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Sweet Bird of Youth (1989)

Aging film star Alexandra del Lago, also known as Princess Kosmonopolis, fears her career is over due to her fading youthful looks. She takes up with a handsome young man, Chance Wayne, who... See full summary »

Director:

Nicolas Roeg

Writers:

Tennessee Williams (play), Gavin Lambert (teleplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Princess Kosmonopolis
Mark Harmon ... Chance Wayne
Valerie Perrine ... Miss Lucy
Kevin Geer ... Tom Junior
Seymour Cassel ... Hatcher
Ronnie Claire Edwards ... Aunt Nonnie
Cheryl Paris Cheryl Paris ... Heavenly Finley
Rip Torn ... Boss Finley
Charles Lucia ... Dr. George Scudder
Teddy Wilson ... Fly (as Theodore Wilson)
Megan Blake ... Violet
John Fleck ... Mission Man (as John W. Fleck)
Michael Wilding Jr. Michael Wilding Jr. ... (as Michael Wilding)
Tom Nolan Tom Nolan
Billy Ray Sharkey Billy Ray Sharkey ... Scotty
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Storyline

Aging film star Alexandra del Lago, also known as Princess Kosmonopolis, fears her career is over due to her fading youthful looks. She takes up with a handsome young man, Chance Wayne, who once had promise as an actor but who has fallen into the life of a gigolo. Together they travel to Chance's home town, where he hopes to regain the love of his one-time girlfriend Heavenly Finley. But Chance's departure years before has destroyed Heavenly's possibilities of a happy life, and her father, political boss Tom Finley, wants revenge on Chance. Chance hopes to take Heavenly with him to start the movie career he believes the Princess offers him, but she is so fragile in her dread of lost youth that no one's dreams seem likely to come true. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ambitions d'amour See more »

Filming Locations:

Upland, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Rip Torn (Boss Finley) was in the original film version as Finley's son. See more »

Goofs

This remake is set in the late 1950s. Yet Alexandra del Lago pays with a credit card, not with checks as in the original play and original film. Also some of the costuming, especially Heavenly's, is much later in style than the 1950's-early 1960s. See more »

Connections

Version of Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Meal ticket proves false
31 July 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Tennessee Williams when he wanted to get into his favorite subject of sex was never coy or shy about it. But the most brutal work he ever did was Sweet Bird Of Youth. So brutal that when Paul Newman and Geraldine Page repeated their roles for the screen it was toned down a lot by the omnipresent Code which would be gone in a few years.

Mark Harmon is not as charismatic as Paul Newman very few are. But he brings his own brand of sexy swagger to the role of Chance Wayne who is now the kept boy of fading film star Alexandra Del Lago played here by screen legend Elizabeth Taylor.

Taylor and Harmon are driving up the gulf coast of Florida and come to his home town where he was run out years ago after disgracing the daughter of Rip Torn the town boss played by Cheryl Paris. As the town gossip goes Paris was left with a social disease and under his express orders Torn had a hysterectomy performed on Paris. Mind you though the talk in such places as barbershops and hair salons leave some doubt as to how Paris got disgraced. Still and all the poor kid in town is a most convenient whipping boy.

So after years of drifting and getting by on looks and charm Harmon is in town with Taylor and he's looking for her to be his meal ticket to fame and fortune. Only this meal ticket proves to be bogus and Harmon gets some rough and ugly justice and his good looks and charm will now be for naught.

Rip Torn who was Junior Finley on both Broadway and on film now plays Boss Finley, the part Ed Begley got a Best Supporting Actor for. Torn is a big more subtle than Begley, but he's just as malevolent, maybe more. This version brings more of the politics of the late Fifties into the drama as Finley who has state wide ambitions is a rabid segregationist in the style of George Wallace and Lester Maddox.

This version of Sweet Bird Of Youth is a fine introduction to the work of Tennessee Williams and I'm glad it's now on DVD so that current audiences can enjoy.


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