Popeye - The Movie (1980) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Popeye - The Movie (1980).rtf
Popeye: The Movie (1980)
Buff sailorman Popeye arrives in an awkward seaside town called Sweet Haven. There he meets Wimpy, a hamburger loving man, Olive Oyl, the soon-to-be love of his life, and Bluto, a huge, mean pirate who's out to make Sweet Haven pay for no good reason. Popeye also discovers his long lost Pappy in the middle of it all, so with a band of his new friends, Popeye heads off to stop Bluto, and he's got the power of spinach, which Popeye detests, to busk Bluto right in the mush. Watch as Popeye mops the floor with punks in a burger joint, stops a greedy tax man, takes down a champion boxer, and even finds abandoned baby Swee'Pea. He's strong to the finich, 'cause he eats his spinach!
Robin Williams ... Popeye
Shelley Duvall ... Olive Oyl
Ray Walston ... Poopdeck Pappy
Paul Dooley ... Wimpy
Paul L. Smith ... Bluto
Richard Libertini ... Geezil
Donald Moffat ... The Taxman
MacIntyre Dixon ... Cole Oyl
Roberta Maxwell ... Nana Oyl
Donovan Scott ... Castor Oyl
Allan F. Nicholls ... Rough House (as Allan Nicholls)
Wesley Ivan Hurt ... Swee'pea
I see that lots of people hate this movie. I guess I can see why. It's so idiosyncratic, so loose, so out there, so...Altman. But this is truly one of the sweetest, gentlest, and most tender movies I have ever seen. This movie can be enjoyed if for no other reason than for its total lack of irony. Like Popeye, it is what it is. And I believe it to be a masterpiece.
This was Robin Williams first serious movie role (2 full years before Garp) and he is a brilliant Popeye. He brings so much humanity and pathos to this character that it is easy to see the great movies in his future. Shelly Duval was born to play Olive Oyl and she does not squander the role of a lifetime. And in a smaller role, a standout performance is turned in Bill Irwin as Ham, Olive's bumbling, stumbling, clown of an ex-boyfriend.
The real star of the show, however, is the atmosphere that Altman conjures up, bringing the 2d comic strip vividly to life and setting you down in this magical little island town of Sweet Haven. Harry Nilssons score is pitch perfect and his songs help to sketch out the characters motives and emotions ("He Needs Me", sung by Duvall, is currently being revived thanks to it's being prominently featured in PT Anderson's "Punch Drunk Love").
One more thing about this movie- I can watch it with my three year old son and we sing the songs and both enjoy it immensely. There are so few movies that can do that. Like I said, a masterpiece!
This project was reviled by critics and disowned by Altman and Williams. It corresponded to DuVal's breakdown, and was all but the end of the heavy drinker Nilsson's adventures in film.
But I think its great. You have to remember that it predates every comic/cartoon to film project except 'Superman,' which really was a version of the TeeVee show. And you have to appreciate that 'Popeye' the cartoon is one of the very few that featured humans and therefore was more abstract than most.
Watch it now, and see that it was well ahead of its time and now stacks up as extremely introspective: along the lines of 'Alphaville.'
It had Robin Williams and Ray Walston, both famous TeeVee aliens, or so they were known at the time. It was penned by the notoriously ironic, cartoonist Feiffer, someone who specialized in personal social angst. The songs - a major element here - were by the self-destructive genius Nilsson, and directed by Altman when he was interested in social commentary.
All, plus Duvall, were at the height of their powers. Even the quirky Van Dyke Parks appears.
What makes this project so interesting and appealing is that everyone is completely simpatico with Feiffer's Jarryesque vision, which is disconnected from reality and had no cinematic model.
How so many talents could be so adventuresome and coordinated at the same time is a real puzzle.
The bit about how 'large' Bluto is - and how Shelly mentions it - makes me smile every time I recall it. The social text is a bit heavy, but so what?
Before offering my opinion on whether this is "the worst movie" ever made or something else I have to mention this: A few minutes into the film, when Popeye lands, the song that begins after a piano nearly falls on him; This little number...the arrangement and choice of instruments.....filled with Williams mutterings and asides...suddenly becoming melodic and sweet between mutterings.....performed in a tilted sailor jig....well...it's beautiful....absolutely got some heaven in it.....it's so sweet and funny.......I love the sound of it...Williams voice...the swelling sweet horns, the Fender bass...that French accordian thing......it's got to be a "magic film moment" at least for me.....something blissful there....best moment of the movie by far......justifies renting it to play until you get it in your bloodstream....."I yam what I yam....I comes from the sea"
OK...as for the rest of it....sort of meanders and heads downhill. Yes Duval's interpretation is genius...and I don't think Robin Williams is capable of really lousing anything up.......in fact......I can't picture a better Popeye....he's one of a kind.......but with the exception of the lead in song....the rest of the tunes aren't going to win awards.
Ya know.....this movie shouldn't even be criticized. It's such a sweet easy sort of mess. People that hate puppies and babies playing with rubber duckies in the tub will despise it....maybe it even seems an embarrassment to the stars years later......and yes maybe Famous Rays pizza isn't fine dining and maybe cold beer at certain summer moments isn't exquisite liqueur but...you get the idea......i just like this loopy effort...a lot went into it......it's unselfconscious and weird and very funny...it isn't "challenging" or meant to be, and in fact it has brilliant moments.
It might not be your cup of tea, but to me it's sweet and light. And that first song knocks me out.
* The set for the town of Sweethaven was built at Anchor Bay on the Mediterranean island of Malta. After filming it became a popular tourist attraction.
* The makeup appliances for Robin Williams' fake forearms were not ready when filming began, so in early shots, Popeye wears a long-sleeved raincoat to hide his normal-sized arms.
* Many of the "citizens" of Sweethaven, especially those who had to do some physical gags, were recruited from European circuses.
* The parts of Popeye and Olive Oyl were originally intended for Dustin Hoffman and Gilda Radner. Hoffman left over a disagreement in the hiring of Jules Feffer as the scriptwriter and, although Radner was the preferred choice of the studio, Robert Altman held out for Shelley Duvall.
* While it may seem odd to most viewers that the movie's portrayal of Popeye does not like spinach, this was also a theme used in the original comic strip by E.C. Segar. In fact, only once during the syndicated run of the comic did Popeye eat spinach (to boost his already considerable strength before a fight). Popeye was not first shown to like spinach and eat it regularly until he made his debut as an animated character (probably more as a move on the part of his producers to promote the animated sailor as a positive role model for younger viewers than anything else).
* Most of Robin Williams's muttered Popeye voice was discovered to be inaudible once filming wrapped, and he had to re-dub much of the dialogue.
* Robin Williams's film debut.
* Linda Hunt's film debut.
* Mike Nichols, Arthur Penn, and Hal Ashby were each originally slated to direct this movie.
* The many sunken ships in the harbor were actually seaworthy vessels that were rented or bought and then sunk.
* In a print interview released around the same time as the film, Shelley Duvall admitted that kids used to call her "Olive Oyl" when she was in grade school.
* Shelley Duvall sang all of her own songs.
* Harry Nillson, took a break in the middle of production of his album "Flash Harry" to create the music for this movie. He wrote all of the original songs and co-produced the music with producer Bruce Robb at Cherokee Studios.
* A joint production between Paramount and Walt Disney, the former released the film in the USA, and the latter had overseas distribution.
* At one point, Lily Tomlin was signed to play Olive Oyl. (This was before the film hit development hell.)
* An international construction crew of 165 worked seven months to construct the set. Tree trunk logs were driven across the European continent from Holland, and wood shingles were imported all the way from Canada. Eight tons of nails and 2,000 gallons of paint were used to complete the set. When they finished, the fictional village of Sweethaven consisted of 19 buildings including a hotel, a school-house, a store, a post office, a church and a tavern.
* Everyone tried to dissuade Robert Altman from working with Harry Nilsson saying that he would be constantly drunk. Only Robin Williams supported him in this decision. As it turned out, Altman found Nilsson to be delightful to work with.
* Harry Nilsson took his band of musicians to the island of Malta where they had a purpose-built studio constructed for them.
* Swee'pea is played by Wesley Ivan Hurt - Robert Altman's grandson.
* A 200-250 foot breakwater also had to be constructed at the mouth of the harbor to prevent the set from getting flooded during high seas.
* During filming of the scene at the end where Ray Walston throws Robin Williams the can of spinach, Ray hit Robin in the head so hard that he required several stitches in his scalp. This delayed filming for several weeks.
* Last film of Jack Mercer.
* Jules Feiffer's script originally included Popeye's magical pet Jeep. Though the Jeep was ultimately left out, Feiffer gave some of its magical characteristics to Swee'Pea, hence the baby's apparent clairvoyance.