The Mikado

The Mikado

Kenny Baker
Director: Victor Schertzinger Cast: Kenny Baker
Kenny Baker
, Martyn Green
Martyn Green
, Sydney Granville
Sydney Granville
Victor Schertzinger


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Though it boasts an American director and star, this Technicolor cinemadaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta The Mikado is a faithful record of what it must have been like to attend a performance of Britain's D'Oyly Carte opera company. Rradio tenor Kenny Baker stars as Nanki-Poo, the wand'ring minstrel who wanders into a curious set of situations in the Japanese village of Titi-Pu. D'Oyly Carte perennial Martyn Green plays the leading role of Ko-Ko, the timorous Lord High Executioner who must perform one execution per day or he'll lose his job-and his own head. Ko-Ko finds a likely candidate for decapitation in the form of Nanki-Poo, who feels mighty suicidal when it seems as though his sweetheart Yum-Yum (Jean Cola) is out of his reach. Unbeknownst to Ko-Ko, Nanki-Poo is the son of none other than The Mikado, played with a combination of pomp, circumstance and Noel Cowardlike waspishness by Sydney Granville. Most of the satirical Gilbert & Sullivan songs have been retained, including "The Lord High Executioner," "Three Little Maids from School are We," "Tit Willow," "Here's a How-de-Do," and "The Object Most Sublime." Musical accompaniment is provided by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/29/2011
UPC: 0715515069212
Original Release: 1939
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: 1
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 1:31:00
Sales rank: 33,157

Special Features

New Video Interviews with Topsy-Turvy Director Mike Leigh and Mikado Scholar's Josephine Lee and Ralph MacPhail Jr.; ; Short Silent Film Promoting the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company's 1926 Stage Performance of The Mikado; ; Deleted Scene with Ko-Ko's "I've Got a Little List" Song; ; Excerpts from 1939 Radio Broadcasts of the Stage Productions The Swing Mikado and The Hot Mikado; ; Plus: a Booklet featuring Essay by Critic Geoffrey O'Brien

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Criterion Collection: The Mikado
1. Prologue [4:11]
2. "The Sun And I" [5:21]
3. "A Wand'ring Minstrel" [5:29]
4. The Lord High Executioner [6:48]
5. "Three Little Maids" [6:45]
6. "To Ko-Ko Plighted" [9:55]
7. The Subtitute [12:36]
8. Wedding Day [5:53]
9. "Here's a How-De-Do" [7:49]
10. "A More Humane Mikado" [5:00]
11. "The Criminal Cried" [7:51]
12. A Dead Man [4:20]
13. "Willow, Tit-Willow" [5:02]
14. Finale [3:55]
15. Color Bars [:00]

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