7.5/10
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37 user 16 critic

Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

Approved | | Drama | 29 May 1962 (Portugal)
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Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. ... See full summary »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Thomas J. Finley, Jr.
...
Madeleine Sherwood ...
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Scotty
Barry Cahill ...
Bud
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Dan Hatcher
James Douglas ...
Leroy
Barry Atwater ...
Ben Jackson
Charles Arnt ...
Mayor Henricks
Dorothy Konrad ...
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Storyline

Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The big difference between people is not between the rich and the poor, The big difference is between those who have ecstasy in love an' those who haven't See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

29 May 1962 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

El dulce pájaro de la juventud  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Had its premier at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The theater has been restored today and shows historic and retro films. See more »

Goofs

Just after the opening scene in which he and the Ms. Page character are leaving Florida, the Paul Newman character pulls their Cadillac off the road and parks it in front of a liquor store, where he goes in to get Ms. Page's character a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Look carefully at the neon signs in the liquor store display window. One of them clearly advertises Coors beer. But this is supposed to be the eastern United States (presumably a Gulf Coast state), and Coors was only sold in Colorado and western states at that time. See more »

Quotes

Scotty: Leroy, did you know this is Chance Wayne... the famous Hollywood and Broadway celebrity?
Leroy: Really?
Bud: Sure. All bartenders become movie stars. Right, Chance?
Chance Wayne: Oh, well. What he's trying to say is that I had your job for too long.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Duets (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Ebb Tide
(1953) (uncredited)
Music by Robert Maxwell
Performed by Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra as background music several times
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The film has a splendid array of impressive performances…

Chance Wayne (Newman) has only one talent—sexual prowess—and he's been bumming around for several years, satisfying rich women in the hope that he can find fame in Hollywood…

He picks up a faded screen star, Alexandra Del Lago (magnificently played by Geraldine Page), who takes constant refuge in vodka, hashish, oxygen masks and young studs… She promises to get him a movie contract, and they drive to his Southern hometown, where he plans to find his sweetheart, Heavenly Finley (Shirley Knight), and take her along to Hollywood… He doesn't know that on his last visit he left her pregnant, that she had an abortion, and that her father, the corrupt and vigorous politician Boss Finley (Ed Begley), is out to get him…

Through a strong, powerful performance, Newman managed to be a celebrity—dropping names, giving large tips, arrogantly stating: "Just because a man's successful doesn't mean he has to forget his hometown."

He's also extremely sneaky and gently tolerant, as he charms Alexandra while recording what she's saying for blackmail purposes… But he's finally pathetic: a desperately insecure man, addicted to amphetamines, attending to Alexandra and performing as a lover at her whim… His mask of swaggering bravura really disappears when he tries to see Heavenly… He becomes confused and desperate—walking with regular steps, rubbing his hands together, pleading urgently over the phone…


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