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Critics are whistling a happy tune about our twin Gilbert and Sullivan releases on DVD and Blu-ray: the 1939 Victor Schertzinger Technicolor adaptation of The Mikado and Topsy-Turvy, Mike Leigh’s 1999 dramatization of the first staging of The Mikado. DVD File’s Mike Restaino sings the praises of both, calling The Mikado “a breathless find, a fascinating cinematic interpretation of arguably G&S’s singular musical achievement” and Topsy-Turvy “a wondrous diamond of a film . . . One of the director's most seminal works, a movie that is as stunningly beautiful to behold as it is complex and dramatically provocative.”
Lou Lumenick in the New York Post is also impressed with both films. He writes that The Mikado “looks remarkably vibrant for a movie more than seven decades old . . . You’d expect 1939 classics like The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, which have been throwing off millions in revenues for decades, to still look great because they’re such cash cows for the owners. It’s a real surprise, though, to find a far-less-remembered Technicolor production from that fabled year looking positively spectacular in its Blu-ray debut.” And he calls Topsy-Turvy a “masterpiece” and concludes, “Leigh does some of his most inspired work with this colorful backstage drama of artists at work.”
Read more reviews of Topsy-Turvy from Now Toronto’s Andrew Dowler (“Funny, touching and richly detailed”) and DVD Talk’s Jamie S. Rich (“A complex delight, funny and touching and thought-provoking and rich in narrative layers”).