The legendary Gilbert and Sullivan troupe, the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, joined forces with Hollywood for this 1939 Technicolor version of the fabled comic opera, the first complete work of the famed duo to be adapted for the screen.
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Although inevitably suspended in musty aspic, this is a fairly faithful rendering of something that continues to be tinkered whenever restated. The songs and patter remain intact: their liveliness and bite riding out any stylistic quibbles. Attempts to 'open out' the drama are sympathetic, but it remains filmed theatre rather than a cinematic whole. A laudable attempt however, with lovely pastel hued cinematography.