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The Pirates of Penzance

Not so much a movie as a straight lift from Joe Papp's Broadway stage production, this should of course be awful - a couple of Yankee pop stars (Ronstadt, Smith) camping up Gilbert and Sullivan. In fact, taken on its own terms, it's a near unqualified success, ironically because the camera illuminates the parts footlights fail to reach. Consequently, the show is strewn with throwaway sight gags absent from the stage version which, while mercifully never quite sliding into camp, serve to apply a much needed cattle prod to Messrs G & S. The sets are superb. La Ronstadt - despite a more than casual resemblance to Miss Piggy - makes Pamela Stephenson sound like Arthur Mullard; and Pirate King Kline is definitely the most dashing thing since Errol Flynn swung from his last chandelier.

Release details

Duration: 112 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Wilford Leach
Screenwriter: Wilford Leach
Cast: Kevin Kline
Angela Lansbury
Linda Ronstadt
George Rose
Rex Smith
Tony Azito
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