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Beggar's Opera, The

Theatrical Release Date:  TBC
Home Ent. Release Date:  06 Apr 2008
Cert:   -


Set in the tawdry underbelly of 17th century London, a sordid world of bandits, cut throats and corrupted officials, The Beggar’s Opera follows the raffish escapades of Captain Macheath, a reckless, brooding, adventurer and notorious highwayman, and the seething plot to have him hanged. This lively, colourful and imaginative adaptation of John Gay’s seminal, satirical opera masterpiece (which was the direct inspiration behind Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera) was the directorial debut of Peter Brook (who would later receive immense critical praise for his 1963 screen version of William Golding’s Lord Of The Flies) and is often cited as one of the first movie musicals in Cinema History. Starring the acting legend Laurence Olivier as the roguish, swashbuckling protagonist Macheath with Hugh Grifith (Mutiny On The Bounty) as The Beggar, Dorothy Tutin (The Shooting Party, Tale Of Two Cities, The Importance Of Being Earnest) as Polly Peachum and Stanley Holloway (Champagne Charlie, Passport To Pimlico, My Fair Lady) as Mr Lockit, The Beggar’s Opera also contains some consummate photography featuring some magnificently realised, Hogarth inspired set designs and a lively soundtrack conducted by Muir Matheson and arranged by Arthur Bliss who had previously worked on the score for H.G Wells The Shape Of Things To Come. Darkly comic, extremely entertaining and occasionally moving, The Beggars Opera remains a ground breaking representation of music in cinema.

Directed By:

  • Peter Brook


  • Laurence Olivier

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