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Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

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A rock singer travels to a small Ohio town to make his "farewell" television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted.

Director:

George Sidney

Writers:

Michael Stewart (book), Irving Brecher (screen play)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Janet Leigh ... Rosie DeLeon
Dick Van Dyke ... Albert F. Peterson
Ann-Margret ... Kim McAfee
Maureen Stapleton ... Mama Mae Peterson
Bobby Rydell ... Hugo Peabody
Jesse Pearson ... Conrad Birdie
Paul Lynde ... Harry McAfee
Mary LaRoche ... Doris McAfee
Michael Evans ... Claude Paisley
Robert Paige ... Bob Precht
Gregory Morton Gregory Morton ... Maestro Borov
Bryan Russell ... Randolph McAfee
Milton Frome ... Mr. Maude
Ed Sullivan ... Ed Sullivan
Ben Astar ... Ballet Manager
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Storyline

Conrad Birdie is the biggest rock & roll star of the 60's ever to be drafted. Aspiring chemist and song writer Albert is convinced he can make his fortune and marry his girlfriend Rosie if he gets Conrad on the Ed Sullivan show to kiss a high school girl goodbye. Albert's mother will do anything to break him up with Rosie. Kim and Hugo, the high school steadies, live in Sweet Apple, Ohio where most of the action takes place. Written by Lisa Grable <grable@unity.ncsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

kiss | song | ohio | songwriter | secretary | See All (83) »

Taglines:

The Most WONDERFUL Entertainment EVER! EVER!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Cantonese

Release Date:

27 May 1963 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Adiós, ídolo mío See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$13,129,412
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording) (optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (RCA Sound Recording) (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert's music company is called "ALMAELOU." This is an amalgam of his name, his mother's name, and Lou - Mae's wired hair terrier. Lou died after being hit by a beer truck - a beverage she faithfully consumed for 32 years. See more »

Goofs

The turtle that zooms off a table and out a door is clearly a prop mounted on top of a dolly several inches thick that holds the turtle above the table and floor. The prop must have wheels as it slides so smoothly across the floor. See more »

Quotes

Mae Peterson: Now, don't try to pay me back, son. I forgive you. So what if you're an ingrate? So long as you're happy.
Albert Peterson: I don't wanna be happy!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no "The End" credit or cast list at the end of the film. Ann-Margret simply sings an on-screen reprise of the song "Bye Bye Birdie" at the end, and then says " 'Bye, now!". See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.144 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
Played briefly at the end of Conrad Birdie's song "Honestly Sincere"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spreading Sunshine All Over The Place
30 November 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Bye Bye Birdie which ran a most respectable 607 performances on Broadway was the second musical by the team of Charles Strouse and Lee Adams. And though they've been responsible for such additional Broadway hits as Applause, Golden Boy, All American, not one other of their shows has ever been adapted to the screen.

Though Bye Bye Birdie contains a number of hit songs still performed frequently today, it's never been revived. Interesting in that Grease which was a satire of that pre-Beatles era of rock and roll is performed all the time. You'd think the real article would occasionally be revived.

The only ones who make the transition from Broadway to Hollywood from the cast are Dick Van Dyke and Paul Lynde. Probably because respectively they are so identified with the songs Put On A Happy Face and Kids that no one would see the film if they weren't in it.

Based on the great pop culture uproar when Elvis Presley got drafted, Bye Bye Birdie is about a contest thought up by production assistant Janet Leigh to the Ed Sullivan Show to help her struggling songwriter boyfriend Dick Van Dyke. He writes a song One Last Kiss and Janet puts the idea to Sullivan to have Conrad Birdie {Jesse Pearson) sing it on the show to a special Conrad Birdie fan selected at random and bestow one last kiss before Uncle Sam takes him.

The lucky girl is Ann-Margret of Sweet Apple, Ohio and wouldn't you know that she'd come from a town like that. The teen virgin roles Sandra Dee didn't get are the ones Ann-Margret got and unlike Dee, that girl could sing and dance. Her boyfriend is Bobby Rydell who was at the height of his teen idol popularity as well and they do make an attractive and charming couple.

The dynamic of the triangle of Birdie, boyfriend, and fan is a very big change from the Broadway show. Realize that Bobby Rydell's part was played on Broadway by Michael J. Pollard and you KNOW it has to be different. Rydell, Pearson, and Ann-Margret sing and dance A Lot of Living To Do.

Janet Leigh is not thought of as a musical performer, but she did acquit herself well, though she would never have classified herself in Chita Rivera's echelon as a dancer. Leigh was in Howard Hughes's earlier attempt at RKO for a big musical in Two Tickets to Broadway and she did well there as she does here.

To say Bye Bye Birdie is from a more innocent time is to belabor the obvious. But if Grease can be continually revived, why can't Bye Bye Birdie?


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