Sweet Bird of Youth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sweet Bird of Youth Reviews

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½ April 9, 2013
Anytime I sit down to watch a movie and the only thing I want to happen is for the picture on the screen to end you know it holds almost no merit. Sweet Bird of Youth is one of those movies. Elizabeth Taylor proves again that she lives off of the myth that she is a great actress as her acting in Sweet Bird of Youth is laughably bad as is the entire cast. Fake accents, melodramatic acting, a bland story and self important direction makes Sweet Bird of Youth one of the worst movies I have seen in a while.
½ May 28, 2012
½ August 16, 2010
½ November 8, 2009
In the original film version of "Sweet Bird of Youth" Geraldine Page made the role famous opposite the stunningly cast Paul Newman. It was a great film of a great Broadway hit. Why make it again many may wonder? How could you top that gem in the MGM lexicon of late 50's Tennessee Williams filmed versions of his master works.

Cut to the 1980's and Elizabeth Taylor who in many ways at the time was not so big a movie star as she had been but was much in demand on television. Slimmed down and revitalized after the 1970's age of fat she was in her final bloom of beauty and at the top of her talent. A woman playing a star who really understood more than anyone alive what being a star of mega wattage meant. She had lived it, survived it and was triumphing over it. She was the anti Alexandra Delago who nearly had become Alexandra Delago but somehow managed to swerve and avoid that porcupine in the road of fame and live to tell about it. She was perfect casting for this T.V. movie of the play. And she had an understanding of Williams' poetry having done, "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", "Suddenly Last Summer" and "Boom".

The supporting cast turns in some fine performances. In particular, Rip Torn, and Valerie Perrine shine in their roles. Mark Harman is just the right age to play Chance Wayne a gigolo on the edge of losing his looks and too obsessed with the past to take the one last opportunity Alexandra offers him to become what he thinks he wants to be, a star.

But it is Taylor's movie all the way. From her incredible early close-ups at the beach cabana to her final scene she commands the role as no other actress of her generation could. She inhabits the roll with a worldly understanding that under the monster that Alexandra has become there is still a human being who can reach out to help another even if it is too little too late. She also brings to the film a reality from her real life that no other actress, even the best method actresses around could muster. This adds a glittering and chilling edge to the performance. It is brilliant work in a lesser medium by a star and actress who was the master of blending fact and fiction as no one else quite can.
December 16, 2008
A role that gave us a chance to see the depth of Mark Harmon's talent as the amoral, but not overly bright, Chance Wayne. A powerful movie, but like anything of Tennessee Williams, sordid and ultimately unpleasant.
½ September 3, 2008
Not as good as I'd hoped it was going to be but interesting nevertheless. Good ending but I really didn't want it to happen!
½ August 27, 2008
skip this and see the original
½ June 12, 2006
Disappointing adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play.
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