Bye Bye Birdie (1963)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

When a major rock`n`roll star arrives in a small Iowa town for a contest, a local songwriter tires to get him to record one of his songs.

Rating: G
Genre: Kids & Family, Musical & Performing Arts, Classics, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Irving Brecher
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 20, 1999
Columbia Pictures


as Albert Peterson

as Rosie DeLeon

as Kim McAfee

as Mrs. Peterson

as Hugo Peabody

as Conrad Birdie

as Ed Sullivan

as Mr. McAfee

as Mrs. McAfee

as Claude Paisley

as Bob Precht

as Randolph

as Mr. Maude

as Ballet Manager

as Ursula

as Mr. Nebbitt

as Mayor's Wife

as Bartender

as Ursula's Mother
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Bye Bye Birdie

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (6)

[Bye Bye Birdie] had an apple-cheekiness about it on the stage that seems slightly worm-eaten on film, and the result is more goof than spoof.

Full Review… | August 1, 2015
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

For all its annoyances -- and there are many -- the film somehow sears its way into the mind's eye.

Full Review… | November 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Credit George Sidney with directing one of the better fun and frolic tune packages.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

This enjoyable timepiece is notable today for its peppy score, energetic dancing, and for having made a star of the extremely nubile Ann-Margret, 22 passing for 16. Her fresh, wholesome eroticism fairly bursts off the screen.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Unfortunately, Mr. Sidney and his scriptwriter, Irving Brecher, have allowed the essence of this spirited musical comedy of Michael Stewart to get away from them.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

George Sidney's tacky 1963 musical fantasy-satire about the Elvis craze, based on the Broadway show of the same title, isn't exactly good, but if you like what he does with Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh, and pink decor, it's sort of magnificent.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bye Bye Birdie

Elvis Presley came along like a tsunami of social change, the strings on the puppets of popular entertainment not simply apparent but worn and frayed as well. Presley was THE proverbial breath of fresh air. And the powers that be were more than nervous, they were rattled down to the roots of hair on their chinny chin chins. The move to send The Pelvis to the army was as calculated as move to defang a monster as ever there was.
What remains anymore, beyond the echoes of classic rock internet channels, is this nigh forgotten bit of Americana.
Ann Margret steals the show as the girl chosen to lay a kiss on the bull icon immediately before they remove his particulars. Fittingly, music numbers are the highlight here, but nothing dangerous enough to suggest revolution.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


So out-of-date it's hard to relate to anymore, but the ridiculous excess still provides many opportunities for laughter. Much of the music is unremarkable; nevertheless there are a few classic gems. For fans of Paul Lynde, he really steals the show. It's just a fun (but dated) family-friendly vege-out film.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

Bye Bye Birdie is a tuneful, engaging, perky, mixed bag of charm and cheesy retro fun. It is not a classic movie musical, its humor is corny, the filming is pedestrian, the cutting edge animation and green screen effects look horribly dated and the story is a paint by numbers dull plot with very low stakes. The 100% rating on RT is way high for my money, but this is still a pleasant wallow in nostalgia and innocence

Birdie captures a moment in pop culture that I lived through, when the Ed Sullivan show was the most watched entertainment event of the week, watched by the whole family every Sunday night. I mourn that there are not cultural experiences shared by multiple generations. Now everyone goes off to watch their own stuff on cable and computer and there are no shared experiences in pop culture -except maybe American Idol type competitions. This was also a time when Elvis Presley's hips were threat to America's purity. That really does seem like the stone age.

Bye Bye Birdie's assets: 1. A mostly sparkling cast, with the luminous and sexy Anne-Margaret and high octane charm of Dick Van Dyke doing what he does best. As Dad, a brilliantly cast supporting player Paul Lynde reprising his Broadway role, which he totally owns. He knocks each comedy line out of the park.

2. Wall to wall tuneful, witty songs,by Strouse and Adams that are the really the point of this enterprise. These include 'Put on a Happy Face', and 'Kids', songs that are still remembered. Still, the composers don't get rock and roll, and when they try to write Elvis style tunes they utterly miss the mark, but it doesn't matter. The resulting cheese is still edible.

Try to fast forward through the horrible over the top Jewish mother character and subplot played by normally excellent actress Maureen Stapleton and don't get too caught up in the details, the story is full of holes. That said, this is good fun, and you really can watch it with the whole family, if your kids are open to goofy retro cheese that kind of overstays its welcome in two plus hours.

Josh Morris
Josh Morris

Super Reviewer

Bye Bye Birdie Quotes

– Submitted by Kandi E (3 years ago)

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