The Great Muppet Caper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

The Great Muppet Caper
The poster of the movie The Great Muppet Caper.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJim Henson
Produced byDavid Lazer
Frank Oz
Bruce Sharman
Martin Starger
Written byTom Patchett
Jay Tarses
Jerry Juhl
Jack Rose
StarringJim Henson
Frank Oz
Dave Goelz
Jerry Nelson
Richard Hunt
Steve Whitmire
Charles Grodin
Music byJoe Raposo
CinematographyOswald Morris
Editing byRalph Kemplen
StudioHenson Associates
ITC Entertainment
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
(theatrical)
Walt Disney Pictures
(Current reissues)
Release dates
  • 26 June 1981 (1981-06-26)
Running time94 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
United States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$31,206,251[1]
 
Jump to: navigation, search
The Great Muppet Caper
The poster of the movie The Great Muppet Caper.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJim Henson
Produced byDavid Lazer
Frank Oz
Bruce Sharman
Martin Starger
Written byTom Patchett
Jay Tarses
Jerry Juhl
Jack Rose
StarringJim Henson
Frank Oz
Dave Goelz
Jerry Nelson
Richard Hunt
Steve Whitmire
Charles Grodin
Music byJoe Raposo
CinematographyOswald Morris
Editing byRalph Kemplen
StudioHenson Associates
ITC Entertainment
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
(theatrical)
Walt Disney Pictures
(Current reissues)
Release dates
  • 26 June 1981 (1981-06-26)
Running time94 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
United States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$31,206,251[1]

The Great Muppet Caper is a 1981 mystery musical comedy film directed by Jim Henson. It is the second of a series of live-action musical feature films, starring Jim Henson's Muppets. This film was produced by Henson Associates and ITC Entertainment, originally released by Universal Pictures, and premiered on June 26, 1981. It is also the only Muppet feature film directed by Henson. Shot in England, the film was released shortly after the final season of The Muppet Show. Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street makes a cameo in this film.

Plot[edit]

Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo the Great play newspaper reporters for the Daily Chronicle. Kermit and Fozzie, specifically, are playing identical twin reporters, which becomes the source of a running gag - supposedly, nobody can tell they are twins unless Fozzie wears his hat. While Gonzo is too busy taking pictures of a chicken, the biggest fashion designer of London named Lady Holiday (Diana Rigg) gets robbed of her necklace. The trio are eventually assigned to investigate the theft of the valuable jewels from Lady Holiday, which they have to beg for after their boss Mike Tarkenian (Jack Warden) dismisses them following the Daily Chronicle's headline about the twins joining the staff (while the other papers report on the jewel heist).

They travel to London to interview her, but with only $12 for the trip, they are forced to fly in the airplane's baggage hold and are thrown out of the plane as they arrive over Britain while it continues on to Italy. They stay at the dilapidated (but free) Happiness Hotel, run and populated by Pops, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, Sam the Eagle, Swedish Chef, Rizzo the Rat, Annie Sue, and Lubbuck Lou and his Jughuggers. When Kermit seeks out Lady Holiday in her office however, he instead finds the alluring Miss Piggy, and mistakes her for the fashion designer. Piggy (who was interviewing for a job) masquerades as Lady Holliday, even going so far as to sneak into a ritzy townhouse (located at 17 Highbrow Street) to impress Kermit with her dwellings much to the surprise of the true British residents Neville (John Cleese) and Dorcas (Joan Sanderson).

At a night club restaurant, Lady Holiday's necklace is stolen by her jealous brother Nicky (Charles Grodin) and his assistants Carla (Kate Howard), Marla (Erica Creer), and Darla (Della Finch), three of her put-upon fashion models; during the robbery, Miss Piggy's charade is revealed and she bolts, leaving Kermit behind, though they later reconcile in a park. Despite Nicky's instant attraction to Miss Piggy, they successfully frame her for the theft and plan to steal an even more valuable prize: the coveted Baseball Diamond on display at the local Mallory Gallery. Unfortunately for them, Gonzo is under a nearby table and overhears the plot. Kermit's crew, along with their friends from the Happiness Hotel, decide to intercept and catch the thieves themselves in order to exonerate Miss Piggy.

The Muppets get to the Mallory Gallery, and get to the Baseball Diamond at the same time as the thieves, use the Baseball Diamond in a game of Keep Away and later baseball, complete with Louis Kazagger commentating. Piggy, meanwhile, has escaped from prison and, in a bout of serendipity, finds a motorcycle which she uses to crash into the Gallery's window, knocking Nicky, who is holding Kermit hostage, out in the process. Carla, Marla and Darla confront Piggy, only to be quickly dispatched by a flurry of furious karate chops. As the police arrive, Piggy is cleared from all charges, Nicky and his fashion model-accomplices are arrested, and the Muppets get their deserved credit for foiling the heist.

The Muppets then return to America the same way they departed, being thrown out of the cargo hold and parachuting back to The USA, over the end credits which concludes with Gonzo taking a photo of the audience with his overly powerful flashbulb causing the screen to go black as if he blinded his subjects again.

Cast[edit]

Cameo guest stars[edit]

Muppet performers[edit]

Additional Muppets performed by Robbie Barnett, Brian Henson, Brian Muehl, Bob Payne, Mike Quinn, and Hugh Spight

Some of the puppeteers also appear in cameo roles.

Also, Henson's son Brian appears riding a tricycle that pulls a line of Muppets on bicycles.

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $31.2 million domestically on a $14 million budget thus making it a box office success.[1] It is the fourth highest grossing Muppet film behind The Muppets, The Muppet Movie, and Muppet Treasure Island.

Critical reception[edit]

The Great Muppet Caper has received generally positive reviews. The film holds a 79% approval rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 6.4/10, based on 19 reviews. The site's consensus says "The Great Muppet Caper is overplotted and uneven, but the appealing presence of Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang ensure that this heist flick is always breezily watchable."[2] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a two star rating (out of four) and concluded his review by saying that "the lack of a cutting edge hurts this movie. It's too nice, too routine, too predictable, and too safe."[3]

Home media[edit]

The film was first released on Betamax and VHS in 1982 by 20th Century Fox Video. It was later released on DVD by Sony Pictures on June 5, 2001 and subsequently on November 29, 2005 by Walt Disney Pictures as Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released The Great Muppet Caper on Blu-ray and DVD, alongside Muppet Treasure Island, on December 10, 2013.[4]

Music[edit]

In 1982, Joe Raposo was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "The First Time It Happens".[5] This was the only one of the first three Muppet films not to be nominated for Best Music, Original Song Score.

In 1981, Miss Piggy won the Youth in Film Award for Best Young Musical Recording Artist for her performance of "The First Time It Happens", becoming the first, and only, non-human recipient in the history of the award.[6]

Soundtrack[edit]

The Great Muppet Caper: The Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by The Muppets
Released1981
LabelAtlantic
The Muppets chronology
The Muppet Movie: Original Soundtrack
(1979)
The Great Muppet Caper: Original Soundtrack
(1981)
The Muppets Take Manhattan: Original Soundtrack
(1984)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars[7]

The Great Muppet Caper: The Original Soundtrack contains all of the songs from the movie, as well as several portions of dialogue and background score. The album reached #66 on Billboard's Top LP's and Tapes chart in 1981.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Joe Raposo

No.TitleArtist(s)Length
1."The Main Title" (Instrumental) 2:48
2."Hey A Movie!"  Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear and The Great Gonzo2:44
3."The Big Red Bus"   1:25
4."Happiness Hotel"  The Muppets3:07
5."Lady Holiday" (Instrumental) 1:13
6."Steppin' Out With a Star"  Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear and The Great Gonzo2:32
7."The Apartment" (Instrumental) 0:54
8."Night Life"  Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem2:58
9."The First Time It Happens"  Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy4:13
10."Couldn't We Ride"  The Muppets3:08
11."Piggy's Fantasy" (Instrumental) 3:58
12."The Heist/The Muppet Fight Song/Muppets To The Rescue" (Instrumental) 3:47
13."Homeward Bound" (Instrumental) 0:52
14."Finale: Hey a Movie!"  The Muppets1:30
15."Finale: The First Time It Happens"  Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy1:37

Footnote[edit]

  1. ^ Reissued as a Walt Disney Pictures release since 2005.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Great Muppet Caper". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. 
  2. ^ "The Great Muppet Caper (1981)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ Roger Ebert (January 1, 1981). "The Great Muppet Caper". Chicago Sun-Times (rogerebert.com). Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ "'Muppet Treasure Island & The Great Muppet Caper: Of Pirates & Pigs Collection' Blu-ray Dated". High-Def Digest. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "54th Academy Awards Winners". Oscars.org. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "3rd Annual Youth In Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Allmusic review

External links[edit]

]