A FILM BY: Robert Altman
WRITTEN BY: Jules Feiffer (screenplay), E.C. Segar (based on characters by)
STARRING: Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston

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Co-sponsored by CHIRP - Chicago Independent Radio Project

Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall are Popeye and Olive Oyl in this unlikely and sublime live action adaptation of the timeless Fleischer Brothers cartoons. Paramount went all out on their 1980 mega-production, which involved building an entire village in Malta ("Popeye Village" still exists as a tourist attraction), though domestic grosses fell significantly short of expectations. Producer Robert Evans hoped to tame the barbarous Robert Altman as he had with Roman Polanski (CHINATOWN) or Francis Ford Coppola (THE GODFATHER), but this was not the right film. Long overlooked in favor of more "serious" Altman pictures, Scott Tobias writes Popeye "is like a family-friendly re-imagining of McCabe & Mrs. Miller, moving the same mud-caked, dilapidated town from the Pacific Northwest to the Mediterranean seas without losing the anti-capitalist sentiment in the process." The result is both heartfelt and manic, and exceedingly faithful to the original work. Why can't all comic book movies be this great? With music by Harry Nilsson and Van Dyke Parks.

Screening in a one-of-a-kind 35mm print from the Robert Altman Collection at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

CHIRP is an independent, volunteer-driven radio station that focuses on music, arts, and culture. The station is live and local every day of the year from 6am-midnight from studios in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, and the city we live in is a key part of everything we do. CHIRP Radio plays a wide mix of local, independent, lesser-heard, and just generally good music from a variety of genres and eras, curated by passionate music fans. Tune in at chirpradio.org.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1980
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 114 mins
Format: 35mm