Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this film version of Tennessee Williams' play, handsome hustler Chance Wayne romances fading film-star Alexandra Del Lago in hopes of winning a movie contract for himself. The mercenary Wayne and the self-destructive Alexandra find themselves in Chance's hometown, where corrupt politician Boss Finley rules the roost.

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Richard Brooks, Tennessee Williams
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 2, 2006
MGM Home Entertainment


as Chance Wayne

as Alexandra Del Lago

as Heavenly Finley

as "Boss" Finley

as Thomas J. Finley

as Aunt Nonnie

as Dr. George Scudder

as Scotty

as Dan Hatcher

as Ben Jackson

as Mayor Henricks

as Mrs. Maribelle Norri...

as Prof. Burtus H. Smit...

as Deputy

as Sheriff Clark

as Benny Taubman

as Director
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Sweet Bird of Youth

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

It's a glossy, engrossing hunk of motion picture entertainment, slickly produced by Berman.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Top Critic

Offers little indication of what made the original play interesting (especially in Elia Kazan's stage production), despite the fact that Paul Newman and Geraldine Page are called on to reprise their original roles.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Brooks' direction seems a little too stolid for all the sleazy, flaming passions. These are, however, given full measure by an excellent cast.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This cynical, coruscating drama has a strong look of being contrived, and Mr. Brooks' happy ending for it is implausible and absurd.

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

Page and Newman are fantastic.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Empire Magazine

All of Williams's Southern Gothic themes are intermingled here: violence, familial conflict, sexual neurosis, the mentality of the mob. Most of it comes across as overheated nonsense.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Sweet Bird of Youth

Sweet Bird of Youth is structured like a resurrection tale. Chance Wayne is thrown into all types of abasement, dragged this way and that, beaten to a bloody pulpy (figuratively, of course), and finally rises from the ashes, a new man.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Very underrated and a great story about vanity and the drawbacks of Hollywood. Paul Newman delivers his usual knockout performance, creating a very lovable and fun character that is also very realistic and heart felt. There's also a lot of other great performances thrown in, including Rip Torn as a deranged redneck out for blood. The story is so well put together by the greatest playwright to ever live, Tennessee Williams. I think the love story is so well done and put together in such a tragic way that the end result nearly drains you. The movie itself is really well put together and has some really beautiful sets and shots.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

If you've been reading some of my reviews, you all know how much I like Paul Newman, but he failed to appease me this time.
The whole story just wasn't that interesting. As a matter of fact, I don't think I have anything constructive to say about the movie. So I'll leave it at that.

Saskia D.

Super Reviewer

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