185 user 63 critic

Popeye (1980)

The adventures of the famous sailor man and his friends in the seaside town of Sweethaven.


Robert Altman


Jules Feiffer (screenplay), E.C. Segar (based on characters by)
2,850 ( 543)

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3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Popeye
Shelley Duvall ... Olive Oyl
Ray Walston ... Poopdeck Pappy
Paul Dooley ... Wimpy
Paul L. Smith ... Bluto
Richard Libertini ... Geezil
Donald Moffat ... The Taxman
MacIntyre Dixon MacIntyre Dixon ... Cole Oyl
Roberta Maxwell ... Nana Oyl
Donovan Scott ... Castor Oyl
Allan F. Nicholls ... Rough House (as Allan Nicholls)
Wesley Ivan Hurt ... Swee'pea
Bill Irwin ... Ham Gravy, the Old Boyfriend
Robert Fortier Robert Fortier ... Bill Barnacle, the Town Drunk
David McCharen David McCharen ... Harry Hotcash, the Gambler


Buff sailor man Popeye arrives in an awkward seaside town called Sweethaven. There he meets Wimpy, a hamburger-loving man; Olive Oyl, the soon-to-be love of his life; and Bluto, a huge, mean pirate who is out to make Sweethaven pay for no good reason. Popeye also discovers his long-lost Pappy in the middle of it all, so with a band of his new friends, Popeye heads off to stop Bluto, and he's got the power of spinach, which Popeye detests, to bust Bluto right in the mush. Watch as Popeye mops the floor with punks in a burger joint, stops a greedy taxman, takes down a champion boxer, and even finds abandoned baby Swee'pea. He's strong to the finish 'cause he eats his spinach. Written by Dylan Self <robocoptng986127@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The sailor man with the spinach can! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

12 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Popeye - Der Seemann mit dem harten Schlag See more »

Filming Locations:

Anchor Bay, Malta See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color | Black and White (prologue)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This movie, and Mork & Mindy (1978), are the two projects that helped launch Robin Williams' career, yet in stand-up comedy, he constantly jokes about trying to distance himself from both, though he brings both up. See more »


Just before Pappy starts singing "It's Not Easy Bein' Me" his pipe is in his mouth, then after he starts singing the pipe disappears, then near the end of the song when he's tied up it's in his hand. See more »


Popeye: Are you all right there? This ain't bad, is it? It ain't the Ritz; but, at least you get a little womb service here. It ain't no polashcle mansion either, but, we got somethin'. The best I ever saw.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film begins in black-and-white, showing a vintage Paramount logo and the opening credits for the 1930s Paramount-Fleischer Studios Popeye cartoons. However, an animated Popeye appears and sees this is the wrong opening. The movie then cuts to full color, and the opening credits continue. See more »

Alternate Versions

NBC edited 8 minutes from this film for its 1984 network television premiere. See more »


Spun-off from Popeye the Sailor (1960) See more »


Sail With Me
(aka "Sailin'")
Music and Lyrics by Harry Nilsson
Performed by Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall
See more »

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User Reviews

6 November 2002 | by spectre316-1See all my reviews

I don't know why, but I have some sort of attachment to this movie.

I've had this Robert Altman love/hate thing going on for a long time; his movies are so hard to catagorize. But when you see an Altman movie you know it's an Altman movie; the atmosphere he supplies for his movies is creepily effective and amazing. The camera always seems to be detached from that environment, so it seems really natural and kind of voyeristic.

I recently watched "Gosford Park" and was very disappointed. I don't know why; it just was extremely slow for me and boring. I was bored to tears.

But then we have a film like "The Player," which entertained me in a weird way. Same with "Popeye." Unlike other users, I think the musical numbers in "Popeye" were actually quite good. Especially "He Needs Me," sung by Shelly Duvall, recently fully realized in the movie Punch-Drunk Love.

This movie looks amazing, IMO. The town is completely alive, and like others have said, the movie is like a complete replica of a Popeye cartoon. Shelly Duvall and Willams are amazing.

Some things didn't seem so necessary, like the boxing match; but I thought it kind of fitted with the whole scheme of things. The ending is especially memorable... before I watched it recently it still really stuck out in my head from times when I watched when I was young kid.

Not too bad of a movie. I'd give it 6 out of 10 stars or ***/****.

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