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Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

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No Reviews Yet...

Release Date: Jul 3, 1962 Wide

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 7,672

My Rating

Movie Info

In this film based on a true story, Burt Lancaster plays Robert Stroud, a withdrawn prison inmate who cures a sick bird that flies into his cell and eventually becomes a world-renowned ornithologist -- all while serving a life sentence. An overbearing warden (Karl Malden) eventually transfers Stroud to the notoriously brutal prison on Alcatraz, but he is able to continue his research, abort a riot, start a romance, and eventually get his story out through a determined reporter (Edmond O'Brien).

Mar 6, 2001

MGM Home Entertainment

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (3) | DVD (4)

An exhaustive abstraction of the John Frankenheimer social outcast

May 7, 2011 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Frankenheimer's compelling, if slightly fictionalized biopic of Robert Stroud is extremely wel acted by Burt Lancaster and the rest of the cast, including Thelma Ritter and Telly Savalas.

January 8, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

This preachy bio pic is a hokey take on the birdman with Lancaster being misused on every occasion.

July 16, 2007
Film Threat

Prison biopic that's more interested in its liberal message about prison reform working for redemption than in anything else.

February 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Even with its limping screenplay and general drift toward competence rather than excellence, Birdman does pull us well enough into its fistful of compelling characters.

August 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Absorbing biopic.

February 12, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Lancaster is wonderful; a tribute to the human spirit.

October 5, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Lancaster's brilliant performance anchors Frankenheimer's fine film, a liberal-minded, optimistic celebration of the power of redemption.

June 18, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Birdman of Alcatraz

Lancaster gives Robert Stroud far more character, class and compassion than he ever deserved. Taken as fiction, Birdman of Alcatraz is good cinema.
August 20, 2010
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

it's pretty melodramatic but i'd forgotten how really touching it is too. i love lancaster and thelma ritter and r.i.p. karl malden. according to people who knew the real stroud, his character in the film is highly fictionalized.
July 12, 2009
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

A Hollywoodized dramatization of the Birdman story which didn't seem like Alcatraz at all.
July 30, 2007
YosemiteSamFan

Super Reviewer

Another classic prison drama, more a well-crafted and brilliantly acted character study than concentrating on the usual escape shenanigans.
March 1, 2007
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Gefangene von Alcatraz (DE)
  • Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) (UK)
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