Sweet Bird of Youth

1962

Drama

77
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 72%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 73%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 6,424

Synopsis


Downloaded times
June 15, 2020

Director

Cast

Geraldine Page as Big Sister
Paul Newman as Gallagher
Rip Torn as Sergeant Honeywell
Shirley Knight as Heavenly Finley
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.08 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
120 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
120 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Panamint 8 / 10 / 10

Memorable 1960's.........

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.

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 9 / 10 / 10

The film has a splendid array of impressive performances

Chance Wayne (Newman) has only one talent—sexual prowess—and he's been bumming around for several years, satisfying rich women in the hope that he can find fame in Hollywood… He picks up a faded screen star, Alexandra Del Lago (magnificently played by Geraldine Page), who takes constant refuge in vodka, hashish, oxygen masks and young studs… She promises to get him a movie contract, and they drive to his Southern hometown, where he plans to find his sweetheart, Heavenly Finley (Shirley Knight), and take her along to Hollywood… He doesn't know that on his last visit he left her pregnant, that she had an abortion, and that her father, the corrupt and vigorous politician Boss Finley (Ed Begley), is out to get him… Through a strong, powerful performance, Newman managed to be a celebrity—dropping names, giving large tips, arrogantly stating: "Just because a man's successful doesn't mean he has to forget his hometown." He's also extremely sneaky and gently tolerant, as he charms Alexandra while recording what she's saying for blackmail purposes… But he's finally pathetic: a desperately insecure man, addicted to amphetamines, attending to Alexandra and performing as a lover at her whim… His mask of swaggering bravura really disappears when he tries to see Heavenly… He becomes confused and desperate—walking with regular steps, rubbing his hands together, pleading urgently over the phone

Reviewed by robb_772 9 / 10 / 10

Exceptional entertainment; Newman and Page are outstanding

There are numerous qualities that make SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH a stellar film, starting with the tremendous source material. Williams' tale of fading film actress and princess-by-marriage Alexandra Del Largo escaping Hollywood after a failed comeback attempt and being taken advantage of by aspiring actor/gigolo Chance Wayne is full of ripe drama, all of which is fully exploited by the 1962 film. Williams' typical subplots of southern hypocrisy are also well incorporated into central story by director/screenwriter Richard Brooks (who also helmed 1958's sensational CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF), and actually heighten the tension of the piece. Even with the censorship of early-sixties cinema (including an unnecessarily re-written ending), Brook's SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH still packs a mean punch. Also crucial to the film's success is casting. No matter what film you're watching, you can always depend on Paul Newman to deliver the goods (which is precisely why he remained a top box office drawl up through the mid-eighties), and he gives one of his absolute best performances SWEET BIRD. Newman had originated the role of Chance in the original stage production, and his immortal screen performance of the role has clearly benefited from the hundreds times that he had previously played the role on stage. Arrogant, masculine, and painfully gorgeous, Newman nearly incinerates the colloid! Also returning from the original stage play is Geraldine Page as Alexandra, the ultimate boozing, wash-up actress. Page is nothing short of sensational – a true thinking, feeling, conflicted woman who is desperate to run away from her problems, but completely uncertain of her next move. Alexandra is vain, insecure, and even comedic at times, and Page finds the perfect balance in her portrayal, as she understands that the very qualities that make Alexandra so strong is also what causes her to be weak. Page won a well-deserved Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama, but lost the Oscar to Anne Bancroft for her tour de force performance in THE MIRACLE WORKER - seeing that both performances are so phenomenal, I would venture to say that the votes for both awards were probably mighty close. The rest of the cast is no less impressive. Ed Begley won a Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as 'Boss' Finely, and it is refreshing to see the actor let loose in a vile performance without any obvious apprehension. Rip Torn and Mildred Dunnock are great in supporting bits, and Oscar-nominated Shirley Knight is hauntingly lovely as the appropriately named "Heavenly." Director Brooks also makes excellent use of the widescreen frame, composing many exceptional shots that are all but destroyed when the film is altered from its original Panavision format. Certainly some viewers will carp about the re-written ending (the studio demanded that things end "happily") as well as the removal of such hot-button topics as abortion and castration to appease the censors, yet none of these omissions dramatically affect the film. Even though he caved in to the studio in terms of the finale, director Brooks must be given credit for focusing on the characters and dialogue and avoiding the temptation to "dress" the play up for movie audiences. The film is firmly planted in its central relationships, and this is what carries the day. No matter how censorious the Production Code may have been, no one could mask the white-hot dynamic between Newman and Page.

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