Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
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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 Mr. Maude
as Ballet Manager
as Mr. Nebbitt
as Mayor's Wife
as Ursula's Mother
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Critic Reviews for Bye Bye Birdie
[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.
For all its annoyances -- and there are many -- the film somehow sears its way into the mind's eye.
Credit George Sidney with directing one of the better fun and frolic tune packages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So out-of-date it's hard to relate to anymore, but the ridiculous excess still provides many opportunities for laughter.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.
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.
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