Popeye (1980)

In the town of Sweetville, lovable sailor Popeye seeks out his long-lost father. Along the way, he vies with the rough Bluto for the affections of Olive Oyl and adopts the young Sweet Pea. This unconventional musical was based on the… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: December 12, 1980
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
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Critic Score: 63% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Altman's take on the iconic cartoon is messy and wildly uneven, but its robust humor and manic charm are hard to resist.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The plotting of this 1980 feature -- outsider in a hostile environment -- is personal to Altman, though few of the feelings survive the clutter.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

He takes one of the most artificial and limiting of art forms -- the comic strip -- and raises it to the level of high comedy and high spirits.

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Peter Sobczynski
The Spool

[I]t turned out to be one of the most wonderfully bizarre family films of its time and holds up beautifully today.

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Variety Staff

It is more than faint praise to say that Popeye is far, far better than it might have been, considering the treacherous challenge it presented. But avoiding disaster is not necessarily the same as success.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

A thoroughly charming, immensely appealing mess of a movie, often high-spirited and witty, occasionally pretentious and flat, sometimes robustly funny and frequently unintelligible.

Matt Brunson
Film Frenzy

Those who can get on its wavelength will appreciate its eccentricities; those who cannot will find its whimsy the equivalent of waterboarding.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

You wonder how on earth Altman did it; equally often, you feel you are watching a wacky masterpiece, the like of which you've never seen before.

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Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine

If you strip away the film's loyalty to its source material, it's not difficult to see that, in many ways, Popeye is Altman's comic spin on McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

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Douglas Davidson
Elements of Madness

Some delight in its comic revelry (me), while most look back on it with distain (just about everyone else). ... in the 40th anniversary of Popeye, bursting with nearly 30 minutes of bonus material and a display that looks like it ate its spinach.

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More reviews for Popeye

Flixster Audience Score: 38% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
A delightful and sweet adaptation that captures the innocent spirit of the comic strip and the cartoon, translating it to the screen with great songs, a… More
Tim Salmons
People have tried to dissuade me into believing that Robert Altman's 1980 adaptation of the beloved character and story of Popeye is nothing more than a… More
Alex roy
Considering that Popeye is such an icon, this live action adaptation of the comic is mediocre to say the least. I went into this one wanting to really enjoy… More
Aj V
I saw this movie when I was a kid, and I'd love to see it again sometime soon. I remember it being very funny, so I gave it four stars. Plus, Robin… More
Manu Gino
The sailor man with the spinach can! Good movie! This was Robin Williams first serious movie role and he is a brilliant Popeye. He brings so much humanity and… More
Conner Rainwater
Definitely one of my favorite childhood movies. This brings all the goofy and amazingly bizarre elements of the cartoons and throws it into live action.… More

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