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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>
"The Beggar's Opera" is a so-called ballad opera popular during the early 18th Century, which used the music of popular folk songs, ballads, and church hymns set to new lyrics to satirize social customs, mores, and especially Italian opera. It copied the 3 act Italian operatic format rather than the then custom of 5 acts. See more »
This is a wonderfully odd movie, with Laurence Olivier doing his own singing in a film version of the first English musical ever written. The cinematography is very attractive, with the characters dressed in bright primary colours - the scene near the beginning with Macheath galloping through the countryside, the camera following alongside, turns into an exhilarating blur of flashing red coat, brown horse and greenery. The music and singing continue nonstop throughout the movie - it was originally written as a mock opera, and there is no attempt to update or adapt it for modern tastes. As such, it takes a bit of getting used to, but for those who can get into the 18th-century spirit of things, it is a very enjoyable experience.
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