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Movies and TV Shows

Popeye

United States
1980


I Am What I Am

Released in 1980 by Walt Disney and Paramount

Directed By Robert Altman
Written by Jules Feiffer and E. C. Segar
Starring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall

Music by Harry Nilsson

Paramount Home Video released the film Popeye on DVD in the US on June 24, 2003. You can order the DVD from Amazon.com.

"Popeye" is a live action film which features Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall as Popeye and Olive Oyl. In the film, everyone's favorite spinach-eating sailor (although he hates spinach at the start of this film) falls for Olive Oyl and battles his arch-rival Bluto.


Paul L. Smith as "Bluto"
[Click photo to enlarge]

Near the end of the 1970's, Producer Robert Evans commissioned screenwriter (and political cartoonist, novelist, and playwright) Jules Feiffer to write a script for a live action version of "Popeye." The script was passed from one director to another (including Hal Ashby, Arthur Penn and Mike Nichols) before Robert Altman ("M*A*S*H", "Nashville") ended up heading the project. At one point Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin were signed on as Popeye and Olive.


Ray Walston (as "Poopdeck Pappy") and Robin Williams (as "Popeye")
[Click photo to enlarge]

Altman took the cast and crew to Anchor Bay on the island of Malta. Over 100 men worked seven months to construct the Popeye set. Wood had to be imported from Canada. When they finished, the fictional village of Sweethaven consisted of nineteen buildings including a hotel, a school-house, a store, a post office, a church, and, of course, a tavern.

The film's score and songs are by Harry Nilsson. "Nobody wanted him at first except Robin Williams. Everyone said 'You'll get in trouble with him -- he'll get drunk; he won't do it; he's all washed up.' As a matter of fact I said all of those things about Harry to Robin myself one day. Then I went home and thought about it and said to myself, 'Jesus, that's what some people are saying about me!' So I called Harry Nilsson, because I had never met him in my life, and we got along terrifically." -- Robert Altman.

Harry Nilsson took the musicians to Malta where a studio was constructed for their use. The musicians dubbed themselves, "The Falcons." Ray Cooper, Doug Dillard, Harry Nilsson, Van Dyke Parks, Klaus Voormann, and "The Mysterious Karsten" recorded the basic tracks on the island as the set was finished and filming began. Van Dyke Parks arranged and conducted the music. Ray Cooper, Doug Dillard, Van Dyke Parks, and Klaus Voormann make brief appearances in the film.

The climatic octopus fight was filmed in Fifla. The Sweethaven set still stands in Anchor Bay as a tourist attraction.

Soundtrack

Popeye Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Album
A Nilsson House Production
Manufactured by Boardwalk Records, Inc. a division of The Boardwalk Entertainment Company
Copyright 1980 Paramount Pictures Corporation and Walt Disney Productions

The soundtrack album was engineered by Rick Riccio and Mike Hatcher. Harry Nilsson wrote all of the songs except for "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man". The album was released on LP and may have been briefly available as a CD in Europe.

Mark Guerrero, son of singer/composer Lalo Guerrero, provided background vocals for the demo of "I'm Mean".

The New Jersey group Guitari incorporated samples of "I Yam What I Yam", "Sailin'", and "It's Not Easy Being Me", from the Popeye soundtrack album in their songs "Hero" and "I Yam What I Yam (Popeye Rap)."

Home Video

"Popeye" is available on VHS video tape. You can find it at your local video store or order it online from retailers such as Amazon.com. Popeye was released on DVD in June of 2003. You can order the DVD from Amazon.com

"If you watch it backwards, it has a plot." -- Robin Williams


 


Credits:

Actor ("Bear, the Hermit"): John E. Bristol
Actor ("Bill Barnacle"): Robert Fortier
Actor ("Blossom Walfleur"): Nathalie Blossom
Actor ("Bluto"): Paul L. Smith
Actor ("Bolo"): #1455
Actor ("Butch"): Ned Dowd
Actor ("Castor Oyl"): #1428
Actor ("Cherry, his Moll"): #1434
Actor ("Chico"): Larry Pisoni
Actor ("Chizzelflint"): #1438
Actor ("Cindy"): Valerie Velardi
Actor ("Clem, the Banjo Player"): #179
Actor ("Cole Oyl"): MacIntyre Dixon
Actor ("Daisy"): Margery Bond
Actor ("Daphne"): #1461
Actor ("Geezil"): Richard Libertini
Actor ("Gozo"): #1454
Actor ("Ham Gravy, the Old Boyfriend"): Bill Irwin
Actor ("Harry Hotcash, the Gambler"): David McCharen
Actor ("Hoagy, the Piano Player"): Van Dyke Parks
Actor ("La Verne, the Waitress"): #1441
Actor ("Mayor Stonefeller"): Paul Zegler
Actor ("Mena Walfleur"): Julie Janney
Actor ("Min"): #1459
Actor ("Mina Walfleur"): #1447
Actor ("Mona Walfleur"): #1448
Actor ("Mort"): #1453
Actor ("Mrs. Oxheart, his Mother"): Linda Hunt
Actor ("Mrs. Stonefeller"): #1463
Actor ("Nana Oyl"): #1427
Actor ("Olive Oyl"): Shelley Duvall
Actor ("Oscar"): #1465
Actor ("Oxblood Oxheart, the Fighter"): Peter Bray
Actor ("Petunia"): #1457
Actor ("Pickelina"): #1460
Actor ("Poopdeck Pappy"): Ray Walston
Actor ("Popeye"): Robin Williams
Actor ("Rosie, the Milkmaid"): #1444
Actor ("Rough House"): Allan F. Nicholls
Actor ("Scoop, the Reporter"): Geoff Hoyle
Actor ("Slick"): Noel Parenti
Actor ("Slug"): Carlos Brown
Actor ("Spike"): Dennis Franz
Actor ("Splatz, the Janitor"): #1442
Actor ("Swee'pea"): Wesley Ivan Hurt
Actor ("Swifty"): #1440
Actor ("The Chimneysweep"): #1466
Actor ("The Mailman"): David Arkin
Actor ("The Policeman"): David Arkin
Actor ("The Preacher"): Ray Cooper
Actor ("The Taxman"): #1425
Actor ("Violet"): #1458
Actor ("Von Schnitzel, the Conductor"): Klaus Voormann
Actor ("Wimpy"): Paul Dooley
Additional Editor: #1542
Additional Score: #1558
Animated Artifacts Creator: #1572
Animated Artifacts Creator: #1531
Assistant Art Director: #1490
Assistant Art Director: #1497
Assistant Camera: #1526
Assistant Camera: #1529
Assistant Camera: #1555
Assistant Camera: #1574
Assistant Camera: #1554
Assistant Editor: #1568
Assistant Editor: Robert Lederman
Assistant Editor: #1557
Assistant Editor: #1571
Assistant Editor: Paul Rubell
Assistant Hair Stylist: #1478
Assistant Makeup Artist: #1480
Assistant Makeup Artist: #1479
Assistant Music Editor: #1521
Assistant Sound Effects Editor: #1501
Assistant Sound Effects Editor: Edward A. Warschilka
Assistant Sound Effects Editor: #1508
Assistant Sound Effects editor: #1514
Assistant Special Effects Coordinator: #1525
Assistant to Mr. Altman: #1547
Assistant to Mr. Evans: #1527
Assistant to Mr. Evans: #1532
Assistant to Mr. Williams: #1562
Associate Producer: #1468
Boom Operator: #1510
Camera Operator: #1539
Camera Operator: #1569
Caterer: #1533
Choreographer: #1434
Choreographer: #1453
Cinematography: Giuseppe Rotunno
Conductor: Van Dyke Parks
Construction Coordinator: #1497
Construction Manager: #1488
Costume Design: #1468
Dance Style Creator: #1573
Dialogue Loop Editor: #1518
Director: Robert Altman
Draftsman: #1491
Draftsman: #1498
Executive assistant to Mr. Evans: #1548
Executive Producer: #1469
Film Editing: David Alan Simmons
Film Editing: #1471
First Assistant Director: #1485
First Assistant Director: #1486
Gaffer: #1530
Hair Stylist: #1481
Hair Stylist: #1475
Key Grip: #1564
Key Grip: #1537
Key Hair Stylist: #1476
Location Auditor: #1566
Location Auditor: #1538
Location Auditor: #1535
Location Engineer: #1546
Location Manager: #1536
Makeup Artist: #1482
Makeup Supervisor: #1477
Master Carpenter: #1489
Master Carpenter: #1495
Master Painter: #1496
Music Arranger: Van Dyke Parks
Music Editor: #1522
Music Re-recording Mixer: Dan Wallin
Original Music: Harry Nilsson
Physical Therapist: #1561
Post-production Coordinator: #1544
Producer: Robert Evans
Production Design: #1473
Production Manager (Europe): #1484
Property Man: #1493
Property Man: #1492
Property Master: #1487
Publicist: #1567
Publicity assistant: #1549
Publicity Assistant: #1541
Screenplay: #160
Script Supervisor: Luca Kouimelis
Sculptor: #1494
Sculptor: #1500
Sculptor: #1499
Set Decoration: #1474
Sound: #1506
Sound Editor: #1515
Sound Editor: #1513
Sound Editor: #1517
Sound Editor: #1504
Sound Editor: #1509
Sound Effects Consultant: #1507
Sound Effects Editor: #1512
Sound Effects Editor: #1503
Sound Re-recording Engineer: #1502
Sound Recordist: #1516
Special Effects: R.J. Hohman
Special Effects Coordinator: Allen Hall
Stunt Co-ordinator: #1454
Supervising Editor: #1553
Supervising Music Editor: #1523
Supervising Re-recording Mixer: Michael Minkler
Supervising Sound Editor: #1505
Talent Coordinator: #1565
Technical Advisor: #1540
Title Designer: Patrice Ryan
Transportation Captain: #1570
Underwater Camera Operator: #1528
Unit Coordinator: Peter Bray
Unit Coordinator: #1552
Unit Manager: #1483
Unit Photographer: #1559
Wardrobe Consultant: #1556
Wardrobe Mistress: #1534
Wardrobe Supervisor: #1543

Songs:

---"Blow Me Down"
---"Popeye Cues"
---"Swee' Pea's Lullaby"
---"Sailin'"
---"Kids"
---"It's Not Easy Being Me"
---"I Yam What I Yam"
---"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man"
---"I'm Mean"
---"He Needs Me"
---"He's Large"
---"Din' We"
---"Everything is Food"

Links:

On Popeye, the Movie
Popeye Village photographs
Internet Movie Database - Cast, Crew, Etc.
Search Amazon.com for Popeye
Pictures of Malta
The Denmark Comics Museum's Popeye Film Page (mostly in English)

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