6 comments on “Birdman of Alcatraz

  1. This film was never a particular favorite of mine, though it is another interesting Burt Lancaster performance…Thelma Ritter, too! But the main object of my interest here is to sing the praises of a very-overlooked Supporting/Character Actress—Betty Field, who plays Stroud’s Partner/Wife in another great performance. She had some magnificent roles during the 50s and early 60s, including Kim Novak’s mom (Flo) in PICNIC, the owner of Grace’s in BUS STOP, Hope Lange’s mom/Arthur Kennedy’s long-suffering wife (Nellie) in PEYTON PLACE, and Liz Taylor’s mom’s best friend in BUTTERFIELD 8…I think this (BIRDMAN) was her last screen appearance. Obviously, this is slightly off the track for a comment; but she is such an under-rated, unrecognized favorite of mine that I just had to mention her!

    • Ken, thanks for bringing more attention to Betty Field. Her performance here adds some depth and I remember her well from Picnic. I believe she did mostly TV after Birdman, with just a couple movies in the late sixties.

  2. Great review, Alyson. I’m unfamiliar with this film, as indeed I am with Lancaster’s body of work, but I recently started watching some older, classic films – looks like I’m adding this to the list! And I do so love some great black-and-white photography.

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