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Bird (1988)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  30 September 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,599 users   Metascore: 78/100
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The troubled life and career of the jazz musician, Charlie "Bird" Parker.



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Title: Bird (1988)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chan Parker
Red Rodney
Buster Franklin
Young Bird
Dr. Heath
Bellevue Nurse
Glenn Wright ...
Alcoholic Patient (as Glenn T. Wright)
George Orrison ...
Patient with Checkers
Dr. Caulfield


Saxophone player Charlie Parker comes to New York in 1940. He is quickly noticed for his remarkable way of playing. He becomes a drug addict but his loving wife Chan tries to help him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"There are no second acts in American lives." - F. Scott Fitzgerald


Biography | Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 September 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yardbird Suite  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)


$2,181,286 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The production shoot for this film ran for fifty-two days. See more »


When Bird is reciting the telegram to be sent to Chan, and we see the telegram being printed as he speaks, he says "Forgive me for not being in the hospital with you," but the telegram reads "Forgive me for not being there with you while you were at the hospital." See more »


Doctor at Nica's: Dr:
[while Bird's body is being retired]
Doctor at Nica's: Charles Christopher Parker, Junior. Preliminary diagnosis: heart attack. Stocky, male, negro. Approximately 65 years of age.
Baroness Nica: Baroness Nica:
[with a sad look]
Baroness Nica: He was 34.
See more »


Featured in Eastwood... A Star (1992) See more »


This Time The Dream's On Me
Performed by Charlie Parker, Monty Alexander (Piano), Ray Brown (Bass),
John Guerin (Drums)
See more »

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User Reviews

A saxophonist who truly altered the direction of jazz history with his music…

"Bird" traces the life of Charlie Parker, a 1940's soloist jazz great whose improvisation abilities led him to become one of the most acclaimed figure in his own lifetime… However, his self-destructive behavior and association with drugs and alcohol caused him to die before he could fully comprehend the public appreciation of his genius…

Eastwood worked with a cast of relative unknown stars, and managed to create an entire period piece on the relatively low budget show…

Sensitively acted, visually designed, this dramatic story of the troubled life of a man of tremendous warmth and compassion, Eastwood delivers a compelling portrait of an artist with an ambitious presentation of love including a magnificent score, and stunning sound… (The film's sound captured an Oscar.)

Whitaker gives an excellent performance, with an especially inevitable death scene at the age of 34… Diane Venora is impressive as the wife of this great jazz musician… Their last conversation by phone presented the legend Parker's with his conscientious of his near-death, his lost effort, his feeling of loneliness, but also his kindness, his love, and his care to his entire family… A great scene not to be missed!

25 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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