Directed By: Clint Eastwood Starring: Forest Whitaker

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Product Overview

The troubled life and career of the jazz musician, charlie bird parker.


Studio Warner
SKU 214568625
UPC 883929126392
UPC 14 00883929126392
Format DVD
Release Date 6/1/2010
Rating Rating
Music (General)
Substance Abuse
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Charlie "Bird" Parker had been a hero of Clint Eastwood's since childhood, and Eastwood, having been disappointed in such jazz biopics as YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN, really wanted to make a true jazz fan's movie about the music. He cast Forest Whitaker as Parker, the legendary alto sax player, and Diane Venora as Chan, Parker's wife. The film shows how Parker, a genius who changed the face of modern music, was hampered and eventually destroyed by his appetite for women, food, and drugs. The two leads do a great job giving a recognizable human face to the characters' complex relationship. With wit and warmth, BIRD tells the story in direct and honest terms, avoiding all sentimentality. Eastwood's love of Parker's music comes across in the tremendous care that he and composer Lennie Niehaus took with reconstructing it, using Parker's original solos. Eastwood and cinematographer Jack N. Green also patterned the dark, moody look of the film after old photos of musicians who used to appear in jazz magazines. Music lovers will be thrilled with the result, and movie lovers will find plenty to engage them in this moving tale of a great man battling his demons.
Plot Summary
Summary Director Clint Eastwood indulges his lifelong passion for jazz with this dark, brooding interpretation of the life of revolutionary bebop saxophonist Charlie "Yardbird" Parker. Starting with Parker's early years, when he used to sneak into Kansas City clubs to listen to Count Basie's band, the film moves through the many ups and downs of Parker's troubled but brilliant career--which ended all too soon. The doctor who examined Parker soon after his death estimated that the musician was somewhere between 50 and 60 years old; he was actually only 34 when he died.
New York Times "...The music is everywhere....A labor of love..." 09/26/1988 p.C19
Los Angeles Times "...Few Hollywood biographical movies have shown more devotion to their subject than Clint Eastwood's BIRD....In this movie and its hot, fast bursts of bop, Charlie Parker gets a fitting elegy..." 10/14/1988 p.C1
Mojo "[T]he adroit combination of Whitaker's understated performance and Eastwood's flashback images achieves pathos while avoiding sentimentality." 12/01/2004 p.57
Uncut 4 stars out of 5 -- "A labour of love for director Clint Eastwood, this ambitious biopic of Charlie Parker digs a little deeper than most mainstream musical biopics..." 04/01/2006 p.144
Sight and Sound "[Eastwood] does full justice to Parker's extraordinary musical gifts." 04/01/2006 p.87
Clint Eastwood
Forest Whitaker
Cast & Crew
Michael Zelniker - Star
Diane Verona - Star
Keith David - Star
Forest Whitaker - Star
Clint Eastwood - Director
Technical Info
UPC 00883929126392
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 160 minutes
Name Forest Whitaker
Award Category Best Actor
Award Status Winner
Award Year 1988
Award Giver Cannes
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD

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