Bye Bye Birdie (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bye Bye Birdie1963

Bye Bye Birdie (1963)



Critic Consensus: A poppy satire on pop music, Bye Bye Birdie is silly, light, and very, very pink.

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Movie Info

When a major rock`n`roll star arrives in a small Iowa town for a contest, a local songwriter tires to get him to record one of his songs.

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Dick Van Dyke
as Albert Peterson
Janet Leigh
as Rosie DeLeon
as Kim McAfee
Maureen Stapleton
as Mrs. Peterson
Bobby Rydell
as Hugo Peabody
Jesse Pearson
as Conrad Birdie
Ed Sullivan
as Ed Sullivan
Paul Lynde
as Mr. McAfee
Mary LaRoche
as Mrs. McAfee
Michaël Evans
as Claude Paisley
Robert Paige
as Bob Precht
Bryan Russell
as Randolph
Milton Frome
as Mr. Maude
A. Ben Astar
as Ballet Manager
Trudi Ames
as Ursula
Cyril Delevanti
as Mr. Nebbitt
Beverly Yates
as Mayor's Wife
Frank Sully
as Bartender
Bo Peep Karlin
as Ursula's Mother
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Critic Reviews for Bye Bye Birdie

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (7)

Underrated satirical musical that has contributed more to popular culture than many people are aware of.

August 1, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

[Bye Bye Birdie] had an apple-cheekiness about it on the stage that seems slightly worm-eaten on film, and the result is more goof than spoof.

August 1, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Why watch George Sidney's adaptation of the popular stage musical when you can slap yourself upside the head with a soggy, hot-pink slab of beef?

November 17, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Credit George Sidney with directing one of the better fun and frolic tune packages.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

This enjoyable timepiece is notable today for its peppy score, energetic dancing, and for having made a star of the extremely nubile Ann-Margret, 22 passing for 16. Her fresh, wholesome eroticism fairly bursts off the screen.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Unfortunately, Mr. Sidney and his scriptwriter, Irving Brecher, have allowed the essence of this spirited musical comedy of Michael Stewart to get away from them.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bye Bye Birdie

Elvis Presley came along like a tsunami of social change, the strings on the puppets of popular entertainment not simply apparent but worn and frayed as well. Presley was THE proverbial breath of fresh air. And the powers that be were more than nervous, they were rattled down to the roots of hair on their chinny chin chins. The move to send The Pelvis to the army was as calculated as move to defang a monster as ever there was. What remains anymore, beyond the echoes of classic rock internet channels, is this nigh forgotten bit of Americana. Ann Margret steals the show as the girl chosen to lay a kiss on the bull icon immediately before they remove his particulars. Fittingly, music numbers are the highlight here, but nothing dangerous enough to suggest revolution.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


So out-of-date it's hard to relate to anymore, but the ridiculous excess still provides many opportunities for laughter. Much of the music is unremarkable; nevertheless there are a few classic gems. For fans of Paul Lynde, he really steals the show. It's just a fun (but dated) family-friendly vege-out film.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Bye Bye Birdie is a tuneful, engaging, perky, mixed bag of charm and cheesy retro fun. It is not a classic movie musical, its humor is corny, the filming is pedestrian, the cutting edge animation and green screen effects look horribly dated and the story is a paint by numbers dull plot with very low stakes. The 100% rating on RT is way high for my money, but this is still a pleasant wallow in nostalgia and innocence Birdie captures a moment in pop culture that I lived through, when the Ed Sullivan show was the most watched entertainment event of the week, watched by the whole family every Sunday night. I mourn that there are not cultural experiences shared by multiple generations. Now everyone goes off to watch their own stuff on cable and computer and there are no shared experiences in pop culture -except maybe American Idol type competitions. This was also a time when Elvis Presley's hips were threat to America's purity. That really does seem like the stone age. Bye Bye Birdie's assets: 1. A mostly sparkling cast, with the luminous and sexy Anne-Margaret and high octane charm of Dick Van Dyke doing what he does best. As Dad, a brilliantly cast supporting player Paul Lynde reprising his Broadway role, which he totally owns. He knocks each comedy line out of the park. 2. Wall to wall tuneful, witty songs,by Strouse and Adams that are the really the point of this enterprise. These include 'Put on a Happy Face', and 'Kids', songs that are still remembered. Still, the composers don't get rock and roll, and when they try to write Elvis style tunes they utterly miss the mark, but it doesn't matter. The resulting cheese is still edible. Try to fast forward through the horrible over the top Jewish mother character and subplot played by normally excellent actress Maureen Stapleton and don't get too caught up in the details, the story is full of holes. That said, this is good fun, and you really can watch it with the whole family, if your kids are open to goofy retro cheese that kind of overstays its welcome in two plus hours.

Josh Morris
Josh Morris

Super Reviewer

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