Friday 2nd October

Birdman of Alcatraz

Director: John Frankenheimer
Year: 1962
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Betty Field

I had been putting off watching this for a while as it's really quite a long film. However, I have also wanted to see it for some time, and finding myself alone and at home on a Friday evening (thankfully, that's pretty rare) and with lots of hours spare, I thought I'd give it a try.

And I'm glad I did. The film has a lot to say, about both human nature and the penal system. It reminded me of a true-life, early Shawshank Redemption. The film starts slowly and for the first 20 mins or so the acting seemed quite wooden. However, as the film progressed I became engrossed in the story and the acting seemed to improve. The plot concerns Robert Stroud, a man who was imprisoned for 2 murders early in the 20th century. Whilst in prison, he finds a bird in the exercise yard, and soon he has turned his prison cell into a menagerie.

A long film, but a rewarding one. If you have 3 hours spare, do give this a try.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.