The Pirates of Penzance

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Released 1983

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Movie Summary

Director:
Wilford Leach
Released:
1983
Rating:
G
The Pirates of Penzance is a 1983 film adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic comic operetta of the same name. The film stars Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt, Rex Smith, and Angela Lansbury in a story about an unusual crew of upper-class pirates, and one young man town between his life as a pirate and a budding romance. Smith plays Frederic, a young man from an aristocratic English family. When he reaches apprenticeship age, his nursemaid, Ruth (Lansbury), is told to find Frederic an apprenticeship as a pilot. Ruth mishears her instructions, and instead finds the young man an apprenticeship as a pirate. The Pirates of Penzance are a feared gang of orphaned nobleman. The pirates are led by The Pirate King (Kevin Kline). The Pirate King may not be the fiercest pirate around, but he undoubtedly has the best fashion sense. As Frederic nears his 21st birthday, the age that marks the end of his apprenticeship, the truth comes out about his nursemaid's blunder and Frederic winds up caught in the middle of a brewing battle between the outlaws he's lived with for so many years and the English aristocracy he once belonged to. The Pirates of Penzance is a must-see for musical fans, full of fantastic musical numbers and hilarious characters.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 75

    The Associated Press Bob Thomas

    The Pirates of Penzance is not for everyone. Gilbert and Sullivan purists, beware. Rock fans, watch out. But for those who like a rollicking good show, full of inspired silliness a...

  • 70

    Time Out

    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...

  • 63

    Miami Herald Bill Cosford

    The movie is happy and bright and thoroughly nice, and every now and then it's loud and funny and at least as large as life. And it could have been larger, and better. [22 Feb 1983...

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