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Bye Bye Birdie

Bye Bye Birdie. George Sidney. 1963. ⚄

So I just watched a George Sidney movie… so now I’m watching a George Sidney movie.

But two decades later.

[fifteen minutes later]

This is the loopiest thing I’ve seen. What makes it so strange is that… it’s like… it’s like a silly 30s musical… but it’s made in the 60s, so everything just seems surreal. It seems so unlikely that somebody would make something like this in 1963.

I guess the 60s didn’t start until a couple years later?

Or everybody involved with this movie were dropping acid way before everybody else.

And the least crazy thing about this movie is that Maureen Stapleton (38) plays the mother of Dick Van Dyke (38).

IT”S THE LEAST CRAZY THING

[twenty minutes pass]

I… er.. wha… uh… uhm.

So, obvs, this movie is a commentary on Elvis and his popularity. But… it’s also a free-flowing parody of just about everything else, too. It’s almost a John Waters movie. It just needs Divine and fewer scenes with Dick Van Dyke and you’re there.

And this is Ann-Margret’s second movie? Actually, she’s more of a name than an actor I know… I just looked at her imdb, and of the 50+ movies she’s done, I think I’ve seen… two? Possibly three?

[the end]

This movie is a lot of fun… it’s strange that it’s not a huge cult classic, to be totally self-contradictory.

The main problem with this movie is perhaps the guy playing Elvis I mean Birdie. He’s not all that, so his scenes become more like “yes, I can see what they’re going for” instead of “yee-haw!” But he does dance swell. (Not very surprisingly, he only got one further movie role (the next year) and then had to move to TV.)

But the dance scenes are incredible. In-credible. I mean, they’re more feats of incredible gymnastics and precision than, like “dance dance”, but they’re flabbergasting to watch.

So I’ve seen two George Sidney movies in a row, and they were both exceptional. And he’s a guy I don’t think I’ve ever heard of before. Perhaps I should look into his filmography…

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