The Mikado

Director: Victor Schertzinger
Year Released: 1939
Rating: 3.5

Energetic screen adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic opera tells the familiar saga of Nanki-Poo (Kenny Baker) - actually the Mikado's son - in disguise in order to win the heart of Yum-Yum (Jean Colin) but has to deal with his decapitation-mad father (John Barclay) and the bumbling high executioner Ko-Ko (the scene-stealing Martyn Green). Though Baker appears somewhat out-of-place as the lead - and several very good songs from the original were cut for this slim 90-minute version - the supporting cast is exceptional and the songs are (obviously) smart and memorably written: of course, it's all meant as a jab at the British government, it was extremely profitable and even the Japanese found it to be a treat. As for me, I find it to be light and catchy, like a Shakespearean comedy set to an unbelievable score.