The Hendersonville Film Society seems to be revisiting some past hits during the month of November, starting with this version of The Mikado, about which I wrote a few years back. “There’s long been a tendency to be harder on Victor Schertzinger’s 1939 film version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera The Mikado than should be the case. Perhaps this is because of its ‘authorized’ status, owing to the participation of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company (the number-one source for productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operas) and conductor Geoffrey Toye in charge of translating W.S. Gilbert’s text to the screen—not to mention the presence of legendary Gilbert-and-Sullivan performer Martyn Greene as Ko-Ko. It’s simply that expectations are too high. Yes, the opera suffers numerous cuts (including the popular, but lyrically troublesome, ‘As Someday It May Happen’), and, yes, it does bring in Jack Benny Show crooner Kenny Baker to play Nanki-Poo in order to goose the film’s prospects in the U.S. But it’s still the best cinematic or television version of the opera we have.” The full review is here: http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/mikado.php
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