6.2/10
249
10 user 2 critic

The Beggar's Opera (1953)

When the composer of an opera about a swashbuckling, wenching highwayman meets his hero's real life counterpart he's disappointed with his lack of dash.

Director:

Writers:

(libretto), | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A film musical in which every line is sung. The frame is about workers during a strike. They also prepare and perform a demonstration. Two personal relations develop against this background... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Demy
Stars: Dominique Sanda, Danielle Darrieux, Richard Berry
The Big Trail (1930)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Breck Coleman leads hundreds of settlers in covered wagons from the Mississippi River to their destiny out West.

Directors: Raoul Walsh, Louis R. Loeffler
Stars: John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel
Marat/Sade (1967)
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In an insane asylum, Marquis de Sade directs Jean Paul Marat's last days through a theater play. The actors are the patients.

Director: Peter Brook
Stars: Patrick Magee, Clifford Rose, Glenda Jackson
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A tycoon hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Judy Holliday, William Holden, Broderick Crawford
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

G.I. Gurdjieff is a spiritual teacher and mystic who, after a lifetime study, developed a form of meditation incorporating modern dance.

Director: Peter Brook
Stars: Dragan Maksimovic, Terence Stamp, Mikica Dimitrijevic
Captain Blood (1935)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After being wrongly convicted as a traitor, Peter Blood, an English physician, is sent to exile in the British colonies of the Caribbean, where he becomes a pirate.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill
Tell Me Lies (1968)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A variety of British views on the Vietnam War.

Director: Peter Brook
Stars: Mark Jones, Pauline Munro, Eric Allan
Agatha (1979)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A fictional account of the real life, eleven day, never explained 1926 disappearance of famed murder mystery writer Agatha Christie is presented. On a cold winter day, her damaged car with ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Dalton
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Rogue intelligence agents, right-wing politicians, greedy capitalists, and free-lance assassins plot and carry out the JFK assassination in this speculative agitprop.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Will Geer
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual is accidentally invited to a homosexual party.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Kenneth Nelson, Peter White, Leonard Frey
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: Peter Brook
Stars: Hélène Delavault, Zehava Gal, Eva Saurova
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Documentary film-maker Bob Sanders and his wife Carol attend a group therapy session that serves as the backdrop for the opening scenes of the film. Returning to their Los Angeles home, the... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Elliott Gould
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
George Rose ...
1st Turnkey
Stuart Burge ...
1st Prisoner
Cyril Conway ...
2nd Prisoner
Gerald Lawson ...
3rd Prisoner
...
George Devine ...
Mary Clare ...
Edward Pryor ...
Athene Seyler ...
...
...
...
Inn Keeper
...
Edit

Storyline

Authentic rendering of John Gay's 18th century musical, filmed in Technicolor, about Captain MacHeath, a highwayman, and his love for too many beautiful women. Betrayed by Jenny and Sukey, two of his bygone lovers, and temporarily freed by two others, MacHeath is arrested and condemned to death. While waiting to be hanged, the captain is entertained by a musical beggar, who has written an opera of which the highwayman is the hero. Written by Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | History | Musical

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1953 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die Bettleroper  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A J. Arthur Rank British screen adaptation, to star Deanna Durbin, and to be produced by Michael Balcon, was briefly considered in 1947. See more »

Quotes

Captain MacHeath: Ah-hah! I love a free-hearted wench!
See more »

Connections

Version of Three Penny Opera (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

How Cruel Are The Traitors
(Uncredited)
Sung by Daphne Anderson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The one Powell and Pressburger didn't make
23 October 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The sad fact about "The Beggar's Opera" is that it wasn't directed by Powell and Pressburger. If this had been the case it would no doubt be lauded today as an eccentric masterpiece. It shared the same fate of critical disdain in its time as "Gone to Earth" and "The Elusive Pimpernel" but, unlike these, has still to await an appreciative resurrection. Could it be that it was made by the comparatively little known Peter Brook! And yet with its colourful visual flair and sometimes breathtaking sense of movement it seems right out of the same stable as "The Tales of Hoffmann" and "Oh Rosalinda!". A wonderfully imaginative shot of the landscape viewed from the scaffold gradually blacked out as the prisoner's blindfold is lowered over MacHeath's eyes is perhaps the best example of its inventiveness. For the musical purist it is inevitably something of a curiosity. A fine cast of contemporary singers including Adele Leigh, Jennifer Vyvyan and Edith Coates were assembled to dub the acting cast for the musical numbers, whereas the main role of MacHeath was sung by Laurence Oliver himself, his light baritone voice, although no match for the others, at least serviceable. But, as it works perfectly well, why quibble. (I have little time for those who criticised the "amateur" voices of Woody Allen's delicious musical "Everyone Says I Love You" as they so matched the characters and were not in the least, as has been suggested, unmusical). I watched "The Beggar's Opera" again the other day after a gap of over 50 years and found it just as refreshing. One of the reasons is that many of the tunes are terrific and not one of them goes on for too long. Generally I have to confess that I have little time for filmed musicals. I invariably want the songs to be got over as quickly as possible in order to get on with the action, which I know completely misses the point. With "The Beggar's Opera" I find the reverse to be true, just about resisting the temptation to fast-forward the dialogue to get to the next "tune". Sir Arthur Bliss did a wonderful job of arranging the music specially for the film version although it has to be admitted that the sound quality of the copy transmitted on Sky's Artsworld channel was often muddy and unclear. Would that the soundtrack could be remastered!


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?