Bird Man of Alcatraz

  • Film
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Striking performance by Lancaster in this factually based story of a double killer, sentenced to life in solitary, who gets hooked on birds after rescuing a fledgling sparrow, and gradually turns himself into a noted ornithologist. Despite some embarrassing sociological trimmings and an overwrought Ritter as mom fighting for her boy, a likeable film, particularly in its observation of the evolving relationship between the anti-social prisoner and the hostile warder (Brand, excellent) from whom he is forced to beg favours.

Release details

Duration: 148 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Frankenheimer
Screenwriter: Guy Trosper
Cast: Edmond O'Brien
Burt Lancaster
Karl Malden
Betty Field
Thelma Ritter
Neville Brand
Hugh Marlowe
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