7.2/10
10,646
38 user 30 critic

Bird (1988)

The troubled life and career of jazz musician Charlie "Bird" Parker (Forest Whitaker).

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writer:

Joel Oliansky
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A thinly fictionalized account of a legendary movie director, whose desire to hunt down an animal turns into a grim situation with his movie crew in Africa.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Fahey, Charlotte Cornwell
Honkytonk Man (1982)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A boy with music talent goes on the journey with his uncle for a stage concert.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood, John McIntire
Breezy (1973)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young girl tries to find her way in life, suffering from her own naivety and sincerity.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: William Holden, Kay Lenz, Roger C. Carmel
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A visiting city reporter's (John Cusack's) assignment suddenly revolves around the murder trial of a local millionaire (Kevin Spacey), whom he befriends.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jack Thompson
The Rookie (1990)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A veteran detective gets stuck with a rookie cop when in pursuit of a German crook.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen, Raul Julia
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A brief fling between disc jockey Dave Garver (Clint Eastwood) and obsessed female fan Evelyn Draper (Jessica Walter) takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman, Tobie Williams (Donna Mills), enters the picture.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills
True Crime (1999)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Can an over-the-hill journalist uncover the evidence that can prove a death row inmate's innocence just hours before his execution?

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Isaiah Washington, LisaGay Hamilton
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Hard-nosed, hard-living Marine Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood) clashes with his superiors and his ex-wife as he takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill
The Gauntlet (1977)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Kidnapped boy Phillip Perry (T.J. Lowther) strikes up a friendship with his captor Butch Haynes (Kevin Costner): an escaped convict on the run from the law, while the search is headed up by honorable Texas Ranger "Red" Garrett (Clint Eastwood).

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern
Firefox (1982)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A pilot is sent into the Soviet Union on a mission to steal a prototype jet fighter that can be partially controlled by a neuralink.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Freddie Jones, David Huffman
Blood Work (2002)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Still recovering from a heart transplant, retired F.B.I. profiler Terry McCaleb (Clint Eastwood) returns to service when his own blood analysis offers clues to the identity of a serial killer.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels, Anjelica Huston
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Forest Whitaker ... Charlie 'Bird' Parker
Diane Venora ... Chan Parker
Michael Zelniker ... Red Rodney
Samuel E. Wright ... Dizzy Gillespie
Keith David ... Buster Franklin
Michael McGuire ... Brewster
James Handy ... Esteves
Damon Whitaker ... Young Bird
Morgan Nagler ... Kim
Arlen Dean Snyder ... Dr. Heath
Sam Robards ... Moscowitz
Penelope Windust ... Bellevue Nurse
Glenn Wright Glenn Wright ... Alcoholic Patient (as Glenn T. Wright)
George Orrison George Orrison ... Patient with Checkers
Bill Cobbs ... Dr. Caulfield
Edit

Storyline

Saxophone player Charlie "Bird" Parker (Forest Whitaker) comes to New York City in 1940. He is quickly noticed for his remarkable way of playing. He becomes a drug addict, but his loving wife Chan (Diane Venora) tries to help him.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"There are no second acts in American lives." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yardbird Suite See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,116, 2 October 1988

Gross USA:

$2,181,286

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,181,286
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A sound engineer digitally and electronically isolated the solo tracks from the old recordings that Clint Eastwood got from Charlie Parker's widow, Chan Parker. Then modern day musicians such as Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Red Rodney, Barry Harris, and Walter Davis, Jr. recorded backing tracks over the music. Dizzy Gillespie was on tour, so trumpet player Jon Faddis stepped in to do Gillespie's part. See more »

Goofs

When Bird is dictates the telegram to be sent to Chan, it's printed as he speaks. He says "Forgive me for not being in the hospital with you," but the telegram reads "Forgive me for not being there with you while you were at the hospital." See more »

Quotes

Chan Parker: Dizzy sent you a birthday card. Seems he's back in town. Do you owe him a phone call?
Charlie Parker: I owe Dizzy everything...except a phone call.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pre-titles card: "There are no second acts in American lives." - F. Scott Fitzgerald See more »

Connections

Featured in The Eastwood Factor (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

All of Me
Performed by Charlie Parker, Monty Alexander (Piano), Ray Brown (Bass),
John Guerin (Drums)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Eastwood proves he's one of America's best directors. Simply brilliant.
15 November 2004 | by ztruk2001See all my reviews

A dark and atmospheric biopic on jazz legend Charlie Parker, who with his fast improvisational style formed the sub-genre of bebop. Clint Eastwood directed this movie with a heart and passion that reflects back to his own love of the music which he has carried with him all his life and played a role in all his work. Eastwood himself actually was fortunate to have seen Charlie "Bird" Parker play in when he was alive. The film chronicles his life and has a tight focus on his self destructive behavior and the music itself. Bird explores the highs and lows of his journey. Playing to a sold out house in Paris, playing alongside Dizzy Gillespie, and earning a respect that few other musicians have matched. In contrast we see his heroine addiction, his suffering and depression resulting in several suicide attempts, the death of his daughter, and his wife's loving struggle to help save a man who's ill-fate was inevitable and irreversible.

Forest Whitaker plays Bird with a lot of heart and soul. Even though I have no idea if it was an accurate portrayal in capturing the man's nuances, Whitaker's interpretation was superlative. Equally as good was Diane Venora as Bird's wife, who found enough strength for the both of them and tried to hold the family together in an un-winnable battle. There's lots of rain, lots of dark nightclubs, lots of street lamps reflecting the soaked streets, and lots of feeling in this one. Having just watched another biopic, that one on Ray Charles, it's clear to see Eastwood's was the real deal, whereas Ray was merely decent.

Grade: A+


15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed