The troubled life and career of the jazz musician, Charlie "Bird" Parker.

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yardbird Suite  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,181,286 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A sound engineer digitally and electronically isolated the solo tracks from the old recordings that Clint Eastwood got from Charlie Parker's widow Chan Parker. Then modern day musicians such as Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Red Rodney, Barry Harris and Walter Davis, Jr recorded backing tracks over Charlie Parker's original music. Dizzy Gillespie could not contribute to these backing tracks as he was on tour at the time so instead trumpet player Jon Faddis stepped in to do Gillespie's part. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Chan Parker: Dizzy sent you a birthday card. Seems he's back in town. Do you owe him a phone call?
Charlie Parker: I owe Dizzy everything...except a phone call.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tatort: Märchenwald (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Ko Ko
Performed by Charlie Parker, Walter Davis, Jr. (Piano), Ron Carter (Bass),
John Guerin (Drums)
Courtesy of S. J. Records/Ed Chalpin PPX
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!


26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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