June 14, 2024

You Can Take a Vacation to the “Popeye” Set

Robert Altman’s 1980 live action Popeye was a low point in Robin William’s career, at least as far as the actor was concerned. He was at the peak of his drug use, and did not look fondly back on that era in his life. It’s too bad, because while it’s not a perfect film, it’s still charming as hell, and ranks as one of the best adapted comic movies ever made. The film jumps right off the page of E.C. Segar’s original comic strip, and the actors perfectly embody the characters from the Fleischer Brothers cartoons (particularly Williams and Shelly Duvall, who believably channel Jack Mercer and Mae Questel, respectively).

One of the main charms of the film was the fictional village of Sweethaven. Built for the film on the Mediterranean island of Malta in 1979, it still stands (now named Popeye Village), and has been converted into a open-air museum and family entertainment complex that has become a destination for vacationers. Entertainment includes shows, rides and museums, as well as play houses where children can climb and explore the village, and character meet and greets. Original designer Wolf Kroeger says “It’s a bigger success now as a tourist attraction than a movie.”

As the original sets were intentionally a bit drab, locals have since spruced them up a bit to make them more appealing to tourists. If only all sets were available as destination spots. You could spend a romantic weekend in the apartment in Requiem for a Dream.

You can visit the website for Popeye Village here. 

Source: Esquire

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