7.5/10
5,414
38 user 15 critic

Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

Approved | | Drama | 29 May 1962 (Portugal)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(play), (written for the screen by)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Accused barn burner and con man Ben Quick arrives in a small Mississippi town and quickly ingratiates himself with its richest family, the Varners.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Boxer Rocky Graziano's biopic, based on his autobiography, from childhood to his World Middleweight Championship title win at age 28 in 1947.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Paul Newman, Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
The Prize (1963)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

As the Nobel Prize winners come to Stockholm to receive their awards, their lives are overturned and perturbed in various ways.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Paul Newman, Edward G. Robinson, Elke Sommer
Hud (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud, who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Up and coming, young lawyer Anthony Lawrence faces several ethical and emotional dilemmas as he climbs the Philadelphia social ladder. His personal and professional skills are tested as he ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Paul Newman, Barbara Rush, Alexis Smith
Harper (1966)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Lew Harper, a cool private investigator, is hired by a wealthy California matron to locate her kidnapped husband.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Julie Harris
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The fashion industry and Paris provide the setting for a comedy surrounding the mistaken impression that Joanne Woodward is a high-priced call girl. Paul Newman is the journalist interviewing her for insights on her profession.

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Thelma Ritter
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Plain, repressed spinster falls for a dashing young medical student, but he prefers the wilder life, until it's too late.

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Geraldine Page, Rita Moreno
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After his employer is murdered by rival cattlemen, a troubled and uneducated young cowboy vows revenge on the murderers,

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Paul Newman, Lita Milan, John Dehner
Paris Blues (1961)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During the 1960s, two American ex-pat jazz musicians living in Paris meet and fall in-love with two American tourist girls.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Roy Jenson
Edit

Cast

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

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:

He used love like most men use money. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1962 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

El dulce pájaro de la juventud  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Had its premiere at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The theatre has been restored today and shows historic and retro films. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie as Chance is driving, he sees a sign saying "You Are Now Leaving Florida." The multi-lane highway runs very close to the beach with no buildings in between the road and beach and dozens of oil pumps adjacent to the highway. This was clearly filmed in southern California. See more »

Quotes

Boss Finley: A lot of folks say they like what I did but they don't like the way I did it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Leather Jacket Love Story (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played by the band at the festivities
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Deliciously Overwrought
17 July 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Highflying melodrama permeates this Tennessee Williams play converted to film by Director Richard Brooks. What makes this Southern soap opera fascinating is the cast of tawdry characters, beginning with Chance Wayne (Paul Newman), a charming, ambitious gigolo who, despite his best efforts, can't quite make his worldly dreams come true.

But this time he's got a real plan for success. Chance returns to his hometown on the Gulf Coast, bringing with him a boozed-out, high-strung movie star named Alexandra Del Lago (Geraldine Page). Chance hopes to grab his hometown girlfriend, Heavenly (Shirley Knight), and the three of them skedaddle off to Hollywood, so that Chance can make it big in the movies, with the help of Alexandra, of course. Thing is ... Alexandra is so spaced out, she can't remember who Chance is, or where she met him.

Chance's homecoming is anything but cordial, mostly because of the influence of Heavenly's dad, 'Boss' Finley (Ed Begley) who, along with Finley, Jr. (Rip Torn), has it in for Chance. Complicating matters even more is Miss Lucy (Madeleine Sherwood), 'Boss' Finley's mistress whom Heavenly can't stand.

Having originated as a stage play, the film takes place mostly indoors, and is very talky. But the Tennessee Williams dialogue is predictably incisive, with commentary both on the whims of success and on the fleeting nature of youth.

By far, my favorite element of the film is the deliciously overwrought performance of Geraldine Page. With her distinctive voice, her mannerisms, and her stunning acting ability, she chews up the scenery and then some, overpowering everyone and everything else. No actress could have been more credible in the role of Alexandra, an almost comical character, whose firmness, vanity, self-centeredness, and dramatic flair make her both weak and strong at the same time.

Although flashbacks tend to disrupt the flow, the film's screen story is otherwise very good. With great performances from multiple actors, excellent color cinematography, and an appropriately jazzy/blues score, "Sweet Bird Of Youth" is a film treat, in the grand tradition of cinematic melodrama.


35 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?