Sunday, August 14, 2016

Birdman of Alcatraz

Convicted murderer and career criminal Robert Straud (Burt Lancaster), all but given up on life, continually broods clashes with the rigid warden (Karl Malden) from his cell at Leavenworth Penitentiary until the day he rescues a downed sparrow from the yard thus beginning an unimaginable and unmatched career in studying birds. In spite of some expected cliches, John Frankenheimer's prison expertly shot prison success story biopic is surprisingly offbeat, but unravels in the finale with an unsatisfying emotional and action culmination. Lancaster offers a typically noble, stoic, and powerful though not always convincing performance and the film is marred by unnecessary, godawful narration.
*** out of ****