Popeye is one of my top 10 greatest movies ever made. It’s the attention the detail and subtlety that makes it so good. There are deep emotional and intellectual subjects tackled even though the movie has a simple root. From the role of taxes in a society to poverty to the simple emotional need to be needed.
Although there are a few movies with better music (Cabaret, Chicago, Purple Rain and Mary Poppins), the songs in Popeye are ridiculously charming. Every song drips with that special quality that sears itself into your memory. The lack of singing “talent”makes it especially memorable. It’s the song, not the singing.
The acting is spot on all across the board. How did they get that kid to act so well as Sweet Pea? Robin Williams and Shelly Duvall are straight out of the comics. Linda Hunt is in it as well as Dennis Frantz from NYPD Blue. The acting has the quality of all great cult classics. They take it 100% seriously. Just like Flash Gordon or The Last Dragon, they ham it up without ever breaking character.
I love this movie and I could watch it 100 times and still get new things each time. It’s a movie done with love that shows in every frame. I wish this kind of movie could be made today, but I seriously doubt it. They would ruin it with special effects and have Beyonce do the music.
Bottom line: 5 star movie.