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



Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A thinly fictionalized account of a legendary movie director, whose desire to hunt down an animal turns into a grim situation with his movie crew in Africa.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Fahey, Charlotte Cornwell
Honkytonk Man (1982)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

As the film opens on an Oklahoma farm during the depression, two simultaneous visitors literally hit the Wagoneer home: a ruinous dust storm and a convertible crazily driven by Red, the ... See full summary »

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood, John McIntire
Bronco Billy (1980)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An idealistic, modern-day cowboy struggles to keep his Wild West show afloat in the face of hard luck and waning interest.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis
Breezy (1973)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Breezy is a teen-aged hippy with a big heart. After taking a ride with a man who only wants her for sex, Breezy manages to escape. She runs to hide on a secluded property where stands the ... See full summary »

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: William Holden, Kay Lenz, Roger C. Carmel
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A hard-nosed, hard-living Marine gunnery sergeant clashes with his superiors and his ex-wife as he takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill
The Rookie (1990)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Clint Eastwood plays a veteran detective who gets stuck with a rookie cop (Charlie Sheen) to chase down a German crook (Raul Julia.)

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen, Raul Julia
The Gauntlet (1977)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A classical art professor and collector, who doubles as a professional assassin, is coerced out of retirement to avenge the murder of an old friend.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, George Kennedy, Vonetta McGee
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A visiting city reporter's assignment suddenly revolves around the murder trial of a local millionaire, whom he befriends.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jack Thompson
Firefox (1982)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A pilot is sent into the Soviet Union on a mission to steal a prototype jet fighter that can be partially controlled by a neuralink

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Freddie Jones, David Huffman
True Crime (1999)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Can an over-the-hill journalist uncover the evidence that can prove a death row inmate's innocence just hours before his execution?

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Isaiah Washington, LisaGay Hamilton


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?


First of two Clint Eastwood pictures co-starring Diane Venora. She appeared in True Crime (1999) 11 years later. See more »


When Charlie Parker goes to Dizzy Gillespie's house in the middle of the night and asks Dizzy to write down a tune, the year is 1953. The tune is "Now's the Time", published and recorded in 1949. See more »


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 »


References The Jack Benny Program (1950) See more »


Young Bird
Performed by James Rivers, Pete Jolly, Chuck Berghofer, John Guerin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

10 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Bird" will probably be most appreciated by jazz fans who come to it already familiar with Charlie Parker and his incalculable contributions to jazz and influence on generations of musicians that continues to this day. The script contains many shorthand references that might be lost on the average moviegoer -- e.g., Parker calls Dizzy Gillespie "Birks," which was his middle name, but many people probably don't know that.

But there is the music, and tons of it. There are extraordinary performances by Forest Whitaker as Parker, and Diane Venora as his common law wife, Chan. In many ways the film seems more a love story than the standard musical biopic. Chan was unfailingly supportive of Bird, despite his self-destructive drug use, alcoholism and chronic infidelity. He loved her in his own way, and I think she realized that she was in love with a genius who would forever be plagued by demons, and that she couldn't have one without the other.

Clint Eastwood's love of jazz is well-known, and in "Bird" he provides a wealth of wonderful music, beautifully performed. The actual playing of Charlie Parker is augmented by accompaniment from contemporary musicians, and Parker has never sounded better. Eastwood also provides an unflinching portrayal of the complicated lives of jazz musicians, and the addictions to which so many succumb.

Despite the mess that Bird made of his life, he remains a charming and sympathetic figure. And his music, years ahead of its time, and so complex that countless fledging saxophone players have attempted to copy his recordings note for note, will forever live on.

23 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why was it Rated R? mcbain20
Life to death ZaEry
If you really want to look up something on Charlie Parker... epatten67
Discuss Bird (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: