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The Pirates of Penzance [DVD]

Kevin Kline , Patricia Routledge , William Leach    Exempt   DVD
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: 17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Pirates of Penzance [DVD] + Gilbert & Sullivan: Box Set (Mikado/ Gondoliers/ Hms Pinafore/ Trial By Jury/ Patience) [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] + Topsy Turvy [DVD] [2000]
Price For All Three: 39.53

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Product details

  • Actors: Kevin Kline, Patricia Routledge, Linda Ronstadt, Rex Smith
  • Directors: William Leach
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Broadway Classics
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Aug 2011
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005FKNC64
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,055 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A grand production of one of Gilbert and Sullivan's favourite operas. The story of Frederic who was apprenticed to a band of pirates. By the end of the opera, the pirates, a major general, his large family of beautiful but unwed daughters, and the local constabulary all contribute to a cacophony of of music and laughter.


...delivers a dizzying amount of pleasure in a unique piece of art and spectacle. --New York Times

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear! Almost Pirated quality 7 Dec 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, I ordered this DVD believing that at last the DVD of the film was available. At first sight it had the same cast as the delightful film. The quality of the recording was poor at best, it sounded tinny and was very dark. I returned it immediately - thank you for the refund - and will order the DVD of the actual film if ever it becomes available. I would mention I know of other people who would like this film.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
And sing very well, Patricia Routledge does in the role of Ruth, the Piratical-Maid-of-All-Work.

This 1980 production, performed with enthusiasm, is actually very difficult to rate, because it varies between delightful and just plain awful. I think the easiest way to explain it is with Amazon's star method, beginning with five ***** & working my way down to one *.

***** Kevin Kline, as the Pirate King, commands the stage, and even though his voice is not always in top form (The fault may be the sound recording, which is just plain awful.), he is very funny. He moves lithely, as a Pirate King should, and his comic timing is perfect.
***** "With Catlike Tread/Come friends and plough the sea!" is a knockout! One wants to join the audience in stand-up applause.
***** Major General Stanley's patter song, "I am the very model of a modern major general" is splendid (although I didn't care for his rather nasal "Orphan boy" rendition).

**** Patricia Routledge portrays a believable 47-year old ex-nursery maid, who, hard of hearing, has apprenticed young Frederick, not to a pilot, but to a pirate (because of the vocal limitations of Frederick, the wonderful duet, in which Frederick berates her for deceiving him as to her beauty, fell flat. When performed to perfection, it emerges as a Sullivan spoof on Azucena and Manrico in Verdi's "Il Trovatore".

*** 1/2: Linda Rondstadt portrays an engaging Mabel, when she is singing with her light soprano 'head' voice, and resists the temptation to belt it out (as in "Go ye heroes, go to glory" in act two); her Donizetti-like staccato with the flute in "Poor Wandering One" is really quite pleasant; and she also looks as if she has stepped out of a sentimental Victorian painting.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 12 Nov 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you think, as I did, that this is the film version of Pirates with Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt which was produced many years ago, beware! This is a stage version filmed whilst playing to a live audience and is very poor quality. Patricia Routledge gives a rousing performance but it's not the same as the original.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyous Pirates in the Park - but expensive! 6 Dec 2011
This review is from: Gilbert & Sullivan - the Pirates of Penzance [DVD] [1983] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)

This joyous experience is the original Delacorte Theater production of 1980, in which Kevin Kline and company exploded onto the stage - and into theatrical history.

Forget the absence of Angela Lansbury - Patricia Routledge is far better. Forget the claim of its being the Broadway version - it isn't. Forget the criticism of its technical quality. No, it does not have the Technicolor brilliance of the film version. Remastered by Kultur from the only remaining and very poor quality video recording, it is certainly not up to today's standards, but NOT as bad as some suggest. And for sheer talent, energy, originality and delight, it is unbeatable,(although possibly not at this price!) a theatrical firework display, and one in which we can also enjoy the audience's delight at the pyrotechnics offered.

Joseph Papp set out to rescue this G&S from the weight of a century of English tradition and to bring back the freshness and fun of the original. Perhaps - and I speak as a Brit - only an American boot up the backside of this English whimsy could have succeeded. And succeed it does, brilliantly, hilariously, exquisitely.

A young Mr Kline, delectable in purple breeches, black top boots and slashed-to-the-waist white shirt, is a Pirate King to die for, (yes, okay, I'm in love!) - dominating the stage with both voice and presence, whilst Linda Ronstadt makes a demurely charming, and musically acrobatic Mabel. If not really up to the vocal demands of the role, Rex Smith is still an attractive, likeable, Frederic, with a nice gift for comedy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Quality.... 29 Dec 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This truly is the most terrible quality and almost seems pirated. It is not the film as I hoped but a filmed version of the play which is almost unwatchable. I will be returning to Amazon and asking for a refund. Very disappointed in Amazon for selling something of such poor quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars pirates of penzance 17 Sep 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
very poor quality, it was like an amateur had filmed it on their I phone from the back of a very dark theater. I was very disappointed with it as this is one of my favourite operas.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Pirates of Penzance 5 April 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I thought I was buying for my husbands birthday who is a great Gilbert and Sutherland fan the film of the Pirates but instead it is a poor quality stage version. I was very disappointed. I would have been happy if the quality had been good but it's terrible.I verges on a pirate copy no pun intended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good performances -appalling recording quality 26 Mar 2014
By Colin
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As stated in previous reviews the quality of recording fails to achieve "mobile phone in cinema" standards. It is unwatchable and listenable only if you are nostalgic for cassette tape range and hiss.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very good screen and adaptation.
I have seen various versions of this play. That includes local colleges and major productions. This version can hold its own against any of the other interpretations. Read more
Published 6 months ago by bernie
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful quality
Film quality very poor, outdoors setting made lighting difficult, felt like a bad u-tube entry, and spoilt what must have been a very good production with excellent performances... Read more
Published 6 months ago by bookworm
1.0 out of 5 stars Great stars - terrible recording
I put this DVD on my wish list this Christmas thinking it was the one I had seen a few years ago. The stars were the same, except Patricia Routledge in place of Angela Lansbury. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Robinson
1.0 out of 5 stars Please read before Purchasing
In line with the other 1-star reviews herein, the packaging is unprofessional and shockingly cheap, the DVD has no subtitles and the audio is dreadful. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Pirate King
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning stuff
A friend of mine is singing in an amateur production of this epic show and wanted to find out how it is done Kevin Kline is the man to show you.
Published 7 months ago by Linnaeus
5.0 out of 5 stars cheesy production, awful recording, BRILLIANT FUN.
The sound is tinny and 'thin', the picture is - let's be honest here - not good.
And I'm pretty sure that Sullivan's score was never meant to be played by a band lead by a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by meggie
2.0 out of 5 stars quality is horrible
show is very very funny though, Enjoy Hyacinth Bucket as the pirate queen, hilarious. Rex Smith is okay, Kevin Kline superb !
Published 10 months ago by PC
1.0 out of 5 stars atrocious quality
The video quality of the recording is as poor as the illustration on the cover of the box it comes in - it is horrendous. Read more
Published 11 months ago by n mcnicholas
3.0 out of 5 stars Production and Singers Good - Quality Poor
I enjoyed the production and the music was good but the picture quality was poor as it was filmed in a theatre and wasn't the original production of the movie which had all these... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Roberta Burke
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I must have misread the blurb because I expected it to be the movie but instead it was just a filming of the stage performance.
Published 15 months ago by M McClure
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