Birdman of Alcatraz
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In this film based on a true story, Burt Lancaster plays Robert Stroud, a withdrawn prison inmate who cures a sick bird that flies into his cell and eventually becomes a world-renowned ornithologist -- all while serving a life sentence. An overbearing warden (Karl Malden) eventually transfers Stroud to the notoriously brutal prison on Alcatraz, but he is able to continue his research, abort a riot, start a romance, and eventually get his story out through a determined reporter (Edmond O'Brien). Directed with his usual solid craftsmanship by John Frankenheimer, Birdman Of Alcatraz tells a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An exhaustive abstraction of the John Frankenheimer social outcast"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Prison biopic that's more interested in its liberal message about prison reform working for redemption than in anything else."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Lancaster is wonderful; a tribute to the human spirit."
‑ Bob Bloom, Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"Frankenheimer's compelling, if slightly fictionalized biopic of Robert Stroud is extremely wel acted by Burt Lancaster and the rest of the cast, including Thelma Ritter and Telly Savalas."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Even with its limping screenplay and general drift toward competence rather than excellence, Birdman does pull us well enough into its fistful of compelling characters."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"Lancaster's brilliant performance anchors Frankenheimer's fine film, a liberal-minded, optimistic celebration of the power of redemption."
‑ Dan Jardine, Apollo Guide
"This preachy bio pic is a hokey take on the birdman with Lancaster being misused on every occasion."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Film Threat
"Absorbing biopic."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
More reviews for Birdman of Alcatraz on Rotten Tomatoes