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Popeye (1980)

Cast: Robin Williams, Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, more...
Director: Robert Altman, Robert Altman
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Rating:
Studio: Paramount
Genre: Comedies, Kids, Live Action, Adventure, Comic Books, Dysfunctional Families, Musicals
Running Time: 113 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Synopsis
Based on the long-running comic strip created by E.C. Segar (and less on the animated cartoons created by Max Fleischer, which were decidedly different in tone and approach), Popeye follows the sailor man with the mighty arms (played by Robin Williams in his first major film role) as he arrives in the seaside community of Sweethaven in search of his long-lost father. Popeye meets and quickly falls for the slender Olive Oyl (Shelley Duvall, in the role she was born to play), but Olive's hand has already been promised to the hulking Bluto (Paul Smith), of whom Olive can say little except, well, he's large. Eventually, Popeye and Olive are brought together by Swee' Pea (Wesley Ivan Hurt), an adorable foundling, and Popeye finally meets his dad, Poopdeck Pappy (Ray Walston). Director Robert Altman in no way tempered his trademark style for this big-budget family opus, crowding the screen with a variety of characters and allowing his cast to overlap as much dialogue as they want. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide




Two weeks since he left us, many us realize that we're only just beginning to appreciate the legacy of Robert Altman. At the Daily, we've barely been able to keep up with the tributes (here and here). In 2003, David D'Arcy spoke with him about a career that spanned half a century. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Reviews

I yam what I yam by underdog July 1, 2003 - 11:55 AM PDT
12345678910
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
A triumph of set design over coherence, this is a truly strange kids movie that may not be for kids -- or at least, I saw it the first time when I was a kid in 1980 and up to that point it was the strangest film I'd ever seen. And I liked it. Robert Altman may not have seemed the most appropriate choice for directing this cartoon adaptation, but in hindsight it makes sense. A more traditional director would have made it commercial, and thus terrible. Williams looks the part, acts the part (and scared the heck out of me when I was 11), but it's probably Shelly Duvall, was she born to play Olive Oyl or what?, who was most appropriately cast. The rest of the cast is good, too, and even if the plot doesn't make much sense, who cares? The plot to your average Popeye cartoon was rarely very interesting either -- it was the slapstick pratfalls and happy endings that everyone wanted to see. Again, the best aspect of this odd film is the set design, which even today (with the possible exception of the Grinch movie) might still be the best translation of a cartoon's world to the screen. The worst aspect of the film for me, both when I was a kid, and now, are Harry Nilsson's songs, but I guess they are a matter of taste. I find them rather torturous. The film as a whole is probably a matter of taste, too, one that might be at home in the cult category as much as in the kids category. Ug-gug-gug-gug.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 5.60)
152 Votes
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