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The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.
Conrad Birdie is the biggest rock & roll star of the 60's ever to be drafted. Aspiring chemist and song writer Albert is convinced he can make his fortune and marry his girlfriend Rosie if he gets Conrad on the Ed Sullivan show to kiss a high school girl goodbye. Albert's mother will do anything to break him up with Rosie. Kim and Hugo, the high school steadies, live in Sweet Apple, Ohio where most of the action takes place. Written by
Lisa Grable <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ed Sullivan, who played himself in this film, would later reprise the "One Last Kiss" segment "for real" on his weekly variety show. In 1967 Gary Lewis (American musician, son of comedian Jerry Lewis and member of the band Gary Lewis & The Playboys) performed the song, on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)), shortly before Gary's actual induction into the US Army. Interestingly, neither Pop and Country singer Conway Twitty, who first became a singer after serving in the military, nor 'Conrad Birdie' ever appeared on the actual "Ed Sullivan Show". See more »
After Rosie pulls the McAfee family out of the audience at "The Ed Sullivan Show", two different shots of the Russian conductor show the McAfees still sitting in the audience. See more »
I must be the prized dope of all-time... thinking I could pry you away from your mama's ever-lovin' tentacles.
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There is no "The End" credit or cast list at the end of the film. Ann-Margret simply sings an on-screen reprise of the song "Bye Bye Birdie" at the end, and then says " 'Bye, now!". See more »
Still a happy, sun-filled, delightful musical after all these years.
Some will bicker that the film version bears little resemblance to the original stage musical and those who do may now compare the film with the 1995 made for TV version which strictly adheres to the stage libretto, contains all the songs plus some new ones, and lumbers rather than levitates. Still the 1963 film version delights and truly moves with youthful energy. Only eleven of the sixteen original songs are used but a new title tune is added to bring the bag up to an even dozen. Perfect casting prevails with Van Dyke, relatively an unknown then, repeating his stage role in his first feature film, Janet Leigh a perfect Rosie, and Ann-Margret in her star-making, breakthrough role (her third film appearance)the perfect Kim. Add to this the hilarious support of Paul Lynde and Maureen Stapleton and you have non-stop delight. The songs are all well performed and the plot elements never get in the way of the fun. In the original stage play the Ed Sullivan fiasco (without a Russian in sight) ended Act One. Act Two primarily consists of Albert trying to win Rosie. The film producers, rightly aiming the film version at the youthful audience, kept them in center stage and shunted Albert and Rosie to the background, building up the Ed Sullivan pressure to the end of the film - a much better choice. And who will ever get over that incredible opening with Ann-Margret in gold lighting against a blue screen singing the title song. Still gives me goose bumps. One of the screen's best musicals and best musical adaptations.
The songs: (BYE BYE BIRDIE, WE LOVE YOU CONRAD, THE TELEPHONE HOUR, HOW WONDERFUL TO BE A WOMAN, HONESTLY SINCERE, HYMN FOR A SUNDAY EVENING, ONE BOY, PUT ON A HAPPY FACE, KIDS, ONE LAST KISS, ROSIE).
One question though - with Rita Moreno fresh from her Oscar winning performance as Anita in WEST SIDE STORY, why didn't the producers cast her as Rosie - they make Janet Leigh up to look like Moreno's Anita, don't they? Just a thought.
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