Birdman of Alcatraz
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Birdman of Alcatraz is an inspiring 1962 prison drama based on a true story that casts Burt Lancaster against type as a two-time murderer who became a world-renowned bird expert in his prison cell. After being spared the death penalty due to the dogged campaign of his mother, Elizabeth (Thelma Ritter), anti-social convict Robert F. Stroud (Burt Lancaster) is sentenced to solitary confinement. He finds a wounded sparrow and nurses it back to health in his cell. From there, Stroud studies and treats a variety of birds and eventually publishes an authoritative text on bird diseases. His accomplishments bring him to the attention of journalist Tom Gaddis (Edmond O'Brien), who helps him continue his studies in spite of a tough warder, Harvey Shoemaker (Karl Malden). Director John Frankenheimer ("The Manchurian Candidate") creates a compelling biographical drama within the prison walls, and elicits Oscar-nominated performances from Lancaster, Ritter and Telly Savalas ("Kojak") as Feto Gomez, a chatty convict in a neighboring cell.moreless
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