Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Blue Bird (1976) "El pájaro azul"



Director: George Cukor
Elizabeth Taylor, Todd Lookinland, Patsy Kensit, Jane Fonda, Ava Gardner, Cicely Tyson, Will Geer, Mona Washbourne, Robert Morley, George Cole





 
 
Ava Gardner in The Blue Bird
Elizabeth as Light in "The Blue Bird" (1976).
The Blue Bird (1976) Cicely Tyson played the role of Tylette.
The Blue Bird 1976

On a level of polished film making, this is possibly one of the shoddiest big-budget films ever made, but for viewers with the right (admittedly warped) perspective, it's terrifically entertaining. Most bad movies are merely ineptly made and therefore boring. But this film reaches such a surreal level of ineptitude that the viewer can only wonder, "What did I just watch? Was that a movie or was I hallucinating?" The script here is so disjointed and bizarre, it gave me the impression of what Ed Wood might have done if he had tried to make a children's film and had access to real stars. The plot is indescribable, so I won't try. Some golden moments are Will Geer and Mona Washbourne as the children's grandparents singing a song about how boring it is to be dead; Robert Morley decked out as Father Time in a slightly morbid Land of Unborn children; and my favorite, Ava Gardener in the Palace of Luxury, pointing out to the young boy all the luxuries (all grotesquely personified): the luxury of eating when not hungry, the luxury of loving one's own looks, etc. When the kid asks Ava, "Which luxury are you?" she leers at him and says, "You'll find out about me when you get a bit older." I saw this film when it was first released. The ad campaign had made it sound like a charming children's fantasy, and the fact that it was filmed in the USSR brought out all the liberal parents and their kids. By the end of the screening, the theatre was empty except for my friends and me, rolling in the aisles with laughter. So, if you like inexplicable bad movies, the ones that make you wonder just what in the world the filmmakers thought they were doing, don't miss "The Blue Bird".