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"Popeye" (1980)

Why did it bomb so bad? Was it just ahead of it's time?

by Anonymousreply 2512/01/2012

Bomb or not, I love that movie as a kid.

by Anonymousreply 112/01/2012

I loved it as a 25 year old.

by Anonymousreply 212/01/2012

it's point blank awful

by Anonymousreply 312/01/2012

Worst songs in the history of movie musicals. Every single one of them. The audience didn't wake up until five seconds before the final credits when they used the original theme song for ten seconds.

by Anonymousreply 412/01/2012

[all posts by right wing shit-stain # a removed.]

by Anonymousreply 512/01/2012

Robin was way too literal in his performance. It didn't help that you didn't understand half of what he said. The best performance was given by the adorable kid who played Sweet Pea.

by Anonymousreply 612/01/2012

Altman movies are either flat out brilliant or absolute shitpiles.

by Anonymousreply 712/01/2012

They should have left out the songs definitely. I still cant believe robert altman directed this because its so different from the rest of his films being a childrens film. But i liked robin and shelley. Shelley as olive was probably the best casting ever. Not everything translates well to film though. Better as a cartoon i think.

by Anonymousreply 812/01/2012

[quote]The best performance was given by the adorable kid who played Sweet Pea.

And that would be Altman's Grandson.

by Anonymousreply 912/01/2012

[quote]Shelley as olive was probably the best casting ever.

And she wasn't first choice. They wanted Gilda Radner and Williams even flew to NY to woo her while she was doing "Gilda Radner Live From New York" on Broadway. She said no, of course, maybe she heard the songs first.

by Anonymousreply 1012/01/2012


by Anonymousreply 1112/01/2012

[quote]Shelley as olive was probably the best casting ever.

Yes, but I think her career was seriously harmed by this movie. I for one could never see her again without seeing Olive Oyl.

by Anonymousreply 1212/01/2012

Agree - worst songs for a big budget music ever.

"Everything is food, food, food..."

by Anonymousreply 1312/01/2012

I agree with R8, the songs should not have been in it..I hardly listened to them. But Robin and Shelley were perfect. I was a Popeye fan as a little kid -- it had sentimental value.

by Anonymousreply 1412/01/2012

I couldn't sit through it, though I did manage to watch most of Quintet.

by Anonymousreply 1512/01/2012

R10, she was always the first choice of Altman who used her several times before. It was Williams who badly wanted Gilda Radner. The original, original casting was Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin.

Ironically, the studio wanted Didi Conn, fresh off of Frenchy from "Grease."

by Anonymousreply 1612/01/2012

I can find no reasonable grounds to defend it, but I sort of love it. Including the songs, which are just hypnotically weird. Somehow, all the conflicting agendas and aesthetics combined to make the oddest movie this side of David Lynch.

by Anonymousreply 1712/01/2012

hmmm... they knew it was awful before it was released, but apparently didn't do much to improve it.

I sorta knew Robin Williams at that time, and I remember quite clearly him telling me that it was going to be a terrible movie.

by Anonymousreply 1812/01/2012

I was never a big Popeye fan but the movie struck me as dark and slightly creepy,I was nine when it came out and I can remember even the previews seemed muted and geared more towards adults.

by Anonymousreply 1912/01/2012

This movie is completely forgotten.

by Anonymousreply 2012/01/2012

[quote] Shelley as olive was probably the best casting ever.

I think it was Pauline Kael who said she seemed woefully miscast in the role she was born to play.

by Anonymousreply 2112/01/2012

Actually, I can see how it's an Altman movie- it has the overlapping dialogue, the ugly-gritty sets. Stranger comes to forlorn town, cause trouble- it's like "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" in cartoon form.

Altman himself said he kind of liked it.

by Anonymousreply 2212/01/2012

Shelly never really worked again after that picture. Well, I mean, she DID work, but she wasn't famous like she had been before.

In fact, I can barely watch The Shining, because I just see Olive Oyl, and it's hard not to laugh.

by Anonymousreply 2312/01/2012

I love [bold]Popeye[/bold]. The sets, costumes, and casting are all brilliant. Many of the songs have the so-bad-they're-good quality. Guarantee you remember this movie better than just about any other from that period.

by Anonymousreply 2412/01/2012

Interesting tale:

"In the late 70s, Robert Altman arrived on the island of Malta, set to shoot the film Popeye on location. . . . When he arrived in Valletta, he discovered that the airline had misplaced a suitcase of his - a very important suitcase, as it happens. The suitcase was stuffed full of cocaine. He didn't know where it was, but he was very concerned that the airport security would rifle through it when it finally arrived in Valletta. Altman did not relish the thought of going without coke for the indefinite future, before he could score himself another connection, nor did he relish the thought of languishing in some Mediterranean prison hellhole, although it cannot be said which of the two possibilities frightened him more.

Frantic, Altman called up his old buddy, Henry Kissinger, and asks him to give his suitcase diplomatic immunity. Kissinger responds that he simply can't do that, and besides, what would the Libyans think (since independence, and particularly under socialist government, Malta has been Libya's most loyal friend and ally)? Altman responded,

"If you won't do this for me, Hank, the musical Popeye will never be made!"

Apparently, Kissinger's blood was so chilled by the prospect of a world with a Popeye musical that he pulled every string he could to get Altman his suitcase full of coke, safe and secure."

by Anonymousreply 2512/01/2012
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