Bye Bye Birdie Movie Review Summary

Actors: Ann-Margret, Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Bye Bye Birdie

Conrad Birdie (Jesse Pearson) is a gorgeous, gyrating 1950's rock star. Teenage girls the world over experience heartbreak when they hear the devastating news that recently drafted Conrad is leaving them for the United States Army. To appease his hordes of devoted fans, Conrad will give a live “farewell” performance on the Ed Sullivan television show. During a song especially written for the occasion, Conrad will lay a goodbye kiss on a lucky girl chosen at random from his fan club.
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Conrad's manager/songwriter Albert Peterson (Dick Van Dyke) and Albert's fiery secretary/girlfriend Rose DeLeon (Janet Leigh), select Kim McAfee (Ann-Margret) from Ohio as the wildly fortunate fan whose lips will soon meet with Conrad Birdie… Albert, who would rather be a chemist, is madly in love with Rose but is deathly afraid to tell his suffocating and overbearing Mama (Maureen Stapleton). Mama Mae Peterson does not want her Albert to marry any woman, least of all sexy and saucy Rose. Mama is often fond of “calling up” to her deceased husband Lou, informing him that Albert is breaking her heart in one way or another.

When Rose telephones Kim to tell the teenager the good news, she cannot get through. Moments before, Kim's boyfriend Hugo Peabody (Bobby Rydell) asked the pretty redhead to go steady and the exciting news spread like wildfire, clogging the telephone lines. Now that Kim is dating, she is suddenly trying to act very sophisticated and mature, calling her parents by their first names and asking to bum a cigarette. Kim's worldly act soon changes once she receives the unexpected phone call, sending her into hysterics where she screams for “Mommy!”

Word soon reaches Hugo and the other angry and jealous boys at the high school. Who is this Conrad Birdie to cause all of “their women” to act like screaming fools? A worried Hugo confronts Kim with his concerns, but she lovingly assures Hugo that he is the only boy for her. After Conrad blasts into Ohio and gives a hip-swaying performance that causes ALL females within earshot to faint, Hugo is not so sure. Kim's father Harry (Paul Lynde) is also having his doubts. Conrad (along with Albert and Rose) is staying with the McAfee Family until the big show, dropping beer cans all over the floor and parking his motorcycle in the living room. Harry is about to give them all the heave-ho when Rose desperately lies and says that the whole family will be appearing on the Ed Sullivan show with Kim.   Harry is nearly orgasmic at the thought of meeting his idol Ed Sullivan and tells an annoying Hugo - who has come to talk some sense into Kim and her parents about Birdie - to mind his own business. When Hugo finally demands that Kim not go through with the televised kiss, Kim becomes furious at Hugo's lack of trust and insecurity.

Ed Sullivan is not the only thorn in Rose‘s side when Mama Mae arrives in Ohio, determined to ruin the day for everyone. Rose is livid and becomes even more so when Albert refuses to tell Mama the truth about their relationship. Rose quickly flees the McAfee home in search of men who appreciate her … with disastrous results.
The review of this Movie prepared by Tara Dugan

The main premise of the movie is that a big Elvis style rock star named Conrad Birdie is being drafted into the Army. Rosie (Janet Leigh) comes up with the idea that Birdie can sing a song written by Albert (Dick Van Dyke), her long time noncommittal boy friend. To gain publicity they select a female fan to be kissed by Birdie. The lucky winner is Kim McAffee (Ann-Margret). Kim's boy friend Hugo (Bobbie Rydell) is not happy with the idea.

Birdie, Rosie, and Albert all descend on Sweet Apple, Ohio and take up residence at Kim's house. Albert's mother (Maureen Stapleton) arrives shortly there after, intent on preventing a marriage between Rosie and Albert at all costs.

The true reason to watch this movie is not the plot, it is the music and Ann-Margret. Although billed as the third lead, Ann-Margret is what makes this movie memorable. Few people that saw the movie in a theater don't remember the opening and closing images of Ann-Margret singing the title song "Bye Bye Birdie" or the wild, kookie dancing by Ann-Margret wearing hot pink in the "Got a Lot of Living To Do" number. Ann-Margret almost single handedly gives the movie energy and electricity. Janet Leigh and Dick Van Dyke give solid performances in the movie, but the screen truly comes alive only when Ann-Margret is in the scene.

The review of this Movie prepared by Micha Bohn

Famous singer Conrad Birdie is going into the Army and he is to kiss Kim MacAfee, a girl who is already seeing Hugo Peabody, her loving steady. The real story is the love story between partners Rose Alvarez and Albert Peterson, the managers of Conrad who are suddenly torn apart by Albert's well meaning but psychotic Mama.
The review of this Movie prepared by Morgan Overcash

When Conrad Birdie, a famous elvis-look-alike singer, is drafted into the Army, his manager Albert Peterson (played by Dick Van Dyke) is not sure what to do. Luckily, his almost-fiancee and faithful Secretary, Rosie DeLeon, creates a plan with Ed Sullivan to have Conrad Birdie Bestow one lucky fan (Kim MacAfee (played by Ann Margaret)) with one last kiss before he goes into the army. Kim MacAfee is thrilled, but her boyfriend, Hugo Peobody, is not. Kim is having trouble deciding what to do: she loves Hugo, but is obsessed with Conrad Birdie. Meanwhile, Rosie is angry with Albert for being such a "mother's boy," because his mother, Mae Peterson, does not want him to marry Rosie. But she gets back together with him when he saves her from the men at a meeting she trashed. In the end, Hugo Peobody breaks in just when Conrad is about to kiss Kim, and punches him square in the face. All is chaos! However, this helps people get back heir perspective. Albert decides to quit the music business and get a job as a chemist and marry Rosie, and Hugo and Kim are back together. Happy ending!
The review of this Movie prepared by Katie

Conrad Birdie comes into town to kiss Kim MacAffee before he goes into the army. He gets the kids of the small Ohio town all worked up and rebelling from their parents. He gets in trouble for going to the "ice house" with Kim and almost gets thrown in jail.
The review of this Movie prepared by Kenneth Widner

Script Analysis of Bye Bye Birdie

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Plot & Themes

Comedy, primarily    -   Yes Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's Romance/Love/Hugging    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   matchbreaker interference Comedy or Parody about    -   musical How much humor v. drama    -   Nearly all humor

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   hostile, like Gomer Pyle on steroids    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   moving train    -   theater    -   bar

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   None If lots of song/dance...    -   lot of singing and dancing If this is a kid's movie...    -   Ages 10-15 Is this movie based on a    -   play

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