Review: ‘The Blue Bird’

Third film version of the Maurice Maeterlinck novel (after 1918 and 1939) takes spoiled peasant children Todd Lookinland (excellent, by the way) and Patsy Kensit on a dream trip from their humble abode through a fantasy world in search of the bluebird of happiness.

Third film version of the Maurice Maeterlinck novel (after 1918 and 1939) takes spoiled peasant children Todd Lookinland (excellent, by the way) and Patsy Kensit on a dream trip from their humble abode through a fantasy world in search of the bluebird of happiness.

Elizabeth Taylor’s four roles include the dominant (and dazzling) one as (a) Light; as mother (b) she’s uncomfortable; as witch (c) she’s fun to guess at; as maternal love (d) she’s elegantly simple and believable.

Jane Fonda does Night, the princess of darkness, with a flair, while Ava Gardner is extremely effective as Luxury.

Nobody’s going to laugh in ridicule at any of it (it’s that good) but nobody’s going to be strongly moved (it’s that bad).

The Blue Bird

US - USSR

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director George Cukor; Producer Paul Maslansky, Lee Savin, Paul Radnia; Screenplay Hugh Whitemore, Alfred Hayes, Alexei Kapler; Camera Freddie Young, Ionas Gritzus; Editor Ernest Walter, Tatyana Shaprio, Stanford C. Allen; Music Irwin Kostal; Art Director Brian Wildsmith

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1976. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Elizabeth Taylor Jane Fonda Ava Gardner Cicely Tyson Robert Morley Harry Andrews
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