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Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

Paul Newman , Geraldine Page , Richard Brooks  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.98
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Sweet Bird of Youth + The Long, Hot Summer + Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Deluxe Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, Geraldine Page, Shirley Knight, Ed Begley, Rip Torn
  • Directors: Richard Brooks
  • Writers: Richard Brooks, Tennessee Williams
  • Producers: Kathryn Hereford, Pandro S. Berman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • DVD Release Date: May 2, 2006
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EBD9U8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,016 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sweet Bird of Youth" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New featurette Sweet Bird of Youth: Chasing Time
  • Vintage Geraldine Page and Rip Torn screen test
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. With him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Censorship didn't stop anything. October 2, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Based on the hit Tennessee Williams play, this exciting drama stars Paul Newman as a slick young opportunist who returns to his home town with an ageing movie queen(Geraldine Page), but runs head-on into trouble with the town's corrupt boss(Ed Begley in an Oscar-winning performance). As is the case with his 1958 film version of Tennessee Williams' CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, director Richard Brooks was forced to clean up this Williams play for the movies. But those blasted censors didn't hurt anything. Like CAT, SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH is still a gritty, powerful, and brilliant film. Every one of the performers delivers a top-notch portrayal. But the film ultimately belongs to Geraldine Page whose funny and touching portrayal of the fading star is, quite simply, one of the greatest performances ever captured on film.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Paul Newman as the good lookin', blue eyed, lustful and lascivious opportunist, Chance Wayne and a specacular Geraldine Page as the aging Alexandra Del Lago (Princess Cosmonopolous) stir up some trouble in Chance's homecoming to the South. Both Alexandra and Chance are the very epitome of selfishness. Only thinking of their futures and dreams without thinking of consequences to the other human beings in their lives.

Chance has left his hometown and the love of his life, Heavenly Finley, played by Shirley Knight, to seek fame and fortune in New York and Hollywood. Not so lucky is Chance, however, as he picks Alexandra up in Palm Beach while playing BEACH BOY and sex slave to the stars.

Once returning home, however, Heavenly's father and brother, played aptly by Ed Begley (Oscar Winner 1962) as Tom 'Boss' Finley, and Rip Torn (who was married to Geraldine page at the time) as Thomas 'Tom' J. Finley, Jr. are trying like hell to get rid of Chance and his aging drunk of a has-been hollywood screen star.

Mildred Dunnock (Whatever Happened To Aunt Alice & The Corn Is Green)is the kind, Aunt Nonnie who secretly arranges for Chance and Heavenly to meet on the sly while Chance is in town.

Madeleine Sherwood (Mae from Cat On A Hot tin Roof) is Boss Finley's mistress, Miss Lucy and has a great bit part and a pivotal role in the film.

Alexandra comes to realize that she actually has feelings for someone other than herself in Chance and tells him. But of course, Chance runs off to his Heavenly. Many a fight ensues with a sort of happy ending, given that this is Williams!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fabulous performance by Page November 27, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
As in her portrayal of Alma in Tennessee Williams' "Summer and Smoke," Geraldine Page is electrifying, recreating the role she originated on Broadway. This time, however, she has a leading man worthy of her talents. Paul Newman proves he has more than his looks to rely on; it is to his credit that Page never overshadows him in their extended scenes together. The rest of the cast is excellent as well. The film itself strays from Williams' stage version (which included such topics as venereal disease and castration) in several respects, but also has some intriguing additions, especially the scene between Ed Begley and Madeleine Sherwood. But the real reason to watch this film is for Geraldine Page -- what an actress. She is missed.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GERALDINE! BRILLIANT GERALDINE! May 15, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White-washed Williams; still shows power & style... February 5, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am thrilled that this film will finally be released on DVD in May, 2006. I'm among the greatest of Geraldine Page's fans, and the only better news I could get would be that "Summer & Smoke" will be out soon. Indeed, Williams' play was toned down for the studio sensibilities of the 60's. Newman was very fine, as was Shirley Knight, Madeline Sherwood, Ed Begley & Rip Torn. But it's Page who carries this amazing film about depravity, disappointment and hopelessness. Page did the role many times on stage, and Paul Newman was an excellent choice for Chance Wayne. Page, Knight & Begley were all nominated for Oscars (Begley a winner); Knight was nominated 2 years earlier for "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs", another brilliant film adaptation of a play by the great American playwright, William Inge. I hope Warner Bros. has the sense to release that soon. A wonderful film. So much drivel is being released on DVD. It's unfortunate that the quality stuff has been put on the back shelf. Will they ever realize that there is a public out here, waiting for real quality?

UPDATE: Summer and Smoke is available now, and it's wonderful; Page at her absolute finest.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly Geraldine Page's finest performance April 30, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's always a joy to see a film which has been cast with such perfection, and this film is exactly that. While the story is its own hearty blend of sleaze, deceit and lust, the actors make it an experience you'll never forget.
My favorite character is Geraldine Page, playing Alexandra Del Lago, the flop-actress on-the-run. I have never seen anyone who can act this way, mixing panache, vulgarity and cheapness in the most delightful blend. There's a certain sweetness about her, combined with a lovable, goofy flakiness. She seems to sing most of her lines, in a brash falsetto just oozing with camp humor. She doesn't chew the scenery; she just nibbles at it in the most tantalizing way. What an actress!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Sad to watch Hollywood make a sorry mess out of Tennessee William's excellent play.
Published 9 days ago by Penelope Kahler Swan
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Newman is perfect for Tennessee Williams movies
Paul Newman is always good in the Tennessee Williams movies. Love them all.
Published 26 days ago by S. Leibert
1.0 out of 5 stars DREADFUL dialogue. I cannot believe Tennessee Williams wrote this ...
DREADFUL dialogue. I cannot believe Tennessee Williams wrote this dreck. I feel sorry for Newman and Page, trapped in such a mess.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I like this movie a lot.
Published 3 months ago by John Day
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Tennessee Williams Played by Super Hot Cast
This cast is the best. Geraldine Page, Paul Newman, the works! The tragic story is also ironic and even funny.
Published 8 months ago by KA Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Critics
I hadn't seen this film in decades and found it a thoroughly satisfying entertainment. The main criticism of it is that it comes off as a play on film rather than as a movie. Read more
Published 9 months ago by jackflash
5.0 out of 5 stars The heart wants what it wants.
Tennessee Williams puts the 'D' in drama and all the actors are all superb! This movie is a definite classic that you will pull off the shelf every few months.
Published 11 months ago by D. Durah
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie love me some of that paul Newman
Sizzling hot and totally satisfying is Paul Newman. He is at his finest in this movie such a sexy man and great actor. If you love Paul newman you must see this movie!!
Published 12 months ago by Amanda E. Peluso
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
I ended up watching this twice in less than 24 hours. It rivals "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" as one of Tennessee Williams' most engulfing storybooks. Read more
Published 15 months ago by L. Boki
1.0 out of 5 stars soooooooo dated
tennessee williams does not wear well with time. stilted, forced dialogue with no conviction or credibility. false and/or irrelevant issues. empty, uninteresting characters. Read more
Published 15 months ago by happy wanderer
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