Monday, October 01, 2007
Popeye's village - Mellieha , Malta
'SWEETHAVEN VILLAGE', the Film Set of the 1980 Musical Production “Popeye”, also known as 'POPEYE VILLAGE' was constructed in Anchor Bay during the last 7 months of 1979.
To construct this authentic wooden village, tree trunk logs were trailered overland from Holland, and wood shingles, used in the construction of the roof tops, were imported all the way from Canada. A 165 international construction crew consumed eight tons of nails and two thousand gallons of paint to finish off this massive Set.
No less than 20 wooden structures had to be built. Before construction could begin, an access road leading to the Set had to be constructed. Also, Anchor Bay needed a 200-250 foot Breakwater at its mouth, to protect the Set from high seas during the shooting months of the Film Production.
Filming commenced on the 23rd of January, 1980. The story relates to Popeye coming to Sweethaven Village to look for his father, who deserted him when he was a mere infant and whom he has pledged to find. During this process, Popeye meets Olive Oyl, who was to be officially engaged to Captain Bluto, and together they find an abandoned baby by the name of SWEE'PEA, who becomes a cupid to the unlikely pair. After a final bout between Popeye and Bluto, filmed at Blue Lagoon, Popeye emerges victorious and the story ends with Popeye’s original motto : I YAM WHAT I YAM. Director of photography, Guiseppe Rotunno completed the final shooting on the 19th of June, 1980.
The cartoon character Popeye was introduced by Elzie Segar in 1929 in a comic strip named “Thimble Theatre”. The Film, based on a story written by Jules Fieffer, was directed by Robert Altman and produced by Robert Evans. The Production Film Company was Lions Gate Films and the Distributors were Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions
Photo by Laetitia