the Popeye set. Wood had to be imported from Canada...The climatic octopus fight was filmed in Fifla. The Sweethaven set still stands in Anchor Bay as a tourist attraction.

"If you watch it backwards, it has a plot." -- Robin Williams
Posted Image

(Thanks to the Harry Nilsson (composer) website for this groovy info.)



#6 of 75 Mark Bendiksen

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Posted June 01 2002 - 09:17 AM


I remember a comedy bit by Robin Williams where he imagines a conversation with his own child:

Robin Williams: What's the matter? "POPEYE" wasn't good enough for you?

His Kid: "POPEYE" wasn't good enough for anybody!

Regardless, I still have an odd affection for the movie. Williams and Duvall are definitely alot of fun in it.

Posted Image


#7 of 75 Mark_TS

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Posted June 01 2002 - 09:20 AM

quote: "...Altman took the cast and crew to Anchor Bay on the island of Malta...."
-----
Maybe ANCHOR BAY would be interested-whatta scoop!Posted Image

PARAMOUNT moves glacially, and way too cautiously.
It would be great if theyd released this.
Dont forget SHELLY DUVALL-she makes a sweet OLIVE OYL.

NEXT: if FOX will release the classic THREE WOMEN.
The Official HTF 'elitist' lol....
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#8 of 75 Scott Weinberg

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Posted June 01 2002 - 09:40 AM

Mark TS,

Hey, yeah! Anchor Bay! That's gotta be karma.

Dave,

You're my friend too. I was posting when you offered your support. Posted Image

Mark B,

You're absolutely right about Duvall. She's a tad creepy as Olive, but I mean that in a good way. She was born to play this role. And let's not forget a supporting cast that includes Ray Walston, Paul Dooley, Paul L. Smith, Richard Libertini, Donovan Scott, Linda Hunt, Dennis Franz and the painfully adorable Wesley Ivan Hurt as Swee'Pea. Posted Image

#9 of 75 MartinTeller

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Posted June 01 2002 - 10:03 AM

Quote:
I'd pay an extra 25 bucks for a Robert Altman commentary.


After suffering through his painfully boring commentary on The Player, I wouldn't pay an extra quarter.

This is one few Robin Williams movies I can stomach, though. I might buy it if it were bargain priced.

#10 of 75 Matthew Chmiel

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Posted June 01 2002 - 10:10 AM

Okay, the following people should be commited to the insane asylum:

Scott Weinberg
HenrikTull
RobLutter
David Lambert
and so on and so on.

Posted Image

I don't think I would buy a copy of Popeye unless it had a low SRP (and we're talking low here Posted Image), but I will admit that it's one of Altman's better films. Posted Image


#11 of 75 ScottR

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Posted June 01 2002 - 10:37 AM

Didn't Popeye do reasonably well during its theatrical run? I remember seeing it and Airplane! around the same time, and people were talking a lot about both.

#12 of 75 Brad M

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Posted June 01 2002 - 10:56 AM

Thank you for starting this thread! I didn't have the guts. My friends all think I'm nuts because I think this movie rules! When I was asked what I thought of Moulin Rouge I told whoever, "It was no Popeye." Bring it on! Maybe I'll get to see that scene near the end that they squeezed into a pan & scan shot in it's OAR. Popeye was very strange looking in that shot. Bring it on!!! I want to hear Bluto sing "I'm mean, I'm mean, I'm mean, you know what I mean" in DD 5.1. YES! YES! The horse racing scene would rule on my sound system! SCREW STAR WARS, I WANT POPEYE AND I WANT IT NOW!!

Where's the Tylenol?
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#13 of 75 Michael Harris

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Posted June 01 2002 - 11:56 AM

I want it too. Considering all the trash that he has been in, its too bad that Robin Williams has practically disowned this movie. Heck, I think it was his best role next to the "Fisher King" (where is that one?) and Shelly Duvall was absolutely perfectly cast.

#14 of 75 Bruce Hedtke

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Posted June 01 2002 - 11:57 AM

Sign me up. While it's no masterpiece, I would love to see the boxing match scene again.

Bruce
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#15 of 75 Bill Crosthwait

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Posted June 01 2002 - 12:01 PM

I want this movie on DVD too!!!!!!!!
Count me in.
Bill



My Collection at DVD Profiler

#16 of 75 Gui A

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Posted June 01 2002 - 12:27 PM

This is the very first movie my parents took me to see in a theater.
I would like to see it a second time, now that I am a bit more coherent and aware of my surroundings...

#17 of 75 Kelley_B

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Posted June 01 2002 - 12:49 PM

I love the Popeye movie, the soundtrack is great.

#18 of 75 Matt Wallace

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Posted June 01 2002 - 01:00 PM

I'm SO there, man!! One of my first theatrical experiences and something that I would pay for at almost any price. I mean, what's the cost of your childhood memories? Bring on the Spinach!

Matt
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#19 of 75 Scott Weinberg

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Posted June 01 2002 - 02:06 PM

After suffering through his painfully boring commentary on The Player, I wouldn't pay an extra quarter.

Good point, Martin, but I'm just fascinated by this film, both its production and audience/critical reaction. Maybe Altman could record a commentary alongside Robin Williams. Posted Image

Didn't Popeye do reasonably well during its theatrical run? I remember seeing it and Airplane! around the same time, and people were talking a lot about both.

Good question, Scott. From the info I could gather, the budget for Popeye was 20 million bucks (although I'm betting it was more than that), and its total domestic gross was just over 41 million - and it made another 25 million through home video rentals. (These figures come from www.the-numbers.com , which I consider a fairly reliable source.)

So by these numbers, it seems clear that Popeye was fairly profitable. Perhaps this one just suffered from high expectations, but I think any movie that makes double its budget back is anything but a flop.

Everybody else,

Thank you for joining my Popeye support group. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one suffering from this embarrassing malady. Posted Image

#20 of 75 PatrickL

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Posted June 01 2002 - 03:04 PM

Scott - you're right, Popeye was profitable. For a time, Altman could be counted on to froth at the mouth whenever an interviewer labeled it a box-office failure. But it *was* a financial disappointment, considering the expectations and the perceived potential, and it effectively killed studio interest in Altman for a long time. Hey, it's been over twenty years and I still can't believe it's on Altman's resume.

You bet I'd buy it: it's bizarre and one-of-a-kind. Sad to say I don't think most of it works, but then there are parts that have a fresh goofy charm that a more conventional director wouldn't have gone for. For instance, when Olive Oyl sings "He Needs Me" way off key, sluggishly twirling around in those clumsy shoes, you get a kick from how silly *and* sweet it is.

But this "family film" has got to be OAR! This movie suffers miserably panned and scanned - especially for some of the scenes of Sweethaven where various denizens are doing different things within the wide frame.

Scott, I've always been a big fan of Altman's films so I have a good deal of memorabilia from Popeye. Welcome to the padded room!