The Pirates of Penzance
The Pirates of Penzance (1983)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: February 18, 1983
DVD Release Date: December 30, 2003
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Critic Score: 80% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

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.

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Steve Crum

Grand operatic fun with dashing Kline and wonderful supporting cast.

James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette

A delight, beautifully sung by Kline, Ronstadt and Lansbury

Janet Maslin
New York Times

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.

Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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.

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TV Guide

The cast is charming, the sets intentionally stagy, and the musical performances fine.

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Michael A. Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Well made musical. Proof that Kline can do ANYTHING!

More reviews for The Pirates of Penzance

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
Stagy but exuberant. The cast members give it their all.
Lafe Fredbjornson
Not as great as "The Pirate Movie" but still has enjoyable operetta music and fun scenes.
Red Lats
I was in the chorus of the Pirates of Penzance in high school, so I always wanted to see this to see if it stirred any memories. I hope our school version 45… More
meril lupin
Who would actually want to sit through this whole thing in one sitting I don't know; but it is still SO much fun (& Rex is so cute hahahahaha)!!
Mason Williams
I love this movie. Ever since seeing it when it came out in 1983 it has been a favorite of mine. If you love musicals you will enjoy it. Linda Ronstadt, Rex… More