The Pirates of Penzance
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Joseph Papp's notion of staging one of Gilbert and Sullivan's best-loved operettas with two pop singers (Linda Ronstadt and Rex Smith) in the leads paid off as a surprise Broadway smash in the early 1980s, and this film faithfully reproduces Papp's production, featuring most of the original cast and the original director. Frederic (Smith) has been taught since childhood to be a sea-going bandit by the Pirate King (Kevin Kline), but with his 21st birthday imminent, Frederic wants to leave pirating behind, especially after he becomes infatuated with innocent Mabel (Ronstadt). But the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Gilbert & Sullivan's durable The Pirates of Penzance has been turned into an elaborate screen musical by basically the same hands responsible for Joseph Papp's smash New York Shakespeare Festival and Broadway stage production, and result is a delight."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Grand operatic fun with dashing Kline and wonderful supporting cast."
‑ Steve Crum,
"A delight, beautifully sung by Kline, Ronstadt and Lansbury"
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"There are too many attempts to single out particular performers when ensemble acting ought to prevail. That doesn't mean the leading players aren't appealing and accomplished, because they are."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Leach seems utterly mired in the staginess of it all -- a problem exacerbated by his insistence on presenting the film with patently unreal stage settings."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"The cast is charming, the sets intentionally stagy, and the musical performances fine."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Well made musical. Proof that Kline can do ANYTHING!"
‑ Michael A. Smith, Nolan's Pop Culture Review
More reviews for The Pirates of Penzance on Rotten Tomatoes

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