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Bye Bye Birdie


A funny blast from the past, with enough nostalgia and laughs to make you smile for most of its running time, BYE BYE BIRDIE captures 1963 in a bottle.

When the biggest rock and roll star in the world, Conrad Birdie is drafted, his management team sets up a television contest in which he'll visit a small town and kiss one girl before he leaves.

Luckily for us, that girl is Kim McAfee, played by a very young and very talented Ann Margaret.

Paul Lynde is hilarious as her father, who is trying to figure out how to plug his local store during the TV broadcast.

Dick Van Dyke is excellent as chemist and part time songwriter Albert, who pens a song for Birdie to sing, while trying to balance his domineering mother (hilarious Maureen Stapleton) and girlfriend Rosie (Janet Leigh).

The film is filled with music sung throughout by its stars and Van Dyke has some of his best film moments here with classics like "Put On a Happy Face".

The only problem with the movie is our "rock and roll star Conrad Birdie, played here by Jesse Pearson, who has the stage presence of a pet rock.

Ed Sullivan shows up as himself, hosting the big TV show and promoting the big Kiss. He's funnier than you might expect, obviously having fun playing off his real life persona.

Paul Lynde steals nearly every scene he's in, the man was damn funny and puts in a different performance than his usual shtick.

Definitely a lightweight movie that captures a different time and national sensibility, this was definitely a more innocent era!

Fun, fast and well done, BYE BYE BIRDIE gets a nostalgic B.

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