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Something for the Birds (1952)

Approved | | Comedy | October 1952 (USA)
Enviromentalist Anne Richards goes to Washington D. C. to fight for getting legislation passed to save the last remaining sanctuary of the almost-extinct California Condor. She enlists the ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Alvin M. Josephy (story and screenplay), Joseph Petracca (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Mature ... Steve Bennett
Patricia Neal ... Anne Richards
Edmund Gwenn ... 'Admiral' Johnnie Adams
Larry Keating ... Roy Patterson
Gladys Hurlbut Gladys Hurlbut ... Della Rice
Hugh Sanders ... Jim Grady
Christian Rub ... Leo Fischer
Wilton Graff ... Taylor
Archer MacDonald Archer MacDonald ... T. Courtney Lemmer
Richard Garrick ... Chandler
Ian Wolfe ... Foster
Russell Gaige Russell Gaige ... Winthrop
John Brown John Brown ... Mr. Lund
Camillo Guercio Camillo Guercio ... Duncan
Joan Miller Joan Miller ... Mac
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Storyline

Enviromentalist Anne Richards goes to Washington D. C. to fight for getting legislation passed to save the last remaining sanctuary of the almost-extinct California Condor. She enlists the aid of Johnnie Adams, an engraver, and Washington's most successful party-crasher, and Steve Bennett, a lobbyist for the opposition who comes over to Anne's side. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Defensora das Aves See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Original cast announced were Anne Baxter, Paul Douglas, and Victor Moore. The film stalled in pre-production and Douglas left Fox and was replaced by Dana Andrews. Baxter dropped out and was replaced by Jeanne Crain, but her pregnancy stalled the picture some more until shooting finally began in May 1952 with Patricia Neal, Victor Mature, and Edmund Gwenn. See more »

Quotes

'Admiral' Johnnie Adams: You know how it is in Washington - the more you deny something, the more everybody believes it.
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User Reviews

 
Patricia Neal falls for two vultures
24 September 2009 | by Irie212See all my reviews

I have to take issue with the review by Matt_Wall, which stated it was "hard to believe this script was written in the early 1950s." The plot is about gas companies vs. conservationists trying to save the California condor. Gas was first drilled for in 1821, and there have been conservationists since before Thoreau, so this was an old story by 1950. Furthermore, California's Audubon Society had been fighting to preserve the condor's habitat since the 1930s. So Mr. Wall seems to be among the disturbingly long list of people who assume nothing much of interest happened before they were alive to hear about it.

What's more, this environmentally conscious movie is hardly a first for Hollywood. To name a very famous example, which this film resembles, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) centered around the battle against dam-builders for the establishment of a national boys' camp.

The script, credited to I.A.L. Diamond among others, has enough wit so that it hardly needed the screwball spin (or the accompanying silly musical score). Victor Mature at his oiliest is perfect to play the Washington lobbyist named Steve, though he's not exactly a light- footed comic actor. On the other hand, Edmund Gwenn and Patricia Neal bring their reliable gifts to their roles; both exude intelligence, dignity, and disarming honesty.

The IMDb entry for "Memorable quotes" is empty, but there are more than a few good lines in this all-but-forgotten film:

"No one has ever accused me of being unpatriotic. In fact, I was the first man in the House to speak out against the Japanese beetle."

Congressman: "Is it your practice to distribute gifts to people in high places?" Lobbyist: "Only to those who accept them."

"You know how it is in Washington. The more you deny something, the more everybody believes it."

(Said of a widow) "That's quite an accomplishment, surviving a Southern congressman."

Journalist: "You'd barbecue your grandmother on the Capitol steps for a buck." Lobbyist: "And you'd be right there with your little notebook taking down her last word."

(Said of the lobbyist) "Steve hasn't an enemy in the world, but I like him anyway."


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