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Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  29 May 1962 (Portugal)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,811 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 16 critic

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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Title: Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Thomas J. Finley, Jr.
...
Madeleine Sherwood ...
Philip Abbott ...
...
Scotty
Barry Cahill ...
Bud
...
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:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1962 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

El dulce pájaro de la juventud  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At some point in the early '60s the Greek actress Melina Mercouri expressed interest in the play and stated at that time that she would like to star in the role of Alexandra and have Elvis Presley play the role of Chance. Mercouri was never fond of Presley's music but she strongly felt that Elvis Presley was ideal for that specific role. This information was taken from the book "Melina Mercouri: A Star In America" by Giorgos Archimandritis and Spiros Arsenis. 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: [to Nonnie] Me... What about me?
Aunt Nonnie: [Parting words to Boss Finley] You? You can go straight to hell!
See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Played by the band when Finley announces Wayne will lead the band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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