Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cinema Cycle - Bye Bye Birdie

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


DATE: 06/24/2014

FORMAT: LaserDisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 52 minutes



SYNOPSIS: A songwriting team convinces Ed Sullivan to let a famous pop star sing a song and kiss one last girl before the pop star is drafted into the army.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: The farther away we get from the 1950s, the stranger it is to look back and see where we came from.  Teenage love and angst never changes and there was probably no one sexier than Ann Margret in this film.

PROS AND CONS: This film is a bit of a mixture of the Elvis craze of the late 1950s and the Beatles invasion of America in the early 1960s.  It centers around how parents dealt with the irrational behavior of their children when confronted with new and unknown popular icons and also how young men reacted to their girlfriends swooning over the new pop stars.  

There are two stand out performances in the cast.  Obviously Ann Margret steals this film with her wholesome sexuality and dancing ability.  Surprisingly, Paul Lynde also shines here in his low key nerdish role as Ann’s father.  The rest of the cast, while talented, are not very engaging, and the sub-plot of adult romance and a songwriter with mother issues falls somewhat flat when compared to the youthful exuberance of the younger cast.

This is a musical and while some of the numbers are cute but forgettable, there are two that stood out and surprised me.  The song “Put On A Happy Face” comes from this film, when Dick Van Dyke sings it to Janet Leigh while trying to make up with her.  The most memorable song was “I’ve Got A Lot Of Livin To Do”.  This is a very long dance number that pulls out all the stops and has to rank up there with one of the most explosive and engaging dance sequences of this era.  

To read an overview of this project, check out the initial post for this series.

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.