Cover image for Topsy-Turvy
Broadbent, Jim.
Publication Information:
Culver City, CA : USA Home Entertainment, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 videodisc (161 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
Tensions abound and the music swells in the story about the famous musical team of Gilbert and Sullivan. The two men who were extremely different in size and stature were even more different in temperament and style. Yet, they still managed to create memorable theater. This is the story of the making of one of their most famous collaborations, The Mikado.
General Note:
"Gilbert & Sullivan & so much more!"

Originally released as a motion picture.

Special features: widescreen 16x9 ; theatrical trailer ; TV spots ; featurette ; photo gallery ; cast & crew biographies and filmographies ; spanish and French subtitled.

For specific features see interactive menu.
Reading Level:
Closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.

Rated R.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DVD 494 Adult DVD Open Shelf

On Order



Noted for intimate character studies created in collaboration with his actors, director Mike Leigh makes a dramatic change of pace with this biography of comic opera composers W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Gilbert (Jim Broadbent) is an easily angered but otherwise emotionally remote lyricist who works in collaboration with composer Sullivan (Alan Corduner), a genial and fun-loving sort who feels unsatisfied writing light operettas and longs to work with more serious material. While Sullivan is having a creative crisis, Gilbert is facing a failing marriage to Lucy (Lesley Manville), who loves her husband even if he can't return her affections, and must deal with his ailing father (Charles Simon). When they suffer their first failure, both men are depressed, and Sullivan announces that he's giving up operetta for good. However, a visit to an exhibit of Japanese art sparks an idea in Gilbert, and soon he and Sullivan are hard at work on what will become one of their greatest successes, The Mikado. Much of the film is devoted to the staging of this classic, with Shirley Henderson, Dorothy Atkinson, Martin Savage, Timothy Spall, and Kevin McKidd as members of the operetta's cast. Jim Broadbent won Best Actor at the 1999 Venice Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The original Gilbert and Sullivan opera troupe's staging of The Mikado has been lovingly preserved in this sumptuous-looking, early Technicolor production of the classic comic operetta. In a departure from his realistic portraits of contemporary working-class Brits, Mike Leigh (Naked; Life Is Sweet; Secrets and Lies) offers a delightful period piece with Topsy-Turvy, an Oscar-winning (costume design and makeup) dramatization of the creation of the duo's crowning achievement. Not just for opera buffs. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.