[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
Bye Bye Birdie
The Most WONDERFUL Entertainment EVER! EVER!
A singer goes to a small town for a performance before he is drafted
Ann Margaret, you are everything they said you would be.
A completely stunning and fun musical that is quintessentially 60s, it's practically bursting with cliches, while still remaining completely charming. The plot does sag a little in places but it's all forgiven due to the wonderful musical numbers. Everything is brightly coloured, wonderfully lit, there isn't a pimple of blemish or bad looker on show - just like real life. Or real life of the movies.
Each song is better than the next. The Telephone Hour song is a wonderful portrayal of those lengthy ring-arounds that used to happen every weeknight discussing the gossip of the day. The shiny centrepiece of Got A Lot of Livin' To Do is infectious…
A film. . .
. . .in which Janet Leigh proves she can shake her hips with the best of them and once again proves she's extra perfect when going bra-only.
. . .in which Paul Lynde plays Ann-Margret's dad, and no one thinks he's the slightest bit ghey.
. . .in which Dick Van Dyke invents amphetamines, for which he expects to become a gozillionaire.
. . .in which Ann-Margret is Ann-Margret, which means:
Every time Ann-Margret was on screen, my living room resembled that scene in this film where all the girls in town collapse to the ground when Conrad Birdie shows up and sings them a song. It looks like the Atlanta train-yard scene in GWTW, bodies strewn all over the place.
You can follow 30 years of the evolution of youth culture and its relation to show business just by following musicals from years that end in '3'.
1933: Gold Diggers of 1933, 42nd Street
1943: The Gang's All Here
1953: The Affairs of Dobie Gillis, Give a Girl a Break
1963: Bye Bye Birdie
As the years go on, the youth get younger: early 20s in the 30s and 40s, college in the 50s, high school in the 60s. At the same time, the performance dream gets more remote: the 30s and 40s stars are performers, albeit not particularly successful ones (yet), with the war in 1943 making everyone seem more adult than they are (and the musical itself breaking…
Fun just total fun
This movie is... not very good! I remembered it more fondly, I suppose, because all I really thought about was the "What's the Story, Morning Glory?" song and how I have a crush on Dick van Dyke. Plus this was the first musical I did stage crew for in high school so there's some nostalgia attached. All that aside, this movie is kind of bad, with mostly mediocre songs, weak singing, a shoddy-as-hell plot that loses itself in weird slapstick, and uninspired direction. Great costumes, though, of course, and Janet Leigh looks super pretty with dark hair.
A silly but very fun sort of musical about an Elvis-esque musician who gets drafted into the army and how a failing song-writer, his fiance, and the people of a small town in Ohio give him a big send off. I'm not sure if amphetamine based drugs were invented by 1963 but I'm fairly sure a major plot point in this involves drugging people with speed. Also a tortoise.
I like Andrew Sarris’s summing up of George Sidney: that he “ruined more good musicals with more gusto than any director in history.” I don’t know if Bye Bye Birdie was ever a good musical, although the stage version won the Tony for best musical for its year, but the film certainly has gusto. Inspired by Elvis being called up by the army, here teen sensation Conrad Birdie is called up; publicist Rosie Deleon (Janet Leigh) cajoles Ed Sullivan into having Birdie on his show before leaving for the army, where he will sing ‘One Last Kiss’, a song to be written by Rosie’s struggling song writing fiancé (Albert F. Peterson/Dick Van Dyke) and kiss his fans goodbye...or at least…
Fun just total fun
it's kind of a shame all but two of the songs are terrible. would be pretty good otherwise.
This was really, really much more funny than I could have anticipated. For a product that leans hard into all the musical tropes it is as counter-culture as a work can be.
It's a technicolor musical that lives up to all that entails.
If you're looking for a whimsy, teenage coming of age story you'll find it here with some great comedic moments to boot. The only downfalls of this picture is the otherwise flimsy writing between the adults outside of the musical numbers, but they're easily forgotten compared to the rest of the film.
Having never seen a stage production of Bye Bye Birdie, I can't compare this movie version to that. The story goes that the movie was reworked to feature Ann-Margret more than originally slated. Seeing how my first watching of this happens 53 years after it was released, I'm not getting this nearly as completely as I would have in the 1960s.
That isn't to say I didn't enjoy myself watching it, I just didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. Dick Van Dyke and Paul Lynde made this more enjoyable than Janet Leigh and Ann-Margret did, which speaks to the comedy of the movie.
The character of Mama Mae is supposed to be funny but CHRIST does it…
Finally watched Bye Bye Birdie all the way through. I kept only seeing snippets! It's actually such a cute movie. Ann-Margret is perfect
This is what I imagine all of the 60's were like.
Vibrant colors, quirky dialogue, and wonderfully catchy music join together to make one of the most pleasing and joyful musicals.
I love classic colourful cinema like this.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!