7.3/10
6,926
46 user 22 critic

Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 3 May 1962 (UK)
Trailer
2:53 | Trailer
A drifter and a faded film star, both traumatized by Hollywood, arrive to the guy's hometown, where the old bitter memories revive again.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

Tennessee Williams (play), Richard Brooks (written for the screen by)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Chance Wayne
Geraldine Page ... Alexandra Del Lago
Shirley Knight ... Heavenly Finley
Ed Begley ... 'Boss' Finley
Rip Torn ... Thomas J. Finley, Jr.
Mildred Dunnock ... Aunt Nonnie
Madeleine Sherwood ... Miss Lucy
Philip Abbott ... Dr. George Scudder
Corey Allen ... Scotty
Barry Cahill Barry Cahill ... Bud
Dub Taylor ... Dan Hatcher
James Douglas ... Leroy
Barry Atwater ... Ben Jackson
Charles Arnt ... Mayor Henricks
Dorothy Konrad Dorothy Konrad ... Mrs. Maribelle Norris
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Storyline

Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He used love like most men use money. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Geraldine Page, in a magazine interview shortly before her death, said the make-up artists and hairdressers spent hours on her face and hair to obtain the 'look' of a beautiful, albeit, aging movie star. Page thought this glamorized version of Alexandra wasn't right for the part, since Alexandra Del Lago was an alcoholic and drug user, but Page admitted she felt it was the best she ever looked in her entire life. See more »

Goofs

At 52:52, the position of Chance's arm changes. See more »

Quotes

Heavenly Finley: You have an illusion of power, poppa!
Boss Finley: I have power and that's no illusion.
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Connections

Referenced in Star Maps (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Rainbow
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Heard as a theme when Chance and Alexandra arrive at the hotel. Played on piano by Ray Sherman.
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User Reviews

 
Memorable 1960's.........
7 February 2007 | by PanamintSee all my reviews

Paul Newman is outstanding as the ultimate gigolo gold-digger. This movie also features the quintessential "Heavenly" daughter/ big bad daddy performances by Knight and by Begley, who is frighteningly effective.

Geraldine Page is perfectly imperfect and unattractive- remember she is this way for dramatic effect. You aren't supposed to like her. Anti-heroes and character studies were really featured in that era's plays and films. Such characters don't have to be likable and seldom are. Wonderful 1960's actresses Mildred Dunnock and Madeleine Sherwood also give their usual gem-like performances.

If you want to see what 1960's-style movie-making was really all about, view this one. Sure it is uneven and maybe a little old-fashioned by today's standards, but you can get an idea of why some of us are nostalgic for a decade that is known for big changes in movies, but otherwise somewhat forgotten. Here you get a good dose of the cynicism and fine acting of the 60's but without the annoying pretentiousness that was so prevalent in films of the era.

Also, you don't have to be familiar with the stage play or Tennessee Williams in order to appreciate this movie-making effort by Richard Brooks.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 1962 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweet Bird of Youth See more »

Filming Locations:

Malibu, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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