Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ahoy Thar Me Hearties!

Another one of my favourite films from my teen years was a U.S./Australian co-production called 'The Pirate Movie'. It was a light hearted spoof of Gilbert & Sullivan's 'The Pirates Of Penzeance'. The film starred then teen heartthrob Christopher Atkins (from 'Blue Lagoon') and Kristie McNichol (from the 70s TV drama 'Family'). But what made the film great for me were the performances of the Australian cast, led by Bill Kerr, Maggie Fitzpatrick and one Garry McDonald - he of the slicked back hair and toilet paper facial appendages - yes Norman Gunston! McDonald played dual roles as both police sergeant and inspector.

What relevance has all of this to do with a retro music blog I hear you ask? Well accompanying the film was a very cool soundtrack that combined the elements of the original Gilbert & Sullivan score with some modern day fare. Lifted from the soundtrack was the single 'How Can I Live Without Her' by Christopher Atkins which sailed to #31 on the Australian charts but only made it to #71 in his native U.S.

My favourite song though, and the reason I was stoked to finally track down a vinyl copy of the soundtrack, was the Original Cast effort 'Happy Ending'. The song was also covered by Australian singer Peter Cupples but didn't chart.

The film itself was finally released on DVD in 2005 and of course I had to buy a copy the week of its release.
The two links below will take you to both the Christopher Atkins hit (which also featured on an 80s compilation album 'Raiders Of The Pop Charts') and the Original Casts' 'Happy Ending'. Set sail me hearties!

And if you're like me an love a happy ending, check out the 'Happy Ending' clip from the film:

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