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Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0

audience

67

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 9,982

My Rating

Movie Info

George Sidney's adaptation of the satiric Broadway musical smash by Michael Stewart, Charles Strouse, and Lee Adams -- about an Elvis Presley-inspired rock star, who is drafted into the army and who creates a near-riot in a small Midwestern town when he stops there for one last publicity junket -- takes good-natured swipes at popular culture, rock n' roll, and American family life. Dick van Dyke re-creates his Broadway role of Albert Peterson, a down-on-his-luck songwriter for the rock-n'-roll

Jul 20, 1999

Columbia Pictures

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (0) | DVD (3)

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

July 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Anyone allergic to high-fructose corn syrup might do well to stay away, but the winking humor and musical gusto of this pop-artful camp standard-bearer still carry the day. [Blu-ray]

August 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Fun but dated musical will appeal to parents more than kids.

August 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Sit-com lite.

June 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Very dated musical, but full of energy.

December 23, 2006
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

Further proof Van Dyke was a true showman.

January 1, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

The cast saves this typical George Sidney tasteless mess.

December 29, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Of all the innocent and innocuous musicals of the 1960's, this goofy one is my favorite.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for Bye Bye Birdie

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.
November 12, 2011
Josh Morris

Super Reviewer

This musical is a lot of fun, the songs are great, and the cast is brilliant. This is one of my favourite musicals of the sixties, and I highly recommend it, it says a lot about early sixties teens too.
November 24, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Love or hate Ann-Margret, you're going to get a lot of her in Bye Bye Birdie, the 1963 film adaptation of the broadway show. The studio apparently felt this film was to be Ann-Margret's "coming out" film to announce her arrival in hollywood. This is why the story was re-worked to focus more on her character and less on the original story featured in the stage production. Dick Van Dyke (reprising his role from the stage) is Albert, a song-writer who's quite unsuccessful in his career. His girlfriend and secretary, Rosie (Janet Leigh) wants to help make him a success, if only so he can pay back his mother (Maureen Stapleton) and get married. Unfortunately, the biggest singing star in the country, the unlikely named "Conrad Birdie" (Jesse Pearson) is about to be shipped off to the army (mirroring the real-life scenario with Elvis Presley in the late fifties). Rosie arranges it so that Albert will write the farewell song Conrad sings in his last performance on the Ed Sullivan show, a last kiss sort of song, and one lucky girl from the Conrad Birdie fan club will get to be on the receiving end of that kiss. At random, Kim McAfee's (Ann-Margret) name is drawn, and from this point on, the film focuses on the uproar caused by her getting kissed on the Ed Sullivan show by a rock-n-roll singer. There are a few stand-out numbers in the film, most noteably "Kids" (performed by the underused Paul Lynde, Maureen Stapleton and Van Dyke) and "Put On A Happy Face" (performed by Dick Van Dyke), but most of the other songs aren't very memorable. Ann-Margret just doesn't sing very well here and the side plot with her and her boyfriend Bobby Rydell is kind of irritating. It's not nearly as much fun as it would have you believe it is.
September 19, 2010
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Bright campy musical set in 1958 inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the army. This enchanting adaptation of the 1960 Broadway hit takes a regrettably jaded view of rock and roll music. Luckily, the brilliant cast elevates this daffy comedy into the sublime: Dick Van Dyke is charming as always, Paul Lynde and Maureen Stapleton are hilarious and Ann-Margret is a saucy minx as the all-American teenager. Wonderful score features the songs "Put on a Happy Face", "The Telephone Hour" and "A Lot of Livin' to Do".
December 15, 2009
hobster1

Super Reviewer

    1. Mama Peterson: Johns such Johns.
    – Submitted by Kandi E (2 years ago)
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