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Altman's take on the iconic cartoon is messy and wildly uneven, but its robust humor and manic charm are hard to resist. Read critic reviews

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Popeye Photos

Movie Info

Looking for the father (Ray Walston) who deserted him as a baby, a sailor named Popeye (Robin Williams) journeys to the port town of Sweethaven. Popeye befriends an assortment of eccentrics and falls in love with Olive Oyl (Shelley Duvall), who already has a suitor, the bully Bluto (Paul L. Smith). Popeye also discovers an abandoned baby, Swee'Pea, whom he raises as his own. But when the spurned Bluto kidnaps Olive and the child, Popeye takes action, with the help of his magic spinach.

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Critic Reviews for Popeye

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (13)

  • The plotting of this 1980 feature -- outsider in a hostile environment -- is personal to Altman, though few of the feelings survive the clutter.

    April 16, 2007 | Full Review…
  • It is more than faint praise to say that Popeye is far, far better than it might have been, considering the treacherous challenge it presented. But avoiding disaster is not necessarily the same as success.

    April 16, 2007 | Full Review…
  • You wonder how on earth Altman did it; equally often, you feel you are watching a wacky masterpiece, the like of which you've never seen before.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • He takes one of the most artificial and limiting of art forms -- the comic strip -- and raises it to the level of high comedy and high spirits.

    October 23, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A thoroughly charming, immensely appealing mess of a movie, often high-spirited and witty, occasionally pretentious and flat, sometimes robustly funny and frequently unintelligible.

    August 30, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • If you strip away the film's loyalty to its source material, it's not difficult to see that, in many ways, Popeye is Altman's comic spin on McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

    June 19, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Popeye

  • Feb 13, 2016
    It's hard to believe that this is the first movie that Robin Williams appeared in. Even though it is terrible at parts it definitely has some charm and it isn't as bad as some of the more modern musicals of late. Robin Williams shows the world a glimpse of what was to come.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 01, 2014
    A delightful and sweet adaptation that captures the innocent spirit of the comic strip and the cartoon, translating it to the screen with great songs, a splendid production design (the entirely constructed set of Sweethaven is fabulous) and priceless moments between Williams and Walston.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2014
    I get why it's not well liked, but I really do appreciate the film's unique weirdness . . . a mishmash of cartoonish antics and Altman's style.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2014
    Absolutely dreadful...hands down one of the shittiest films I've ever seen. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't entertaining as hell though lol.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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