Popeye (1980)

Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston, Paul Dooley,
The adventures of the sailor man and his friends in the seaside town of Sweethaven.
  • 5.3 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Jules Feiffer, E.C. Segar, Writer:
  • Robert Altman, Director:
  • Robert Evans, Producer:
9/10 / 10

What's with all the bashing? I never get tired of watching this warm,visceral musical that pulls me in with its myriad textures, strikingcolors, and unpredictable pacing and dialogue which never seemscontrived or scripted (and of course was often expertly improvised). Itis the unfettered antithesis to all the shiny, over-produced media ofour age. No pretty faces. No product placements. No feel of acommercialized film crafted to be anything other than a comedy musicaladaptation of one of my favorite comic strips. It adapts the world ofE.C. Daily's style, before King Features "cleaned it up" for animation.Disjointed, rambling...borderline insane, just like the comic! And themusic is bonus all the way through. Quirky, playful, simple numbersthat perfectly reflect the feel of the old comic. But then again, Iliked Hudson Hawk and the Forbidden Zone, so you probably don't want tolisten to me. I'm not holding my breath for a commentary-loaded SE DVD.

10/10 / 10

I remember when Altman released Popeye and it was slammed by most criticsand ignored by the public. It deserves much better than thatthough!

Fantastic set design, great acting, high production values, strangely offkilter tunes, and just general all around weirdness make Popeye one of myfavorites. Brilliantly twisted and twistedly brilliant.

Disagree? Oh well, whatever....."I yam what I yam and I likes what Ilikes!"

9/10 / 10

This project was reviled by critics and disowned by Altman andWilliams. It corresponded to DuVal's breakdown, and was all but the endof the heavy drinker Nilsson's adventures in film.

But I think its great. You have to remember that it predates everycomic/cartoon to film project except 'Superman,' which really was aversion of the TeeVee show. And you have to appreciate that 'Popeye'the cartoon is one of the very few that featured humans and thereforewas more abstract than most.

Watch it now, and see that it was well ahead of its time and now stacksup as extremely introspective: along the lines of 'Alphaville.'

It had Robin Williams and Ray Walston, both famous TeeVee aliens, or sothey 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 geniusNilsson, and directed by Altman when he was interested in socialcommentary.

All, plus Duvall, were at the height of their powers. Even the quirkyVan Dyke Parks appears.

What makes this project so interesting and appealing is that everyoneis completely simpatico with Feiffer's Jarryesque vision, which isdisconnected from reality and had no cinematic model.

How so many talents could be so adventuresome and coordinated at thesame time is a real puzzle.

The bit about how 'large' Bluto is - and how Shelly mentions it - makesme smile every time I recall it. The social text is a bit heavy, but sowhat?

This is what made Tim Burton possible.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

10/10 / 10

There are two movies I have seen in which every line is good and that I canwatch dozens of times without becoming the slightest bit bored. Those areThe Big Lebowski and Popeye. I just saw Popeye recently for the first timein about twelve years and I can still recite it line for line from when Iwas a kid. I must have watched it fifty times (It was my babysitter).After I recently watched it, it was on again later that night and I watchedit all the way through again. It's a fantastic movie and I'm blown away thatthe user rating is so low.

10/10 / 10

Robert Altman's "Popeye" is a film to be lauded for its production designand performances. Altman took obvious care in bringing the town ofSweethaven and its residents to life . . . notice the bustling activity, theindividual characterizations, and even the big, cartoony special effects(e.g. - Bluto blowing smoke from his ears) that both pay homage to theoriginal "Popeye" and separate it as a new direction for the story.

This well-known story is brought to life by the actors in it, mostnotably Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl. RobinWilliams, complete with immense forearms and squinting eyes, gruffly plowsthrough his adventures with the same tough sensitivity we've come to lovefrom the character over the years. And Shelley Duvall . . . is simplyastounding. She BECOMES Olive Oyl. Her gestures, her speech patterns, hergliding walk . . . it has to be seen! Duvall literally transforms herselfinto a living cartoon, one we care about more and more as the picture runsits course.

"Popeye" is a great conversion, from the comic strip to cartoon to film.With added depth and atmosphere, it remains an underrated classicappropriate for those willing to be transported by art to a fantasy land far, far away.