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Pre-Order Pirates of Penzance (1983) (Blu-ray) Available for Preorder (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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Lord Dalek

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Of all the versions of Joseph Papp's Pirates out there (the live video broadcast, the studio cast recording, etc.) this is probably the weakest.
 

Dick

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This is a hugely entertaining musical, and is deliberately filmed like a stage play with abstract sets and colorful, operatic characters. Kevin Kline and (yes) Linda Ronstadt star. Lots of fun. 2.35:1 stereo.
 

Bob Cashill

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I love it, and look forward to having the film (a pay per view experiment back then) on Blu.
 

BRAD1963

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They blew on this film by keeping in the sound stages and not taking outside. It was quite bland IMO.
 

Thomas T

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They blew on this film by keeping in the sound stages and not taking outside. It was quite bland IMO.

I liked the artificial stage look to it. Operettas, especially Gilbert & Sullivan, don't lend themselves to realism or natural settings. The 1939 film of The Mikado is also stage bound.
 
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Bob Cashill

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The look is precisely why I like it. It's extremely colorful and "stagey" in the best way, way better than most "opened out" musical films adapted from Broadway. The HD version that's streaming looks good so the Blu-ray should follow suit. A shame Wilford Leach, its Tony-winning director, never made more movies after this. (At Sarah Lawrence he mentored Brian De Palma, who named Phantom of the Paradise's "Winslow Leach" after him.)
 

KPmusmag

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I like the movie, and I am glad to have it on blu, but I wish they hadn't cut so much of the first act finale.
 

cinemiracle

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I loved the Broadway version with Patrick Cassidy in the title role. The film version with Kevin Kline is superb. Kline was also brilliant in ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY on Broadway .A pity that masterpiece of a musical was never filmed.
 
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nara

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Of all the versions of Joseph Papp's Pirates out there (the live video broadcast, the studio cast recording, etc.) this is probably the weakest.

I would agree. The video quality on the taped live broadcast is abysmal, but as a performance it's far superior to the film version.
 

Lord Dalek

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I would agree. The video quality on the taped live broadcast is abysmal, but as a performance it's far superior to the film version.
Yeah there was really no reason to cut 22 minutes out. Honestly if you don't mind the AV Quality, the Kultur dvd of the original Shakespeare in the Park production is the way to go.
 

Arthur Powell

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As a Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiast, I've never been able to warm to this film or to the Papps production in general. The synthesizer rendition of the music just sounds hideous to me. I might pick up this blu to give this film another chance under better viewing circumstances, but I have a feeling that I'll probably find myself wanting to listen to my D'Oyly Carte cds.

Since it was mentioned, I'll also add my voice to the general cry asking for a blu of "Thoroughly Modern Millie."
 

PMF

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I have a penchant for this singular Penzance;
but be it D'Oyly Carte or A la Carte, both works fine by me;
 
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cinemiracle

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I hope this bodes well for other Universal musical blu-ray releases like Flower Drum Song, Sweet Charity , Throughly Modern Millie, etc.
Fingers crossed!

SWEET CHARITY was released by Universal, last year in Europe on bluray and region free. Many extras incl the alternate ending.Stunning quality. I saw it many times in 70mm as it ran for 10 months where I live.
 

B-ROLL

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I have a penchant for this singular Penzance;
but be it D'Oyly Carte or A la Carte, both works fine by me;
Back in the "late 80s" D'Oyly Carte taped some G&S that were shown on The PBS. Those were quite good indeed IMHO I had recorded some on VHS but I right-sized them a while ago ...
 
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Arthur Powell

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Back in the "late 80s" D'Oyly Carte taped some G&S that were shown on The PBS. Those were quite good indeed IMHO I had recorded some on VHS but I right-sized them a while ago ...

You're referring to the Brent Walker series, and they weren't done by D'Oyly Carte (which I think had ceased to exist by that time). The original plan was to film the D'Oyly Carte performances, but Walker pulled out and opted to film the operettas without D'Oyly Carte participation (a few DOC veterans like Donald Adams do appear though). As a whole, they're a mixed lot with some being very good (Ruddigore, The Sorcerer), some mediocre (The Mikado, Iolanthe), and others unbelievably bad (HMS Pinafore). The casting at times was decidedly off-beat. In some cases, it worked wonderfully with the likes of Frank Gorshin and Vincent Price. However, it seemed like Frankie Howerd and Peter Marshall were competing for who was more deserving of the Razzie award with their work in HMS Pinafore. Still, I'm glad that the series was done.

For those interested, D'Oyly Carte did participate in a handful of film productions. The 1939 film of "The Mikado" sits somewhat in between a filmed stage production and a fully-thought out film adaptation. The 1966 film though is very much a filmed stage production. Some find it tedious to watch, but that's never been my experience. HMS Pinafore was filmed for a TV special in the 1970s, and again it's fun to view if you like the DOC performances. There's also an abridged animated version of Ruddigore for which the DOC provided a special soundtrack.
 
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