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General Information

Poster for Popeye
  • Directed by

    Robert Altman

  • Screenplay by

    Jules Feiffer

  • Music Composed by

    Harry Nilsson

  • Theatrical Release Date

    December 12, 1980

  • DVD Release Date

    June 24, 2003

  • Production Companies

    Walt Disney Productions, Paramount Pictures

  • Distribution Company

    Paramount Pictures

Main Cast

  • Robin Williams


  • Shelley Duvall

    Olive Oyl

  • Paul L. Smith


  • Wesley Ivan Hurt


  • Ray Walston

    Poopdeck Pappy

  • Paul Dooley



Sweethaven is a ramshackle seaside town, home to a number of quirky residents: Wimpy, the hamburger-loving freeloader; Olive Oyl and her family; and Bluto, a big bully of a pirate who has the whole town under his thumb. Enter our hero, Popeye, a one-eyed sailor man with bulging muscles and plenty of attitude. Popeye's in search of his long-lost pappy, but he has enough time to clear punks out of the local hamburger joint, fight a champion boxer, woo and win Olive, and take care of a foundling baby named Swee'pea. Armed with his trusty can of spinach, Popeye might even find the strength to take down Bluto.



  • Popeye

    Blow me down!

  • Popeye

    Another thing I got a sensk of huminligration. Now maybe one of you swabs can fool your intelligensk, and sees I'm aksing you for an apolgicky.

  • Popeye

    If I was gonna be Swee'pea's mother, I should've at least let Olive be his father. Or viska versa. I ain't man enough to be no mother.

  • Popeye

    Bluto! Even though you're bigger than me, you can't win, 'cause you're bad, and the good always wins over the bad.



The Sailor Man with the spinach can!


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Fun fact

The film set has been converted into a tourist attraction on Malta. For more info, go to Popeyemalta.com

Filming Info

  • Dates

    January 23, 1980 - Unknown

  • Locations

    Anchor Bay, Malta
    Mellieha, Malta

The makeup appliances for Robin's fake forearms were not ready when filming began, so in early shots, Popeye wears a long-sleeved raincoat to hide his normal-sized arms.

Most of Robin's muttered Popeye voice was discovered to be inaudible once filming wrapped, and he had to re-dub much of the dialogue.

During filming of the scene where Ray Walston throws Robin the can of spinach, Ray hit Robin in the head so hard that he required several stitches in his scalp. This delayed filming for several weeks.

International Release Dates

  • Australia

    May 7, 1981

  • Japan

    July 25, 1981

  • France
    West Germany

    December 17, 1981

  • Sweden

    December 19, 1981

  • Denmark

    December 25, 1981

International Titles

  • Sweden

    Karl Alfred the Movie

  • Finland


  • Italy

    Popeye - Braccio di ferro

  • West Germany

    Popeye, der Seemann mit dem harten Schlag

  • Greece

    Popeye, o naftis

  • Finland

    Skeppar-Kalle (Swedish title)

  • Denmark

    Skipper skræk

Soundtrack Info

This soundtrack used to be available on vinyl, but is out of print. Your best bet is to check secondhand record stores and websites for a copy.

Box Office

  • Budget


  • Gross

    $49,823,037 (USA)
    N/A (international)
    $49,823,037 (total)

  • Opening Weekend

    $6,310,520 (901 theaters)

  • Widest Release

    901 theaters


  • Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA

    Nom - 1981 - Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film

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