The Blue Bird (1976)
Two peasant children search for the mythical bluebird of happiness in this elaborate but ill-fated fantasy that is a remake of a 1940 flop (said to have killed the juvenile career of Shirley Temple), which in turn is a remake of a 1918 version. This version was hailed as the first collaborative film made between the US and the Soviet Union and featured an all-star cast. Lots of money went into the production but like its predecessors, it bombed.
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Critic Reviews for The Blue Bird
It seems to be a contest over who can deliver the worst performance (I think Fonda wins, but it's a close call) as they all prance around bad sets in even worse costumes.
Audience Reviews for The Blue Bird
For the crime of going into forbidden territory on the other side of the river, their mother(Elizabeth Taylor) sends Tyltyl(Todd Lookinland) and Mytyl(Patsy Kensit) to bed without dinner, but soon has second thoughts. By that time, her children are already dreaming of a lavish party at a nearby castle. When they return, they are greeted by a witch(Elizabeth Taylor) who gives Tyltyl a magic hat which sheds light on the situation, revealing the souls of many household elements who help the children on a quest to find the blue bird. Their first stop is to visit their late grandparents(Will Geer & Mona Washbourne).
Once you get past some of the outre elements of "The Blue Bird" like its occasionally imaginative production design and a once in a lifetime cast that also includes Cicely Tyson and an out-of-sorts Jane Fonda(at least Ava Gardner knows how to make an entrance), what is left is a sweet childhood fable that has the neat moral of treasuring what is truly important in life. At the same time, it confirms what everybody has always suspected about cats. That holds true even with the movie's half-hearted attempt at being a musical.
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