Sweet Bird of Youth
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Paul Newman recreates his Broadway role in the 1962 film version of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth. Newman plays handsome hustler Chance Wayne, who romances fading film star Alexandra Del Lago (Geraldine Page) in hopes of winning a movie contract for himself. The mercenary Wayne and the self-destructive Alexandra find themselves in Chance's home town, where corrupt politician Boss Finley (Oscar-winner Ed Begley) rules the roost. Finley's daughter Heavenly (Shirley Knight), impregnated by Chance during his last visit, dreams of a reunion with her old beau, but Finley and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a glossy, engrossing hunk of motion picture entertainment, slickly produced by Berman."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"This cynical, coruscating drama has a strong look of being contrived, and Mr. Brooks' happy ending for it is implausible and absurd."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Strong cast (Newman, Page) in deeply dramatic Williams drama."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
"The film gets a little bogged down in minutiae and irrelevant side plots, but on the whole it's solid and searing."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Newman began his splendid career on stage and returned triumphantly to Broadway to star in Williams' play about a gigolo with acting ambitions who attaches himself to an aging movie star."
‑ , Film4
"Offers little indication of what made the original play interesting (especially in Elia Kazan's stage production), despite the fact that Paul Newman and Geraldine Page are called on to reprise their original roles."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Page and Newman are fantastic."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"There is no clearer face for the conflict and despondency of the decade of the sixties than Newman's magnificent bastards."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"In 1962, the film was deemed audacious due to its handling of such taboo issues as drugs, abortion, and degeneracy, but it's a comromised work which deviates substantially from Tennessee Williams' play."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Brooks' direction seems a little too stolid for all the sleazy, flaming passions. These are, however, given full measure by an excellent cast."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"All of Williams's Southern Gothic themes are intermingled here: violence, familial conflict, sexual neurosis, the mentality of the mob. Most of it comes across as overheated nonsense."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"When approaching 1962's Sweet Bird of Youth, go for the parts rather than the whole.... [T]he film is a long drive through swampy melodrama."
‑ Mark Bourne, DVDJournal.com
"Newman and Page elevate Williams' melodramatic romance."
‑ Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal
More reviews for Sweet Bird of Youth on Rotten Tomatoes