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Birdman of Alcatraz ()


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

Awards:
  • Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations.
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Cast verified as complete

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Robert Franklin Stroud
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Harvey Shoemaker
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Elizabeth Stroud
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Bull Ransom
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Stella Johnson
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Feto Gomez
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Tom Gaddis
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Albert Comstock
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Dr. Ellis
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Kramer
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Jess Younger
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Reporter on Dock (uncredited)
Nicky Blair ...
Inmate (uncredited)
John Burnside ...
Captain of Marines (uncredited)
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Sen. Ham Lewis (uncredited)
Mushy Callahan ...
Inmate (uncredited)
James J. Casino ...
Inmate (uncredited)
James Cavanaugh ...
Guard (uncredited)
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Chaplain Wentzel (uncredited)
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Inmate (uncredited)
Nick Dennis ...
Crazed Prisoner (uncredited)
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Bit Part (uncredited)
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Judge (uncredited)
William Hansen ...
Fred Daw (uncredited)
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Guard (uncredited)
William Hellinger ...
Inmate (uncredited)
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Editor (uncredited)
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Inmate (uncredited)
Harry Jackson ...
Reporter (uncredited)
Pete Kellett ...
Inmate (uncredited)
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Burns (uncredited)
Fred Libby ...
Reporter (uncredited)
Mike Mahoney ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
Edward Mallory ...
John Clary (uncredited)
Adrienne Marden ...
Mrs. Woodrow Wilson (uncredited)
Eric Martin ...
Inmate (uncredited)
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Guard (uncredited)
Leo V. Matranga ...
Inmate (uncredited)
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Alcatraz Captain of Guards (uncredited)
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Guard (uncredited)
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Inmate (uncredited)
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Father Matthieu (uncredited)
Pat Moran ...
Inmate (uncredited)
Leo Penn ...
Eddie Kassellis (uncredited)
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Logue (uncredited)
Victor Romito ...
Guard (uncredited)
Ben Roseman ...
Inmate (uncredited)
Michael Ross ...
Convict Qualen's Friend (uncredited)
Myrna Ross ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
Art Salter ...
Guard (uncredited)
Phil Schumacher ...
Detective (uncredited)
Ray Spiker ...
Appleton - Murdered Guard (uncredited)
Irving Steinberg ...
Inmate (uncredited)
Art Stewart ...
Guard Captain (uncredited)
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Alcatraz Guard (uncredited)
Frankie Van ...
Inmate (uncredited)
Anton von Stralen ...
Guard (uncredited)
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Guard (uncredited)

Directed by

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John Frankenheimer
Charles Crichton ... (uncredited) (quit; footage scrapped)

Written by (WGA)

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Guy Trosper ... (screenplay)
 
Thomas E. Gaddis ... (book)

Produced by

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Stuart Millar ... producer
Guy Trosper ... producer
Harold Hecht ... executive producer (uncredited)

Music by

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Elmer Bernstein

Cinematography by

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Burnett Guffey
John Alton ... (uncredited)

Film Editing by

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Edward Mann

Art Direction by

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Fernando Carrere ... (as Ferdie Carrere)

Makeup Department

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Robert J. Schiffer ... makeup artist (as Robert Schiffer)

Production Management

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Gilbert Kurland ... executive production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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David Silver ... assistant director (as Dave Silver)
Jim Lancaster ... assistant director (uncredited)

Sound Department

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George Cooper ... sound
James Nelson ... special sound effects
Robert A. Reich ... special sound effects (as Robert Reich)

Camera and Electrical Department

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Denis Cameron ... still photographer (uncredited)
Richard H. Kline ... camera operator (uncredited)
James Saper ... camera operator (uncredited)
Harry Sundby ... electrician (uncredited)

Music Department

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Jack Hayes ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken ... orchestrator (uncredited)

Other crew

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Harold Hecht ... presenter
Linda Boissinot-Verger ... (uncredited) (press attache: reissue France 2001)
Thomas E. Gaddis ... technical advisor (uncredited)
A.W. Kennard ... bird handler (uncredited)
Vincent Paul-Boncour ... press attache: reissue France 2001 (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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 Keywords
Taglines now the world will know the story of the most defiant man alive! See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Le prisonnier d'Alcatraz (France)
  • Der Gefangene von Alcatraz (Germany)
  • El hombre de Alcatraz (Spain)
  • Ptasznik z Alcatraz (Poland)
  • Alkatraz kusçusu (Turkey, Turkish title)
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Runtime
  • 147 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $2,650,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

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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 While Stroud is at Alcatraz, his cell is depicted with a window. All the cells at Alcatraz were located on inside walls with no openings to the outside. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Burt Lancaster (1968). See more »
Quotes [last lines]
Robert Stroud: Tom? You know what they used to call Alcatraz in the old days?
Tom Gaddis: What?
Robert Stroud: Bird Island.
Tom Gaddis: [narrating] Robert Stroud's petition for parole has been denied annually for 24 years. Age 72, he is now in his 53rd year of imprisonment.
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