This heavily stylized film, released in 1918, features many unusual sets and costumes and was a precursor of the expressionist German cinema, such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). Before becoming a filmmaker, director Maurice Tourneur studied as an illustrator and, for a time, was an assistant to the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. Tourneur used set design and lighting effects to give "The Bluebird" an expressionistic look.
The original Broadway production of "The Blue Bird" or "L'Oiseau Bleu" by Maurice Maeterlinck opened at the New Theatre (followed by the Majestic Theater) on October 1, 1910 and closed on January 21, 1911. Revivals were produced in 1911 and 1924.
Director Maurice Tourneur grew up in France and worked at the famed film company Éclair. Éclair was interested in expanding its market in the US. So, in 1914, since Tourneur spoke fluent English, it asked him to move to manage its studio in Fort Lee, NJ. Shortly after moving to Fort Lee he began working for other studios--including Paramount Pictures, which released this picture.