Robin Williams Memorial Screening: POPEYE

Director Robert Altman
Year 1980
Starring Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston
Rating PG
Run Time 114min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

Free screening! Reserve your spot in the theater by buying a $5 food and beverage voucher - or pick up a free ticket at the box office.

What is it about Robert Altman's POPEYE that makes it a charming winner despite being considered one of cinema's biggest bombs? There's actually plenty of good reasons; the magical musical soundtrack by Harry Nilsson,  the go-for-broke craziness of Altman's adaptation of E.C. Segar's classic comic strip character, the beautifully bizarre turn by Shelley Duvall (fresh off the set of THE SHINING) as Olive Oyl. But the real reason that POPEYE gets to rise above the normal sea-strewn chum of Hollywood misses is that it showcases the major feature flm debut of Robin Williams as the meaty-armed Popeye The Sailor Man.

When we lost the genius of Williams this last week I must admit that my thoughts of his greatest roles shot right past GOOD WILL HUNTING, MRS. DOUBTFIRE, HOOK and, well, ALL of them and landed squarely on the spinach eating toughie for so many reasons. For starters, being his first major film role, Williams hadn't shown the world all of his cards yet but chose to play Popeye less as a straight up impression based on Max Flesicher's cartoons but more like a real human being with giant forearms, one good eye and some serious daddy issues. How would someone like that live in reality, find friends and woo a woman like Olive? Popeye is more thought out than most live-action comic book characters because the soul driving the body was ready to come out swinging in his first major role and knock it out of the room like Bluto with a sweetness and an honesty that was missing in a two dimensional comic strip. Williams' subtle performance and chemistry with the camera will forever keep this film deep in the hearts of true fans everywhere. (Keith Garcia)

For a really great opinion of POPEYE, read Eric Spitznagel's piece in VANITY FAIR right HERE.

 

 

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