Bird 1988

Amazon Instant Video

(14) IMDb 7.2/10

The year: 1946. The event: Oakland's Jazz. The music streaked into the unknown, daring listeners to grab hold and fly there, too. On stage was the creator of those new sounds: Charles Yardbird Parker. In the crowd was the 16-year-old who would someday bring Parker's extraordinary story to the screen: Clint Eastwood.

Starring:
Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora
Runtime:
2 hours 34 minutes

Bird

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Music
Director Clint Eastwood
Starring Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora
Supporting actors Michael Zelniker
Studio Warner Bros.
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Dec 2001
this is a beautifully made film. It is obvious that Eastwood is passionate about the subject.It is one of Forest Whitaker's finest performances.He makes you feel the pain of a man unable to cope in the world. One whose addiction inevitably consumes him but who left behind him great music and a not forgotten era. You don't have to like jazz or know a lot about the genre to love this film.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Smyth VINE VOICE on 18 Oct 2004
Format: DVD
Took a lot of criticism from jazz musicians who felt it overplayed Charlie Parker's lifestyle - drugs etc - at the expense of his musical genius. Personally, I found the film moving and it inspired me to dash out and buy his records (this was a time when I'd barely listened to him). So the only answer is to see it for yourself. As someone wrote, there hasn't been much played in jazz or even pop since then that hadn't been played first by Bird.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. S. C. VINE VOICE on 8 July 2012
Format: DVD
I've seen this movie a few times now. For me it is a great film because it is about someone who helped shape the future of popular culture in America, and so hence the rest of the world. Charlie Parker was his name, but the world remembers him simply as 'Bird', which is also simply the title of the film.

Many of my heroes are African Americans because we should never forget that popular music for the most part and the popular culture that was conceived in the United States largely has its roots in African-American culture, history and experience. The Blues, Jazz, Soul, Funk, Rhythm & Blues and many other forms of popular music really come out of the African-American experience and their originality and creativity and their different take on life from the dominant mainstream White culture of America.

The 60's is well remembered by millions of people, and the happenings and films and music and art and photography of that deeply exciting era are still celebrated today all over the world. The 50's by contrast seem rather neglected, but it was the 50's, particularly in the United States of America, that really saw the birth of one kind of popular culture, which was Rock and Roll and all that went with that, the fast life, more egalitarianism, an eroding of race differences, fast food and that whole 'want-it-yesterday' sort of society that really could have only been born in America. Again, the music of the underclass, primarily African-American, would come to dominate American popular culture, even if the first greatest proponent of it was a poor White boy called Elvis.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mr Happy on 10 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
I was a punk rocker when my girlfriend at the time made me sit through this, but by the end my life was turned around music wise and I became a Jazz head.
Even though I later discovered that Eastwood had played around with some facts in the film, this still is a outstanding story of a man who lived a true "Jazz" sytle life, the music, the drink, the women, and the drugs which sad to say made his music so perfect and blue.
Even if your not a jazz fan you should at least give the film a chance.
One of Eastwood best todate....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By witchygirl on 5 Nov 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Clint Eastwood directed movie of the life of Charlie "Bird" Parker. For jazz fans this is a must. Eastwood has captured the essence of Parker and the music is wonderful. The dark scenes lend themselves to this movie. One of Eastwoods best.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 26 Oct 2010
Format: DVD
I am a jazz fan. I like films about jazz musicians. I was very lukewarm about the film by Clint Eastwood about Charlie Parker.
Clint is a massive jazz fan and his enthusiasm shows in this portrayal of Parker. Forrest Whittaker plays Parker well, but not convincingly. The action seems based heavily around an incident, whilst jamming with another band. The cymbal throwing of the drummer is well documented but is repeated in the film too many times.
Bird is portrayed as a likeable rogue who went off the rails.
I have read that he was selfish, ego-centric and manipulative man. Most of all he was a genius, but with extreme amounts of baggage, which I felt the film only touched upon.

Shot superbly well and atmospheric with original Parker on the soundtrack, a good effort but possibly hard work for the non jazz lover.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Nobody VINE VOICE on 7 Sep 2007
Format: DVD
"Bird"(1988) directed by Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven,1992; Mystic River,2003; Million Dollar Baby,2004) is first and foremost a great 1940s period drama. Secondly it just happens to be about one of jazz's great musicians, Charles "Bird" Parker. Bird was a great jazz innovator with the development of Bebop which really moved jazz on from just being mere entertainment toward art, drawing heavily on the music of Stravinsky and Varese. Sadly Bird died just as jazz beginning to feel the threat of Rock 'n' Roll although jazz would continue to evolve further into the 1960s.

Clint Eastwood's direction can't be faulted in this loving portrait to Bird who is performed by Forest Whitaker (Platoon,1986). The film uses stylistically a lot Film Noir elements and at times resembles films of the period. Even if you're not a jazz fan check it out because it's a good film and that really is Bird playing on the soundtrack.
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