This film version of Broadway producer Joseph Papp's successful stage rendition of the classic Gilbert and Sullivan piece is fun-filled and lively. With the Broadway cast largely intact, the movie follows apprentice pirate Frederic (Rex Smith), who decides to leave his trade and the ship
on which he was raised on this, his 21st birthday. Ashore, he meets eight sisters and becomes smitten with young Mabel (Linda Ronstadt). The pirate king (Kevin Kline) won't let his protege go easily, however, and informs him that, since his birthday falls on leap year, he won't really be 21 for
quite some time. Reluctantly rejoining the crew, Frederic soon finds himself involved in an attack on the home of Mabel's major-general father (George Rose), and the nutty assault ends with the pirates humbled in front of a statue of Queen Victoria, then running off with the daughters. The cast is
charming, the sets intentionally stagy, and the musical performances fine.
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