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Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  3 July 1962 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 10,879 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 38 critic

A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Bull Ransom
Betty Field ...
Stella Johnson
...
...
Tom Gaddis
...
Albert Comstock
...
Dr. Ellis
Crahan Denton ...
Kramer
James Westerfield ...
Jess Younger
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Storyline

In 1912, the notorious and violent prisoner Robert Franklin Stroud is transferred to the Leavenworth Prison convicted for murdering a man. When a guard cancels the visit of his mother, Elizabeth Stroud, due to a violation of the internal rules, he stabs and kills the guard and goes to trial three times. He is sentenced to be executed by the gallows, but his mother appeals to President Woodrow Wilson who commutes his sentence to life imprisonment. However, the warden, Harvey Shoemaker, decides to keep Stroud in solitary for the rest of his life. One day, Stroud finds a sparrow that has fallen from the nest in the yard and he raises the bird until it is strong enough to fly. Stroud finds a motivation for his life raising and caring for birds and becomes an expert in birds. He marries Stella Johnson and together they run a business, providing medicine developed by Stroud. But a few years after, Stroud is transferred to Alcatraz and has to leave his birds behind. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inside the rock called Alcatraz they tried to chain a volcano they called "The Bird Man"! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 July 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Gefangene von Alcatraz  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burt Lancaster actually met Robert Stroud in February, 1963. Lancaster claimed that Stroud told him that one of the reasons he had been denied parole was that he was an "admitted homosexual." Stroud was watched closely by prison guards at Alcatraz due to his overt and predatory homosexual tendencies. Lancaster quoted Stroud as saying "Let's face it. I am 73-years old. Does that answer your question about whether I would be a dangerous homosexual?" See more »

Goofs

When Tom Gaddis is waiting for Stroud at the boat landing in 1959, several automobile manufactures from one or two years later can be seen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tour guide: ...during which you will see all of the man-made and natural beauties, the most spectacular bay in the world. You'll pass beneath the famous Golden Gate Bridge, considered by most authorities to be one of the most striking structures ever erected by man. From the bay, you will thrill to the magnificent San Francisco skyline. Your cruise ship, the Harbor King, will circle Alcatraz, a maximum security prison containing the most dangerous criminals in America. It has been the home of ...
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Connections

Referenced in The Red Skelton Hour: The Booze Man of Alcatraz (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
9 out of 10
26 June 2000 | by (Cologne, Germany) – See all my reviews

Fatally underrated, brilliantly acted, strikingly photographed and excellently directed prison drama about con Burt Lancaster and his passion for birds and his mother Thelma Ritter. Flawless performances and a moving script make this a classic and one of Lancaster greatest on-screen appearances. To be rediscovered.


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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