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Bird (1988) - movie overview

Bird (1988)

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Trivia (15)
Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Release Date
Sep 30, 1988 (USA)
DVD Release Date
• R1: Jan 30, 2001

Budget $9,000,000

MPAA Rating

Running Time
2 hours, 41 minutes

Country USA

Studio Malpaso, Warner Brothers

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Other Titles
• Bird (1988)

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Genre: Drama, Biography, Tragedy, Drugs, True Story, Infidelity, Showbiz, Disturbing

Tagline: "There are no second acts in American lives." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Plot: Charlie "Bird" Parker had been a hero of Clint Eastwood’s since childhood, and Eastwood, having been disappointed in such jazz biopics as YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN, really wanted to make a true jazz fan’s movie about the music. He cast Forest Whitaker as Parker, the legendary alto sax player, and Diane Venora as Chan, Parker’s wife. The film shows how Parker, a genius who changed the face of modern music, was hampered and eventually destroyed by his appetite for women, food, and drugs. The two leads do a great job giving a recognizable human face to the characters’ complex relationship. With wit and warmth, BIRD tells the story in direct and honest terms, avoiding all sentimentality. Eastwood’s love of Parker’s music comes across in the tremendous care that he and composer Lennie Niehaus took with reconstructing it, using Parker’s original solos. Eastwood and cinematographer Jack N. Green also patterned the dark, moody look of the film after old photos of musicians who used to appear in jazz magazines. Music lovers will be thrilled with the result, and movie lovers will find plenty to engage them in this moving tale of a great man battling his demons.

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 Directed by
Clint Eastwood
Mystic River, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Breezy
 Written by
Joel Oliansky
Abducted: A Father's Love, The Competition, Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Forest Whitaker
Platoon, Panic Room, Phone Booth
Diane Venora
Heat, The Insider, Romeo + Juliet
Keith David
There's Something About Mary, Armageddon, Crash
Sam Robards
American Beauty, Artificial Intelligence: AI, Life as a House
Bill Cobbs
Demolition Man, The Hudsucker Proxy, That Thing You Do!
John Witherspoon
Friday, Soul Plane, Next Friday
Michael Zelniker
Naked Lunch, Queens Logic, Killer Rats
 Music By
Lennie Niehaus
Unforgiven, Space Cowboys, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

 Recommended Movies
Movie Title Agree Disagree
'Round Midnight (1986)
Last Emperor, The (1987)
Malcolm X (1992)
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)
Down Time (2001)
Permanent Midnight (1998)
Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996)
Hurricane, The (1999)

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