'The Mikado' and 'Topsy-Turvy' Announced for Blu-ray

Posted Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 06:00 AM PST by

Two Gilbert & Sullivan films are in the Blu-ray pipeline for the end of March.

Criterion has revealed the 1939 musical comedy 'The Mikado' for Blu-ray on March 29.

The legendary Gilbert and Sullivan troupe the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company joined forces with Hollywood for this 1939 Technicolor version of the fabled comic opera, the first complete work by the famed duo to be adapted for the screen, directed by musician and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Victor Schertzinger ('One Night of Love,' 'Road to Singapore'). The result is a lavish cinematic retelling of the British political satire set in exotic Japan, with such enduringly popular numbers as “A Wandering Minstrel I” and “Three Little Maids from School Are We,” and featuring performances by American singer Kenny Baker as well as a host of renowned D’Oyly Carte actors, including Martyn Green and Sydney Granville.

The Blu-ray will feature a 1080p transfer, an uncompressed mono soundtrack, and supplements include: New video interview with Topsy-Turvy director Mike Leigh on The Mikado and its adaptation for the screen; New video interview with Mikado scholars Josephine Lee and Ralph MacPhail Jr., tracing the 1939 filmed version of the opera back to its 1885 stage debut; Short silent film promoting the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company's 1926 stage performance of The Mikado; and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O'Brien.

Criterion will also be bringing 'Topsy-Turvy' to Blu-ray on the same date.

The world of Gilbert and Sullivan comes to vivid life in this extraordinary dramatization of the staging of their legendary 1885 comic opera 'The Mikado' from Mike Leigh ('Naked,' 'Secrets and Lies'). Jim Broadbent ('Moulin Rouge,' 'Iris') and Allan Corduner ('Yentl,' 'Vera Drake') brilliantly inhabit the roles of the world-famous Victorian librettist and composer, respectively, who, along with their troupe of temperamental actors, must battle personal and professional demons while mounting this major production. A lushly produced epic about the harsh realities of creative expression, featuring bravura performances and Oscar-winning costume design and makeup, 'Topsy-Turvy' is an unexpected period delight from one of contemporary cinema’s great artists.

The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, and supplements will include: Audio commentary featuring director Mike Leigh; New video conversation between Leigh and the film's musical director, Gary Yershon; A Sense of History: Leigh's 1992 short film written by and starring actor Jim Broadbent; Deleted scenes; Featurette from 1999 including interviews with Leigh, stars Broadbent and Allan Corduner, and other cast members; Theatrical trailer and TV spots; and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Amy Taubin.

Suggested list price for each Blu-ray is $39.95.

You can find the latest specs for 'The Mikado' and 'Topsy-Turvy' linked from our Blu-ray Release Schedule, where they are indexed under March 29.

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
The Mikado (Blu-ray)
Topsy-Turvy (Blu-ray)
Tags: Criterion, Disc Announcements (all tags)