Birdman of Alcatraz | Chicago Reader

Birdman of Alcatraz

Made during John Frankenheimer's best period as a director, this biopic about convicted killer Robert Stroud (Burt Lancaster), who used his life sentence to teach himself ornithology, works with some fairly unpromising cinematic material, but does a pretty interesting job, especially considering that the film runs for 148 minutes; despite the built-in stasis of the subject, the filmmakers make it compelling. With Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Edmond O'Brien, and Telly Savalas (1962).

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