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William Schwenck Gilbert is the librettist, writing the words. Arthur Sullivan is the composer, writing the music. Gilbert is the very model of a 19th-century British gentleman, an overly proper married man certain that he knows best. For nearly a decade, Gilbert and Sullivan's collaborations have delighted the English people. Their popular comic operas have recouped handsomely for the successful Savoy Theatre... But, in 1884, as a London heat wave cuts into the theater trade, their latest work, "Princess Ida," receives lukewarm press. Sullivan rejects Gilbert's next idea as… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[A] beautifully crafted and lively romp around the 1880s stage world."
‑ Deborah Young, Variety
"The film is a delight and a surprise, all the more so since Leigh is associated with gritty working-class stories."
‑ Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle
"Leigh's strict attention to detail and his uncommon method of involving his actors in the creative process of forming the script infuses life into material that could have easily become another stiff, British period production"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"There is not an unrealized or extraneous character in the film, and I can't remember a movie that so completely studies the intricacies of bringing a production to the stage."
‑ Joe Lozito, Big Picture Big Sound
"... an enlightening exploration of how artists must sometimes journey into unknown territory before they find inspiration enough to keep from repeating themselves."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Leigh's cast are beyond compare, and the whole bighearted, splendidly droll celebration of the entertainer's lot surely stands among British cinema's one-of-a-kind treasures."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Not your normal period piece, to be sure."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"The sense of a work of art coming to life has rarely been more beautifully or excitingly portrayed. This is a film not to be missed."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"The real magic of this film is in the way most of the characters skillfully navigate their way around each other's sizable but fragile egos."
‑ Ron Wells, Film Threat
"Criado, em boa parte, através de improvisação (tradição de Leigh), o filme tem várias subtramas que jamais se resolvem - mas é interessante, especialmente ao mostrar os bastidores de um espetáculo em produção."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"If you are a Gilbert and Sullivan buff, you will be in heaven. If you are not, the first thing you will need to know is that the film is nearly three hours long."
‑ Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle
"The year's least likely, most infectious tour de force."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"A great study on the struggle to create live theater, containing beautiful musical sequences and fantastic portrayals of the musical's creators."
‑ Bob Grimm, Sacramento News & Review
"Leigh has handcrafted a big production and succeeds, mostly, in entertaining the viewer to the end -- especially for fans of Gilbert and Sullivan."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Quite simply the best backstage musical ever made, and then some."
‑ Leonard Schwarz, Palo Alto Weekly
More reviews for Topsy-Turvy on Rotten Tomatoes