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The Blue Bird (1918)

Not Rated | | Fantasy | 31 March 1918 (USA)
Two peasant children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, are led by Berylune, a fairy, to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. Berylune gives Tyltyl a cap with a diamond setting, and when Tyltyl turns the... See full summary »

Director:

Maurice Tourneur

Writers:

Maurice Maeterlinck (play), Charles Maigne (adapted for the screen by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tula Belle Tula Belle ... Mytyl
Robin Macdougall Robin Macdougall ... Tyltyl
Edwin E. Reed Edwin E. Reed ... Daddy Tyl
Emma Lowry Emma Lowry ... Mummy Tyl
William J. Gross William J. Gross ... Grandpa Gaffer Tyl
Florence Anderson Florence Anderson ... Granny Tyl
Edward Elkas Edward Elkas ... Widow Berlingot
Katherine Bianchi Katherine Bianchi ... Widow Berlingot's Daughter
Lillian Cook Lillian Cook ... Fairy Berylune
Gertrude McCoy ... Light
Lyn Donelson Lyn Donelson ... Night
Charles Ascot Charles Ascot ... Dog
Tom Corless Tom Corless ... Cat
Mary Kennedy Mary Kennedy ... Water
Eleanor Masters Eleanor Masters ... Milk
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Storyline

Two peasant children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, are led by Berylune, a fairy, to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. Berylune gives Tyltyl a cap with a diamond setting, and when Tyltyl turns the diamond, the children become aware of and conversant with the souls of a Dog and Cat, as well as of Fire, Water, Bread, Light, and other presumably inanimate things. The troupe thus sets off to find the elusive Blue Bird of Happiness. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 1918 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El pájaro azul See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2004 this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in its National Film Registry. See more »

Quotes

Fairy Berylune: When you wear this enchanted hat, and turn the diamond, you will see the inside of Things... the soul of Bread, Water, of Fire...
See more »

Connections

Version of The Blue Bird (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Overcoming Age
2 April 2005 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

There seem to be only a few directors of cinema's infancy whose films are worth much attention; Maurice Tourneur is one of them. His films may not always be the most entertaining, but most of them that I've seen contain something that interests. "Alias Jimmy Valentine", for example, has major story problems, but the heist scene is outstandingly filmed for 1915. Here, too, the allegorical messages (the bluebird is happiness and such) are too sappy at times, but then there's an inspired shot or something else innovative.

The dark, flickering transfer of a deteriorated, bleeding print surely takes away from much of the visual qualities of this picture, but some of the photography and the color tinting shines through. Tourneur had some preparation for the dreamland journey of this film with the dream climax in "The Poor Little Rich Girl" of the previous year. The wonder and imagination of a child are well affected. Despite its age, the film's best element is still apparent; I think that is its awareness. Perhaps, most obviously, this film is comparable to "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), but more so to the 1914 trilogy, which Baum produced. The animal costumes are especially reminiscent, as are the cheap, but nice-looking backdrops and sets. Showing even more awareness are the trick shots in the way of a Méliès fantasy and the final shot where the boy turns to the camera and directly addresses the audience concerning the film's parable. So, to an extent, Tourneur overcomes the wear of age and the kiddy bluntness of the allegory.


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