Bird
  • Bird
  • Bird

Bird

3.5 2
Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker

     
 

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Forest Whitaker stars as the brilliant jazz saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker in this elegiac biopic. Director Clint Eastwood pays full homage to Parker's musical genius, but also devotes ample time to the musician's twin demons--drugs and alcohol-which accelerated his death at the age of 34. In his struggles to gain widespread acceptance for his music, "Bird" is… See more details below

Overview

Forest Whitaker stars as the brilliant jazz saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker in this elegiac biopic. Director Clint Eastwood pays full homage to Parker's musical genius, but also devotes ample time to the musician's twin demons--drugs and alcohol-which accelerated his death at the age of 34. In his struggles to gain widespread acceptance for his music, "Bird" is forever stymied by his own self-destructiveness, and forever bailed out by the love of his life, Chan Richardson Parker (Diane Venora). The film bemoans the decline of the brand of jazz fathered by Parker, which came to be replaced by more conventional material -- as illustrated by the "descent" into the mainstream of Parker's mentor Buster Franklin. Also starring in Bird is Samuel E. Wright as Dizzy Gillespie. That's the real Charlie "Bird" Parker on the film's soundtrack, though most of the background music has been re-orchestrated.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Apart from being a notorious tough guy, actor/director Clint Eastwood is also a notorious jazz aficionado, and Bird is his sprawling, impressive tribute to one of the great jazz saxophonists of all time, Charlie "Bird" Parker. Parker, one of the originators of bebop, died at an early age due to a long-standing relationship with the high life. Forest Whitaker, who won best actor at the Cannes Film Festival for this role, does an excellent job of capturing the larger-than-life, ultimately destructive man whom many credit for inventing "cool." The film follows Whitaker's somber example, eluding explanations or historical documentation. Though Eastwood has made some very fine movies as a director, Bird is certainly his most accomplished and mature visually. He pulls out techniques that one might not have suspected he had. He also breaks away from the straightforward narrative style of his mentors, Don Siegel and Sergio Leone. Eastwood's almost impressionistic memory montage as Bird lays dying is probably the most striking directorial achievement that he has produced. The narrative is a bit too disorganized to deliver the full thematic punch that the movie strives for, but the performances (Whitaker and Diane Venora as Bird's wife) and the lasting images make it a significant achievement for Eastwood behind the camera. -- Brendon Hanley

Product Details

Release Date:
06/01/2010
UPC:
0883929126392
Original Release:
1988
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:40:00
Sales rank:
26,229

Special Features

Music-only audio track; Theatrical trailer; Whitaker,

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Forest Whitaker Charlie "Yardbird" Parker
Diane Venora Chan Richardson Parker
Michael Zelniker Red Rodney
Samuel E. Wright Dizzy Gillespie
Keith David Buster Franklin
Michael McGuire Brewster
James Handy Esteves
Damon Whitaker Young Bird
Morgan Nagler Kim
Richard McKenzie Southern Doctor
Arlen Dean Snyder Dr. Heath
Sam Robards Moscowitz
Penelope Windust Bellevue Nurse
Glenn Wright Alcoholic Patient
George Orrison Patient with Checkers
Bill Cobbs Dr. Caulfield
Hamilton Camp Mayor of 52nd Street
Chris Bosley Doorman
George T. Bruce Doorman
Joey Green Gene
John Witherspoon Sid
Tony Todd Frog
Jo de Winter Mildred Berg
Richard Zavaglia Ralph, the Narc
Anna Levine Audrey
Al Pugliese Owner of Three Deuces
Hubert Kelly John Wilson
Billy Mitchell Billy Prince
Karl Vincent Stratton
Lou Cutell Bride's Father
Roger Etienne Parisian MC
Jason Bernard Benny Tate
Gretchen Oehler Southern Nurse
John Miller Southern Doctor
Tony Cox Pee Wee Marquette
Diane Salinger Baroness Nica
Johnny Adams Bartender
Natalia Silverwood Red's Girlfriend
Duane Matthews Engineer
Slim Jim Phantom Grainger
Matthew Faison Judge
Peter Crook Bird's Lawyer
Alec Paul Rubinstein Recording Producer
Patricia Herd Nun
Steve Zettler Owner of Oasis Club
Ann Weldon Violet Welles
Charley Lang DJ at the Paramount
Tim Russ Harris
Richard Jeni Chummy Morello
Don Starr Doctor at Nica's
Richard Mawe Medical Examiner

Technical Credits
Clint Eastwood Director,Producer
Willie D. Burton Sound/Sound Designer
Judy Cammer Set Decoration/Design
Edward C. Carfagno Production Designer
Joel Cox Editor
Joe Day Special Effects
Jack N. Green Cinematographer
Michael Hancock Makeup
Deborah Hopper Costumes/Costume Designer
Phyllis Huffman Casting
L. Dean Jones Asst. Director
Norman Langley Camera Operator
Lennie Niehaus Score Composer
Joel Oliansky Screenwriter
Verne Poore Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas Roysden Set Decoration/Design
David Valdes Executive Producer,Production Manager
Brad Valdes Executive Producer
Glenn Wright Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Bird
1. Early Days [1:59]
2. Lester Leaps In [2:10]
3. After-Hours Humoring [5:09]
4. Bad Medicine [1:57]
5. The Substitute Is Pain [3:03]
6. If I'm Straight [3:26]
7. Special, Creative Man [2:05]
8. Mayor of 52nd Street [2:49]
9. Kansas City [4:00]
10. You'll Dig Him [2:59]
11. With Dizzy AT 4 A.M. [3:17]
12. In Pursuit of Chan [4:04]
13. "You Stop Reading My Mind." [5:11]
14. Esteves and Mrs. Berg [3:40]
15. Mounted Homecoming [2:21]
16. Chan's Revelation [3:45]
17. Contributing Factors [1:00]
18. Bebop Invades... [4:58]
19. Calling on Stravinsky [2:24]
20. Bebop Banned [2:11]
21. Recording Studio [3:50]
22. A Reunion and a Ride [4:37]
23. "Don't Ever Leave..." [2:14]
24. Glory in France [3:12]
25. Junkies Abroad [2:58]
26. Society Gig [3:49]
27. South With the Albino Red [5:44]
28. Now's the Time [6:17]
29. The Fix: Bird's Fault [4:42]
30. Back At Birdland [2:48]
31. Rodney Busted [3:30]
32. Laura Montage [3:50]
33. "You Have a Daughter." [3:21]
34. Not the Way It Works [2:40]
35. His Song [2:35]
36. Paradise [1:40]
37. Martyr in the Making [2:45]
38. Teelgrams [5:44]
39. Inside the Melody [4:29]
40. Moving Out of the City [3:31]
41. Rock 'N' Roll [4:02]
42. Showing Up Eventually [3:01]
43. Hating to Hang Up [3:27]
44. Nica's Doorstep [2:45]
45. Balancing Act Over [3:07]
46. Coroner's Report [1:08]
47. Coda, Dedication and End Credits [5:59]

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