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Bird (1988)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  30 September 1988 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 8,118 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 36 user | 28 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: Bird (1988)

Bird (1988) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Forest Whitaker in this movie was the first actor to portray Charlie Parker on screen. After this picture, Parker would be played by Albert J. Burnes in Robert Altman's 1996 film Kansas City (1996) and later by Steven Watts in 2001's Jazz Seen: The Life and Times of William Claxton (2001). 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

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 »

Connections

References Laura (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Reno Jam Session
Performed by Lennie Niehaus, James Rivers, Red Rodney, Pete Jolly,
Chuck Berghofer, John Guerin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Jazzy Enough
1 June 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I feel as though the film did not do justice to the musically phenomenal life "Bird" went through. He was one of the most influential Jazz musicians crating an entire style of music. Which i felt was not portrayed fully. As one of the comments i've heard before stated "it seemed they had a choice between Charlie Parker as a musical genius or Charlie Parker as a junkie and they chose junkie."

I felt as though the musicians playing the bird solo's did a bad job reflecting his "sound." As in Charlie Parker had a sound that filled up an entire room with complicated be-bop phrasings and with a blues background. While the musicians just had him playing fast notes most of the time which was sometimes difficult to hear over back ground noise, very "unbird like".

However i did enjoy moments of the film, that showed even Charlie Parker had to play some weird gigs.

My last point is that it felt as though Chan Parker was portrayed as a stable part of bird's life, and was one of the central idea's of the film. As in the love story between him and his wife, with a love hate relationship. Which i think could have been less focused on and centralized more around Charlie Parkers music.

i do understand that Chan actually helped the script writer to write the film so it may have been a somewhat biased perspective.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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