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Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 27 May 1963 (Brazil)
A rock singer travels to a small Ohio town to make his "farewell" television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted.

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Writers:

(book), (screen play)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Mary LaRoche ...
Michael Evans ...
Claude Paisley
...
Bob Precht
Gregory Morton ...
Maestro Borov
Bryan Russell ...
Milton Frome ...
Mr. Maude
...
Ben Astar ...
Ballet Manager
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Storyline

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 <grable@unity.ncsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

kiss | song | ohio | songwriter | secretary | See All (83) »

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The Most WONDERFUL Entertainment EVER! EVER!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

27 May 1963 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Adiós, ídolo mío  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (optical prints)| (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| (RCA Sound Recording) (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie, Dick Van Dyke's character wants to be a chemist. In the stage play he wants to be a simple English teacher, and Rosie has a song to that effect. None of the Russian Ballet shows up in either the stage version or the 1995 movie remake Bye Bye Birdie (1995). See more »

Goofs

After singing the final line of "One Boy," Rosie sits down on the balcony steps and wraps her arms around a support post. As the camera pulls away near a tree branch, the film cuts to a different take and Rosie's hands aren't in the same position as they were a split second before. See more »

Quotes

Doris McAfee: You know these adolescents! Kim'll lose face!
Harry McAfee: And if I don't get him out that's not all she'll...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Friends: The One with All the Poker (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

The Shriner's Ballet
Music by Charles Strouse
Lyrics by Lee Adams
Performed by Janet Leigh, along with the Shriners
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Real 1960's Nostalgia
31 October 2010 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Although George Sidney directed some classic MGM musicals, his adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway hit, "Bye Bye Birdie" for Columbia is not often mentioned. The oversight is unfair, because "Birdie" is a lively, tuneful, and often inventive film musical. Where "Grease" strove to create nostalgia by invoking the 1950's and 60's, "Birdie" was filmed in 1963 and is the real thing. Although the music is generally more Broadway than late-50's rock, the film includes a genuine 1950's teen heartthrob in Bobby Rydell, and an authentic icon of the period in Ed Sullivan. Both Rydell and Sullivan were still popular when the film was made and, unlike the bygone stars in "Grease," were not dragged from the attic for walk-ons.

Conrad Birdie, a thinly disguised Elvis, has been drafted. Aspiring songwriter, Dick Van Dyke, and his secretary, Janet Leigh in an awful black wig, concoct a plan to have Birdie bestow a goodbye kiss on one lucky girl and sing a song to be written by Van Dyke. All of this to take place on the "Ed Sullivan Show." Ann -Margret from Sweetwater, Ohio, is the lucky girl.

Although Ann-Margret is a bit hot to be the steady of Bobby Rydell, she is dynamite on the dance floor and smolders during her numbers. Obviously, the director and producer fell in love with her, and she upstages everyone, including two members of the original Broadway cast, Van Dyke and Paul Lynde. However, Lynde does hold his own as Ann-Margret's father, and he has an amusing musical number in "Kids." Also funny is Maureen Stapleton, who stomps around in sensible shoes and a fur coat as Van Dyke's mother. To Leigh's frustration, Stapleton does everything to keep her "baby" from falling into marriage and out of her control.

"Bye Bye Birdie" has a number of good songs, some lively choreography, and clever effects that distinguish it from the more traditional musicals like "Show Boat" that Sidney directed for MGM. Although Van Dyke has the central role, he is not a standout. Perhaps the part of Albert Peterson was meant to be a bland foil for the two women in his life, who spar for control. Although Leigh is miscast as Rosie DeLeon, a Latina part that belongs to Chita Rivera, she does well despite the wig. However, Ann-Margret opens the film, closes the film, and, in between, sizzles and dazzles in a star-making role.


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