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Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

Not Rated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 15 September 1962 (Italy)
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2:53 | Trailer

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A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.

Directors:

John Frankenheimer, Charles Crichton (uncredited)

Writers:

Guy Trosper (screenplay), Thomas E. Gaddis (book)
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Robert Franklin Stroud
Karl Malden ... Harvey Shoemaker
Thelma Ritter ... Elizabeth Stroud
Neville Brand ... Bull Ransom
Betty Field ... Stella Johnson
Telly Savalas ... Feto Gomez
Edmond O'Brien ... Tom Gaddis
Hugh Marlowe ... Albert Comstock
Whit Bissell ... Dr. Ellis
Crahan Denton ... Kramer
James Westerfield ... Jess Younger
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Storyline

In 1912, the notorious and violent prisoner Robert Franklin Stroud is transferred to the Leavenworth Prison convicted for murdering a man. When a guard cancels the visit of his mother, Elizabeth Stroud, due to a violation of the internal rules, he stabs and kills the guard and goes to trial three times. He is sentenced to be executed by the gallows, but his mother appeals to President Woodrow Wilson who commutes his sentence to life imprisonment. However, the warden, Harvey Shoemaker, decides to keep Stroud in solitary for the rest of his life. One day, Stroud finds a sparrow that has fallen from the nest in the yard and he raises the bird until it is strong enough to fly. Stroud finds a motivation for his life raising and caring for birds and becomes an expert in birds. He marries Stella Johnson and together they run a business, providing medicine developed by Stroud. But a few years after, Stroud is transferred to Alcatraz and has to leave his birds behind. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inside the rock called Alcatraz they tried to chain a volcano they called "The Bird Man"! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1962 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Gefangene von Alcatraz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,650,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Norma Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point, the real Robert Stroud had over 400 birds in his cell. See more »

Goofs

During the 1946 escape attempt from Alcatraz, inmates are shown obtaining a revolver and a lever-action rifle from a gun gallery. The firearms kept (and subsequently stolen from the gallery) were a Colt .45 automatic pistol and a 30.06 Springfield Bolt-Action Rifle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tour guide: ...during which you will see all of the man-made and natural beauties, the most spectacular bay in the world. You'll pass beneath the famous Golden Gate Bridge, considered by most authorities to be one of the most striking structures ever erected by man. From the bay, you will thrill to the magnificent San Francisco skyline. Your cruise ship, the Harbor King, will circle Alcatraz, a maximum security prison containing the most dangerous criminals in America. It has been the home of ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

European release is five minutes longer than original US theatrical version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Governor & J.J.: The Butterfly Man of Alcazar (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Uplifting & Inspiring Movie Magic! Lancaster is the Birdman!
10 December 2007 | by lawrence_elliottSee all my reviews

What a beautiful film portrayal. Though this movie is slow-paced it is worth the effort to get involved viewing it. Lancaster and Malden are perfect antagonists on screen. The tenderness and gentleness shown to the birds by the inmates in the prison contrasts not only the harsh prison environment accompanied by the violent existence of everyday life but also the inner characters' of the prisoners' themselves whose tough exteriors mask the gentle love that surfaces when the birds are introduced into Robert Stroud's cell. Telly Savalas is in his element when this coarse and tough brute is elevated to tender emotions he thought did not exist in himself anymore after spending most of his life behind prison walls. This film has had a direct impact on my life as Robert Stroud's book on Bird diseases and their treatments have cured my own flock from ailments from time to time and I am so grateful for his brilliant common sense approach to disease and medicine. This is a brilliant film that I thoroughly enjoy each time I watch it. John Frankenheimer - where are you when we need you?


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