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john32404

1976's "The Blue Bird"

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First off, does anyone remember this movie??? I remember being quite fascinated with it as a child but by the end of the 70's it was no longer rerun on TV. The US and Russia shared the production budget, apparently, but I've read since that the reason it disappeared, and has been unavailable in any form to US audiences, is that the rights to the film now belong to Russia. I've done a search on the film but have found it available only in a Russian DVD. (Not speaking Russian, I've taken a pass on this.) If anyone knows exactly why this film has disappeared, I'd enjoy hearing it!

 

Thanks.

 

John

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There was a lot of "buzz" about this movie during its filming. The production was to be lush and the cast was legendary (Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Jane Fonda, Cicely Tyson, Robert Morley, Will Geer...); all directed by George Cukor. But the filming was difficult, marred by technical difficulties. Supposedly Ms. Taylor was unhappy with her food and was having meals flown in from California. It's said that Katherine Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Coco were originally to be featured as well. This bi-national ("Sinyaya ptitsa" in Russian) film opened to poor reviews in the U.S., and didn't do well at the box office. It would be interesting to revisit it today.

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I've never seen the film but I think there was more than one vote for it in the "Worst Musicals" thread. A quick search for it may give you some more background.

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It's really the kind of film that those of us who saw it as children may have fond memories of, only because we were little and some of the images were pretty... but yeah, the critical consensus ain't too great about it.

 

I'd still watch it again if it was on DVD, but nobody should expect a lost masterpiece or anything.

 

In the meantime, you can always watch the 1940 version with Shirley Temple, it holds up much better than the 1976 version.

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Unlike the Temple film, the remake was definitely not a musical. FOX released the film but probably does not own the rights that is why it has probably disappeared. The only lure her are the stars. I saw this film when it was originally released and its totally forgettable.

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Really? I also saw it when it first played in theaters and for some reason a lot of the allegorical imagery really stuck with me -- starting with the concept of the "blue bird of happiness". :)

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