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Based on the long-running comic strip created by E.C. Segar (and less on the animated cartoons created by Max Fleischer, which were decidedly different in tone and approach), Popeye follows the sailor man with the mighty arms (played by Robin Williams in his first major film role) as he arrives in the seaside community of Sweethaven in search of his long-lost father. Popeye meets and quickly falls for the slender Olive Oyl (Shelley Duvall, in the role she was born to play), but Olive's hand has already been promised to the hulking Bluto (Paul Smith), of whom Olive can say little except,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The plotting of this 1980 feature -- outsider in a hostile environment -- is personal to Altman, though few of the feelings survive the clutter."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"He takes one of the most artificial and limiting of art forms -- the comic strip -- and raises it to the level of high comedy and high spirits."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A lot of it is klutzier than you may remember it being, and it leads to a wretched climax involving the fakest-looking octopus since Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"Most people hate this rambling, Robert Altman-directed comic strip movie, but I loved it as a kid and I still love it."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The fantastically cartoonish look isn't enough to compensate for the plodding story and overall disinterest I had in the characters."
‑ Ryan Cracknell, Apollo Guide
"It is more than faint praise to say that Popeye is far, far better than it might have been, considering the treacherous challenge it presented. But avoiding disaster is not necessarily the same as success."
‑ , Variety
"A thoroughly charming, immensely appealing mess of a movie, often high-spirited and witty, occasionally pretentious and flat, sometimes robustly funny and frequently unintelligible."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"I reeeeeaaaaaaalllllllyyyyyy hated this movie..."
‑ Stefan Birgir Stefansson, sbs.is
"The film's not much chop, but Williams is right at home as the spinach-swallowing sailor"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"Kooky and odd and brilliant in the most warped way imaginable."
‑ Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic.com
"You wonder how on earth Altman did it; equally often, you feel you are watching a wacky masterpiece, the like of which you've never seen before."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"An eccentric take on Popeye and friends."
‑ M. Faust, Common Sense Media
"A good idea gone down the drain under Altman's spotty direction."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Curious paring of Williams and Altman in a live action adaptation of the famous cartoon. Altman's odd sound techniques are not well suited for the material."
‑ Jonathan W. Hickman, Entertainment Insiders
"A wacky treat."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for Popeye on Rotten Tomatoes

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