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  • Close-up on actor Burt Lancaster's face; he gazes at a small bird that is perched on his hand.
  • Actor Burt Lancaster holds a bowl of water; a few birds are perched on the bowl to drink, while others surround him in his cell.
  • Actor Burt Lancaster, in profile, smiles at a small bird that is perched on his finger.
  • Actor Burt Lancaster gazes upwards; he is surrounded by bird cages.



Sunday, August 4

(1962, John Frankenheimer) Two-time killer Burt Lancaster (Best Actor, Venice; Oscar nomination) gets the word from warden Karl Malden – solitary for life – but then he finds an injured bird in the yard. True story of lifer Robert Stroud, who became a world expert on ornithology from the confines of his cell. With an Oscar-nominated Telly Savalas as a fellow con and brutish Neville Brand as his guard. 35mm. Approx. 147 min.


“Striking performance by Lancaster… a likeable film, particularly in its observation of the evolving relationship between the anti-social prisoner and the hostile warder (Brand, excellent).”
– Tom Milne, Time Out

Birdman of Alcatraz is not really a prison picture in the traditional and accepted sense of the term. Birdman reverses the formula and brings a new breadth and depth to the form. In telling, with reasonable objectivity but understandably deep compassion the true story of Robert Stroud, it achieves a human dimension way beyond its predecessors.”

Film Forum