El Paso, TX

July 29 - August 8, 2021 • El Paso, TX Twitter iconFacebook icon

Birdman of Alcatraz

Signature Classic
Monday, August 2
Plaza Theatre Kendle Kidd Performance Hall
Birdman of alcatraz

This biopic about convicted murderer Robert Stroud offers a winning trifecta of Burt Lancaster (at his clenched-jaw best), director John Frankenheimer, and the former maximum-security federal prison (now part of the National Park Service) in the San Francisco Bay. A career criminal, Stroud (1890-1963) started down the road to perdition at an early age and spent 43 years in solitary confinement. While isolated in his cell, he became a self-taught ornithologist and a respected expert on avian pathology. Birdman celebrates his rebel spirit, with the movie’s trailer declaring: “They have not been able to break this man — unbeaten, unbowed, unconquered. The most defiant man alive!” Lancaster’s portrayal was so sympathetic that it helped launch a campaign to finally have Stroud released. But not all agreed. As one fellow inmate noted: “He was not a sweetheart, he was a vicious killer. I think Burt Lancaster owes us all an apology.”

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Starring: Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Telly Savalas
Rated: NR