Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)


“I like you. You are a nice monster. ” – Chance Wayne

Number of Times Seen – 1 (24 Dec 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A young actor returns to his home town and rekindles past differences with a local politician who runs the town by force.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve heard about for years but have never had the chance to see.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Tennessee Williams’ work, so that somewhat deterred me from watching this until now.

The overall premise of the film is quite good and it was most definitely a much more controversial one back when it came out than it seems now and that helped it become quite popular at the time.

This has much to do woth the way things are presented throughout.

The dialogue is quite enjoyable to listen to and the characters feel quite developed for us to invest so much into them.

The cast is great with Paul Newman and Geraldine Page doing great jobs, but Ed Begley steals every scene he is in as the local politician who runs the town with a heavy hand.

His character has such a strong screen presence and that is probably why he was able to deservingly win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this role.

This film gives us a great look at how small towns like this were run at the time by the local politicians who had so much control over the little fiefdoms.

This is a film about power and fame and what people are willing to do in order to hold on to them at any cost.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that was probably much more controversial when it was made due to the way things are presented than it seems now. This is based on a Tennessee Williams play and the dialogue is quite enjoyable to listen to. The cats is superb with Newman and Page giving great performances but Begley steals every scene he is in because of the screen presence of the character.  He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here and it’s quite deserving. The undertones about small town life and the way politicians rule their small world with a heavy hand are shown quite well throughout.  This is a film about power and fame that doesn’t back down at all and needs to be held on to by the characters at all cost. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Because of its then-shocking subject matter, this film was given a pre-rating advisory of restricted by the MPAA, prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from attending. This was pre-rating equivalent of an X (later NC-17) rating. By today’s standards, the film is so tame that, when shown on Turner Classic Movies, it’s rated TV-PG.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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3 thoughts on “Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1962 |

  2. Pingback: Oscar Best Acting Winners |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1962 |

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