IMDb > Rare Birds (2001)
Rare Birds
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Rare Birds (2001) More at IMDbPro »

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Rare Birds -- A down-and-out restaurant owner launches an ingenious hoax to bring in new customers.
Rare Birds -- A down-and-out restaurateur and his neighbor hatch a plan to lure luminaries to their small Newfoundland town.


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6.5/10   1,269 votes »
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Edward Riche (novel)
Edward Riche (screenplay)
View company contact information for Rare Birds on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 July 2003 (Italy) See more »
Fortune can make a man do some pretty fowl things.
A down-and-out restaurateur and his neighbor hatch a plan to lure luminaries to their small Newfoundland town. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
6 wins & 9 nominations See more »
(5 articles)
Disney 53, Week 7: The Three Caballeros
 (From The Hollywood News. 15 February 2013, 7:00 AM, PST)

Dexter Season 6 – Molly Parker Sister Act
 (From Boomtron. 10 June 2011, 9:58 AM, PDT)

The Word: the presenters
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 10 August 2010, 8:39 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Reminded me of a buffet, "Take all you want, but eat all you take"... See more (35 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

William Hurt ... Dave
Andy Jones ... Phonce

Molly Parker ... Alice
Vicky Hynes ... Deb
Greg Malone ... Buster Bartlett
Michael Chiasson ... Dr. Jack Tomlinson
Barry Newhook ... Caller #1 / Hostage
Laura Tobin ... Girl #1
Maggie Meyer ... Girl #2
Frankie O'Neill ... Brit Woman
Lawrence Barry ... Hooligan
Leah Lewis ... Bette
Todd Perrin ... Cook

Deidre Gillard-Rowlings ... Waitress
Matthew Clarke ... Bartender
John Moyes ... Male Diner

Sheila McCarthy ... Claire
Bryan Hennessey ... Cortini
Pete Soucy ... Bystander
George Jonas ... Dr. Hans Spiedal

Mark Critch ... Dougie
Mack Furlong ... Car Man

Directed by
Sturla Gunnarsson 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Edward Riche  novel
Edward Riche  screenplay

Produced by
Sam Feldman .... co-executive producer
Paul Pope .... co-producer
Jeff Sackman .... co-executive producer
Tamara Shannon .... associate producer
Janet York .... co-producer
Original Music by
Jonathan Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Jan Kiesser 
Film Editing by
Jeff Warren 
Casting by
Jon Comerford 
Pat McCorkle 
Production Design by
Pam Hall 
Set Decoration by
Kathee Reardigan 
Costume Design by
Jeanie Kimber 
Makeup Department
Debbie Vatcher .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alex Pappas .... first assistant director
Kelly Stone .... second assistant director
Terry Stone .... third assistant director
Art Department
Daniel R. Bradette .... property master
Shelley Cornick .... key scenic artist
Paul Wade .... carpenter
Sound Department
Kevin Belen .... sound re-recording mixer
Erik Culp .... foley recordist
Don Ellis .... boom operator
Bill Mellow .... sound re-recording mixer
Donna Powell .... foley artist
Jim Rillie .... sound
David Yonson .... adr recordist
Special Effects by
Gary Minielly .... special effects coordinator
Randy Boliver .... stunt coordinator
Eric Bryson .... stunt coordinator
Mark A. Owen .... stunt double: Andy Jones
Camera and Electrical Department
Jason Andrews .... lighting technician
Jake Clarke .... best boy electric
Jake Clarke .... underwater electrician
Gary Deneault .... gaffer
Sean Doran .... best boy grip
Mark O'Neill .... camera trainee
Flora Planchat .... daily electrician
Karl Simmons .... key grip
Casting Department
John Mabry .... casting assistant
Editorial Department
Catherine Rankin .... negative cutter
Gary Shaw .... video colorist
D. Gillian Truster .... first assistant editor
Gord Ventura .... dailies colorist
Transportation Department
Robert Whelan Jr. .... picture car coordinator
Robert Whelan Jr. .... transportation coordinator (2001)
Other crew
Kirsten Andrews .... publicist

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language and drug use
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Filmed in 30 days, except for the final shot, which was delayed for seven months. An unexpected early snowfall forced the shot (of a car on a road near the sea) to be postponed until the snow melted the following May.See more »
Continuity: Level of wine glass when Dave and Phonse are eating in the kitchen.See more »
Parla... siam soli... Tutte le feste al tempioSee more »


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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Reminded me of a buffet, "Take all you want, but eat all you take"..., 6 August 2006
Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge

Before every episode of that sci-fi classic television series X-Files there would be a promotional teaser that would claim, "All of your questions will be answered…" While you would watch the show, hoping that Mulder and Scully would finally find the answers to life, ultimately by the end, there would be more questions with very very few answers. It was the X-Files and over time we found ourselves used to no questions answered, and continued randomness coupled with confusion. Rare Birds seemed to be directed by an obvious X-Files fan, because here you have a film that is being marketed as the next Saving Grace or Waking Ned Devine, but oddly ends up like neither of these films and more like an unanswered episode of that alien miniseries. There are so many unanswered questions with implausible moments in Rare Birds that instead of focusing on the possible great and unique characters, our minds get muddled in the tangent, random, and completely unfocused story. Rare Birds could have been a comfortable film, it could have been easy, simple, and relaxed, but too many unfamiliar coincidences caused this "independent" film to flap poorly in the wind. Rare Birds will transform any avid bird enthusiast into a full-fledged hunter, shooting any bird that step within their path!

What makes Rare Birds an interesting film (and keep in mind this is the only interesting part of the film) is that as you watch this film, you can pinpoint exactly where the muddling begins. There is an exact moment in this film where you can see that the director wanted to add so many different elements that they could not control them all. From the tangent cocaine story(causing unfocused elements in characters that are not developed), to the scientifically profound lights, to the recreational submarine, all the way to the supposed central focus of this film … the rare bird. One would think that the rare bird story, hoping to build a sorrowed character's life to be better, would be the central moment, the breaking moment, but instead the rare bird story is just as unfocused as the rest of the film. Early in the film Hurt and Jones go into Jones' basement and all of these stories collide together. Sadly, when we leave the basement, nothing has been straightened out. This is when our story, Rare Birds, begins to burn and into a slowly crashing direction. It is obvious that Edward Riche's novel has quite a bit more about the characters and their inner-voice explaining better situations. Alas, this did not transform well into a film version. Director Gunnarsson has way too much on the plate, and as we see in other films in the same vein, there becomes a fuzzy central focus. The rare bird story should have been the focus, but instead we attempt to learn about cocaine (and Dave's apparent addiction), the "Winnebago" group, and some random science light issue that is never fully explained thoroughly. Rare Birds starts strong, but ultimately fails because of the classic "buffet-line" issue. Gunnarsson should have followed the rules, "Take all you want, but eat all you take"!

Occasionally with films that are as painful as Rare Birds, you sometimes get a great cast that overshadows the failing story. Hurt is awful. I have seen him in so many good films over the years, but this seemed to be too simple of a role for him. Was he doing it for just the cash or was he overplaying the simpleton character? I couldn't tell. Hurt seemed to play Dave with so much remorse, so much pain, that you never could understand what his true story was. His reaction to his wife was flimsy, the story between him and Molly Parker was subsequently as weak, and his reactions to Jones were uncharismatic. He felt bored in this film, and instead of being funny, he just felt sad. His character was nothing to write home about, and I blame Hurt because I know he could have pushed deeper and had fun with Dave overall creating an enjoyable hour and a half. This did not happen, and we were pained for that exact amount of time. The same can be said for Molly Parker who danced her way out of our hearts and Andy Jones who played his character to discretely. There was too much counterbalance between Hurt and Jones that they could not play off each other well. What could have been a decent buddy scenario like Waking Ned Devine turned out to be just two characters talking about incoherent nothing. The story matched the characters, overall souring this film.

Overall, Rare Birds was a horrible film. It had the potential to be just a simple, sweet story about friends helping each other, but instead too much was thrown into the mix to muddle the overall tone of the story. With the synopsis centering around some rare birds helping a friend gain new business, I went into the film expecting a buddy story centered with this rare bird story. Alas, it never really congealed that way. That is the biggest gripe of this film. I don't mind getting into a film and experiencing something different, but this was a completely tangent storyline. Nothing was ever developed, nothing was ever answered. I really didn't want an answer by the end of the film, but at the end I felt cheated and wronged. Even the supposed "love story" didn't seem real, but instead very forced. Pass on Rare Birds if you can. It has nothing to do with friendship and very little to do with birds.

Grade: * out of *****

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