HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Bye Bye Birdie American Idol
Year: 1963
Director: George Sidney
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh, Ann-Margret, Maureen Stapleton, Bobby Rydell, Jesse Pearson, Paul Lynde, Mary LaRoche, Michael Evans, Robert Paige, Gregory Morton, Bryan Russell, Milton Frome, Ed Sullivan
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: The news is breaking across the nation: Conrad Birdie (Jesse Pearson), teen sensation and the most famous singer in the land, has been drafted! Girls from coast to coast are up in arms, how could the government do such a thing to their idol? But spare a thought for the songwriters who make their money from Conrad's million-selling records, what are they going to do now? One of them, Albert F. Peterson (Dick Van Dyke), is barely scraping a living as it is, and wonders if he ought to go back to chemistry, but his secretary Rosie (Janet Leigh), who is also his girlfriend, has a great idea: how about making Conrad's last public appearance a real publicity stunt?

Bye Bye Birdie was based on the long-running stage musical, although some changes were made between the two so that the film version could better show off the talents of Ann-Margret, a new star who was starting to be a sensation herself thanks to efforts like this. She played Kim McAfee, a supposedly typical American teenager, who is chosen by The Ed Sullivan Show (Ed Sullivan plays himself) to appear on television at Conrad's farewell and be blessed with a kiss from the megastar. In effect, this means the cast (apart from Ed) have to congregate at Kim's smalltown home of Sweet Apple, Ohio, creating quite a to-do.

When the original was written, it was taken from the headlines about Elvis Presley going into the U.S. Army and the worries for his fans (and hopes for his non-fans) that his career would be over. This isn't quite successful as satire, mainly because while Conrad Birdie (his name a spoof of Conway Twitty's for some reason) is vain and self-impressed, something of a jerk in fact, Elvis was well known as being a thoroughly nice guy, so the object of the lampooning is more the stereotypical showbiz monsters you hear about than an accurate portrayal of the King of Rock 'n' Roll. And besides, nobody was going to mistake the tunes here for anything other than light pop, if that.

Two of the stars of the stage show were transported over to the big screen, Dick Van Dyke and Paul Lynde, and although both were vocal about their dissatisfaction with the movie they were household names already, though more for television than film. Lynde plays Kim's harrassed father, which he does very amusingly, perhaps unintentionally so when we now know details of the actor's private life (not that it was difficult to guess from his camp persona). He certainly gets most of the funniest lines from a script by Irving Brecher which could have been snappier, though does gather up a fair few targets in its arms.

This results in a neat snapshot of what was obsessing America in the years just before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and all that national innocence we heard about was supposedly lost forever. So there are troubles with the Soviets when the Moscow Ballet run too long in rehearsals, meaning Conrad's song is cut, the effect of rock 'n' roll on the country's morals is much worried over, if something's not on television then it's as good as never happened, and the effects of amphetamines on turtles is given space for debate. What? Yes, to save the day, Albert turns to chemistry and creates some speed - well, I won't spoil it. Suffice to say Ann-Margret overshadows everyone, a flame-haired firecracker who may not show off great range, but you can see why she was taken to the hearts of the teens of her day. This is still quite good fun, even if it does look as if it was made largely by the squares. Songs by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams. Is there no hotel in Sweet Apple?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5359 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: