December 12th, 1980



No valid json found

The sailor-man travels to a town called Sweet Haven, falls in love with Olive Oyl, adopts Swee' Pea, and makes an enemy with Bluto.

Release Year: 1980

Rating: 4.9/10 (13,652 voted)

Critic's Score: 48/100

Director: Robert Altman

Stars: Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston

Buff sailor-man Popeye arrives in an awkward seaside town called Sweet Haven. There he meets Wimpy, a hamburger-loving man; Olive Oyl, the soon-to-be love of his life; and Bluto, a huge, mean pirate who's out to make Sweet Haven pay for no good reason. Popeye also discovers his long-lost Pappy in the middle of it all, so with a band of his new friends, Popeye heads off to stop Bluto, and he's got the power of spinach, which Popeye detests, to butt Bluto right in the mush. Watch as Popeye mops the floor with punks in a burger joint, stops a greedy tax man, takes down a champion boxer, and even finds abandoned baby Swee' Pea. He's strong to the finish 'cause he eats his spinach!

Writers: Jules Feiffer, E.C. Segar

Robin Williams - Popeye
Shelley Duvall - Olive Oyl
Ray Walston - Poopdeck Pappy
Paul Dooley - Wimpy
Paul L. Smith - Bluto
Richard Libertini - Geezil
Donald Moffat - The Taxman
MacIntyre Dixon - Cole Oyl
Roberta Maxwell - Nana Oyl
Donovan Scott - Castor Oyl
Allan F. Nicholls - Rough House (as Allan Nicholls)
Wesley Ivan Hurt - Swee'pea
Bill Irwin - Ham Gravy - the Old Boyfriend
Robert Fortier - Bill Barnacle - the Town Drunk
David McCharen - Harry Hotcash - the Gambler

Taglines: The Sailor Man With The Spinach Can!

Release Date: 12 December 1980

Filming Locations: Anchor Bay, Malta

Box Office Details

Budget: $20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross: $49,823,057 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | UK:

Did You Know?

The parts of Popeye and Olive Oyl were originally intended for Dustin Hoffman and Gilda Radner. Hoffman left over a disagreement in the hiring of Jules Feiffer as the scriptwriter and, although Radner was the preferred choice of the studio, Robert Altman held out for Shelley Duvall.

Continuity: The racing form that Wimpy puts back in his coat pocket winds up on the floor when Olive finds it and is later seen back in his hand (on the boat) while he's asking Sweet'pea about which horse to bet on.

Popeye: Oh, what am I? Some kind of barnicle on the dinghy of life? Oh, I ain't no doctors, but I knows that I'm losing me patience. What am I? Some kind of judge or lawyers? Maybe not, but I knows what law suitks me.
[to the prositute]
Popeye: Careful there, don't ruffle me feathers. What am I? I ain't no physcikisk, but I knows what matters. What am I? I'm Popeye the Sailor.

User Review

Masterpiece. You heard me right. MASTERPIECE!

Rating: 10/10

I see that lots of people hate this movie. I guess I can see why. It's so idiosyncratic, so loose, so out there, so...Altman. But this is truly one of the sweetest, gentlest, and most tender movies I have ever seen. This movie can be enjoyed if for no other reason than for its total lack of irony. Like Popeye, it is what it is. And I believe it to be a masterpiece.

This was Robin Williams first serious movie role (2 full years before Garp) and he is a brilliant Popeye. He brings so much humanity and pathos to this character that it is easy to see the great movies in his future. Shelly Duval was born to play Olive Oyl and she does not squander the role of a lifetime. And in a smaller role, a standout performance is turned in Bill Irwin as Ham, Olive's bumbling, stumbling, clown of an ex-boyfriend.

The real star of the show, however, is the atmosphere that Altman conjures up, bringing the 2d comic strip vividly to life and setting you down in this magical little island town of Sweet Haven. Harry Nilssons score is pitch perfect and his songs help to sketch out the characters motives and emotions ("He Needs Me", sung by Duvall, is currently being revived thanks to it's being prominently featured in PT Anderson's "Punch Drunk Love").

One more thing about this movie- I can watch it with my three year old son and we sing the songs and both enjoy it immensely. There are so few movies that can do that. Like I said, a masterpiece!


Comments are closed.