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Bird (1988)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 7,748 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 36 user | 27 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 10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Diane Venora ...
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

One of two 1988 movies from Clint Eastwood. The other picture was Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988), also a jazz film, but a documentary, was exec produced by Eastwood. 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

Charlie Parker: Ain't it a bitch? I go to a liver doctor and I pay him $50. And it don't help me. I go to an ulcer doctor... same thing, except I pay him $75. But I go to some little cat up in a house somewhere and pay him $10 for a bag of shit and a little peace... my ulcers don't hurt, liver don't hurt. My heart trouble is gone. And this is the man I'm supposed to stay away from? Mr. Gillespie, my comrade in arms, that is what I call... a paradox.
See more »


Soundtracks

Ornithology
Performed by Charlie Parker, Jon Faddis (Trumpet), Mike Lang, Chuck Domanico,
John Guerin (Drums), Charlie Shoemaker (Vibes)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sincere but disappointing tribute to Charlie Parker

Clint Eastwood's reputation as a serious filmmaker was given a considerable boost with this lengthy biography of jazz legend, Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, who Eastwood, a jazz aficionado, saw perform in Oakland, California in 1946. For this labor of love, Eastwood assembled an excellent cast including Forest Whitaker as Parker, Diane Venora--flawless as Bird's woman, Chan Parker--and, in a small role of one of the musician's flirtations, Ana Thompson (the "cut whore" from "Unforgiven"). With the aid of cinematographer Jack N. Green, Eastwood captures the neon burnished lights and darks of the night world Parker inhabited, and the music, featuring genuine Parker solos augmented by modern musicians, can't be faulted, but despite its merits, this "Bird" never takes flight. It is long--too long--and the story it tells, though certainly dramatic in its bleak and uncompromising portrait of an artist whose music was often overshadowed by his drug addiction, weighs down too heavily on the latter than the former. Why is Charlie Parker so important? That question isn't answered here, but another question--why was Charlie Parker dead at 34?--is addressed and answered at length. There is potential on view here--Parker's struggle to survive as a musician in a culture that is more appreciative of rock and roll than of jazz is a minor thread that could have been expanded--but much of it is unrealized. "Bird" is a handsome film, but its craftsmanship and artistry is defeated by the script.


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