The Pirates of Penzance (film)

1983 film directed by Wilford Leach

The Pirates of Penzance is a 1983 film adaptation of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta of the same name, with some updates for modern American audiences. The plot revolves around the dutiful Frederic and his attempt to break away from the band of pirates he was mistakenly apprenticed to as a boy.

Directed by Wilford Leach. Screenplay by Wilford Leach, from the original work by William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.

Dialogue edit

[As the term of his apprenticeship expires, Frederic tries to advise his erstwhile crewmates.]
Frederic: You make it a point of never attacking a weaker party than yourselves, and when you attack a stronger one you invariably get thrashed!
[The indignant pirates mutter and advance on him.]
The Pirate King: (holding up a finger) There's some truth in that.

The Pirate King: Oh, better far to live and die / Under the brave black flag I fly, / Than play a sanctimonious part / With a pirate head and a pirate heart. / Away to the cheating world go you, / Where pirates all are well-to-do; / But I'll be true to the song I sing, / And live and die a Pirate King. / For I am a Pirate King! / And it is, it is a glorious thing / To be a Pirate King!

[Frederic comes upon a group of maidens rolling up their stockings to go wading.]
Frederic: Stop, ladies, pray!
Maidens: A man!
Frederic: Oh, is there not one maiden here / Whose homely face and bad compexion / Have caused all hope to disappear / Of ever gaining man's affection? / Of such a one, if such there be, / I swear by Heaven's arch above you, / If you will cast your eyes on me, / However plain you be, I'll love you...
Mabel Stanley: Poor wandering one, though you have surely strayed, / Take heart of grace, thy steps retrace, poor wandering one... / Poor wandering one, if such poor love as mine / Can help you find true peace of mind, / Why, take it, it is thine!

[As Major General Stanley enters, all present sing to the tune of Pirate King's earlier song.]
Samuel: For he is a Major General!
Daughters: He is, hurrah for the Major General!
Major General Stanley: And it is, it is a glorious thing to be a Major General.
All, in chorus: Hurrah for the Major General, hurrah for the Major General!
The Pirate King: (annoyed, muttering) That's the same as the "Pirate King" tune!
Major General Stanley: Now that I have introduced myself, I should like to know what's going on here!
Kate Stanley: Oh, Papa, we —
Samuel: I can explain in two words: we propose to marry your daughters.
Gen. Stanley: But-but... who are you?
The Pirate King: We are all single gentlemen.
Kate: Don't believe them, Papa! They're pirates — the famous Pirates of Penzance!
Gen. Stanley: Mmm, wait a moment... I object to pirates as sons-in-law!
Pirate King: Well, we object to major generals as fathers-in law! But we waive the point. We do not press it. We look over it.

[As the maidens are about to roll up their stockings to go wading]
Frederic: Stop, ladies, pray!
Maidens: A man!

Mabel: Oh Frederic, can you not in the calm excellence of your wisdom reconcile it with your conscience to say something that will ease my father's sorrow?
Frederic: ...What?
Mabel: Can't you cheer him up?

Pirate King: Do you mean that in order to save his own contemptible life... he dared to impress upon our credulous simplicity?!?

Sergeant: They come in force, with steal-thy stride. Our obvious course is now to... hide!

Frederic: Oh, HORROR!
The Pirate King: What's the matter?
Frederic: Ought I tell you? No, no I cannot! And yet as one of your band -
[All, including the King himself, goggle at this feat of verbal virtuosity.]
Pirate King: Yeah.

Sergeant: We observe too great a stress / On the risks which on us press / And of reference a lack / To our chance of coming back! / Still, perhaps it would be wise/Not to carp or criticize / For it's very evident / These attentions are well meant...

The Pirate King: With base deceit, you played upon our feelings; / Revenge is sweet, and flavors all our dealings. / With courage rare, and resolution manly, / For death prepare, unhappy General Stanley!

[while trying to rally the bobbies and raise their morale]
Mabel: Go, ye heroes, go to glory / Though you die in combat gory / Ye shall live in song and story / Go to immortality / Go to death, and go to slaughter... / Die, and every Cornish daughter... / With the tears your grave shall water / Go, ye heroes, go and DIE!

Cast edit

Kevin Kline - The Pirate King
Rex Smith - Frederic
Linda Ronstadt - Mabel Stanley
Angela Lansbury - Ruth
George Rose - Major General Stanley
Tony Azito - Police Sergeant

External links edit