Was it ever explained why they hired an actress that couldn't pronounce the title of the film she had been cast in?
Bye-Bye Bur-he indeed.
They should've added that song to the stage version, although I'm not sure where it would fit in the storyline.
Coincidentally, I just saw a live production this afternoon! (Not great.) I also saw the most recent Broadway incarnation with John Stamos and Gina Gershon, which was OK except for Bill Irwin.
Ann-Margret (though born in Sweden) grew up in Wilmette, Illinois.
Her pronunciation of "Birdie" sounds perfectly normal to any Midwesterner.
Are there words other than birdie that Midwesterners insert H's into the middle of, r9? I've never lived in the Midwest, but have known Midwesterners and have never noticed added H's.
And does Ann-Margret speak the added H when she says "Birdie" in the dialogue? I don't remember her doing that.
Needy, Lordie, Giddy, Roddie. The list is endless (pronounced "enless" by the way).
It's less a matter of inserting an "h" and more a tendency to drop "d" when it occurs at the end of a syllable in a two-syllable word.
She pronounced it that way because the "hard d" would not have sounded as pleasant to the ear, would not have recorded as well. BirDEE vs. BirdHee. Softens it a bit.
No it doesn't r9. Unless maybe you're from Minnie-soter, yah?
She's just a cheap floozy.
R10, it must be difficult to type with that giant telephone pole shoved so far up your ass.
I'm surprised anyone could understand her with that sloppy pronunciation.
No THIS one! The dancing was mezmerizing when I saw it at the drive-in theatre when I was 7 and saw it with my mother.
I told my mother I wanted a pink ruffled shirt like the one Ann Margaret was wearing for a Christmas present. She looked at me like a bird had just landed on my head. I think it was her first instance that things were not quite well with her son.
I'm old enough to have seen BBB when it was a first-run feature (well, to be fair, I was QUITE young at the time) and I remember even back then thinking how odd it was for A-M to pronounce it "BIRD-hee."
Viva Las Vegas was on TCM this past weekend. Her and Elvis generated some real heat- on and offcreen.
Too bad Elvis didn't dance more in movies. He probably felt it unmanly.
r19 Your line about the little bird has reduced me to gales of laughter. I don't know why it struck me so funny, but thank you. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
R3 While that number is a lot of fun, I think I liked it better in the stage version, with the original lyrics and without Hugo.
Speaking of whom, Bobby Rydell was pretty good in this movie. I'm surprised he didn't have more success as an actor.
LOVE Ann-Margret and had the honor of getting to know her. Not gonna go into all the details but there is a reason why she is one of the celebrities no one ever trashes. She is a lovely lovely woman, very kind and very grateful for her success. Its been several years but I still receive Christmas and birthday cards from her.
Adorable post R19! I laughed out loud. I probably wanted that pink top too.
R24 I have heard that from her friends as well. They all say how nice she is.
If you ever correspond with her, r24, let her know she still has fans who remember her fondly.
Yes, tell her DL loves her!
[quote]They should've added that song to the stage version, although I'm not sure where it would fit in the storyline... also saw the most recent Broadway incarnation with John Stamos and Gina Gershon, which was OK except for Bill Irwin.
Well, if you saw the revival, then you already know they incorporated "Bye Bye Birdie" into the curtain call.
I can dance and sing that every bit as good as Ann Margaret.
R30 Summer stock production at Kansas City Starlight Theatre with Gary Sandy, Alyson Reed, Karc Kudisch and Karyn Quakenbush added the movie Birdie song at the end of the overture as girls rushed the stage singing it. This would have been around 1989.
That Roundabout revival was awful. I have a friend who was in it. The individual families were always dressed in distinct colors.. My friend would say "we were the blue family... there is the yellow family.....there goes the orange family."
Part of the charm of Birdie is older chorus kids playing younger. One of the mistakes with Roundabout was that they used younger kids and a Kim who was barely out of puberty and not alluring at all. Her scene with Birdie in the ice house was a bit pedophile material.
Bill Irwin as others have said was horrible.
And Gina Gershon? She don't dance peoples!
Gina Gershon doesn't dance? Wasn't she the star dancer in "Showgirls"?
R36- They cut Shriner's Ballet from the show. Gershon said it was 'demeaning to women' which translates to "I... CAN'T.. DANCE IT......PEOPLES!"
R37 She didn't mind the fact that her character was demeaning to Hispanics, apparently.
And that's ME in the Lot of Livin' number! Blonde, cute, a swell dancer and in pigtails!
Elaine Joyce aka MRS. NEIL SIMON
Omg. Me too op
I read she filmed this while suspended six feet in the air on a treadmill.
How is that even possible?
She was on a treadmill but I doubt that she was suspended in the air.
Ann-Margret at the HEIGHT of her beauty and sex appeal....complete and in widescreen!
Alyson Reed as a Hispanic?- In what universe? Alyson Reed as Sally Bowles? In what universe? Alyson Reed as Cassie in the movie ACL? In what universe? Alyson Reed as an overweight teacher in High School Musical? Okay.
I read that Rita Moreno turned down Rose in the movie. I find that hard to believe.
[quote] a Kim who was barely out of puberty and not alluring at all.
Kim in the stage version isn't like Ann-Margret in the movie.
That was all created in the editing room, R36.
Bobby Rydell has mentioned that it took two weeks to film the "Birdie Dance" and that his arches fell during takes.
Whenever I watch that sequence, I am struck by how unbelievably gay the two "blonde" dancers are (first at the table with Ann Margaret then again during the "pony" sequence).
KaWEEN! Complete with skin tight pants and the blue bowling shoes worn by one of them.
I know theater purists hate it, but I've always gotten some amusement out of the movie's Speed-Up subplot. An overt drug reference in a movie musical, and not even a gratuitous one. I guess they saw Timothy Leary coming...
Is Trudy Ames dead, r48?
The "Lot Of Livin" is my favorite dance scene. I love the way Ann Margret flips her head back and forth like a bird. It's so cool!
I always thought BBB was the oddest teen musical that I have ever seen. But, it was like the Grease of its time. Bobby Rydell was quite the little twink. Ann was gorgeous, and very talented.
Trudy Ames had really pretty eyes and really bad teeth. Did her agent make her change her last name from Ziskind because it sounded too "Jewish"? Boy- lots of those female dancers in the Livin number are really dykey lookin.
Well, was Onna White a dyke?
She didn't pay me any attention in I HAD A BALL, so...
The title song wasn't even nominated for an Oscar that year. Here are the nominees:
"Call Me Irresponsible" from Papa's Delicate Condition – Music by Jimmy Van Heusen; Lyric by Sammy Cahn
"So Little Time" from 55 Days at Peking – Music by Dimitri Tiomkin; Lyric by Paul Francis Webster
"Charade" from Charade – Music by Henry Mancini; Lyric by Johnny Mercer
"It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – Music by Ernest Gold; Lyric by Mack David
"More" from Mondo cane – Music by Riz Ortolani and Nino Oliviero; Lyric by Norman Newell
"Irresponsible" won, and it, as well as "More" and "Charade" are standards, but the other two? No.
I adore her in the number and the film and in general, but I grew up an hour away from her suburb and trust me, "Bird-hee" sounded a little odd--but who cared? It was Ann-fucking-Margret!
I like the play much better--the whole Speed-up thing makes the second half stupider than it needs to be.
But Ann-Margret, especially in that opening number, was charming and sweet.
Call Me Irresponsible was a hit song long before it was used in that silly movie. How did it ever get nominated, much less win?
R59 I'm pretty sure the rules require that the song be heard for the first time in the movie for which it was nominated.
Got to meet Miss Ann-Margret and Roger Smith. very nice people. I have the BBB DVD signed to me. She seems as sweet as you think. She tells a nice story in her autobiography of how she and her parents came from Sweden and on the first day in America went to Radio City Music Hall. Years later she brought them back to Radio City for the world premiere of "Bye Bye Birdie". Love stories like that.
R61 She's definitely one of the few people in showbiz that you rarely, if ever, hear anyone speak ill of.
Someone needs to tell her that lipstick that's the shame shade as your face (or paler) is nagl.
R24. I've had friends who've had Miss Margaret on flights and they told me she is as lovely as she is beautiful. Tell her hi for me too. 😊
Always loved this crazy movie. Made me an Ann Margret fan for life. Did anyone see her in A Streetcar Named Desire? I loved her in that.
I think often female stars with the manager husbands get to play an even more heightened game of good cop/bad cop than other "sweet" stars, because they're joined at the hip with someone available to be the bad cop 24/7. I believe that's what it was like with Mary Martin and Richard Halliday - whenever anything unpleasant or contentious would come up, Martin would say, "You'll have to talk to Richard about that", enabling her to be all sweetness and light all the time and leaving the fighting to him.
This is not to dispute that Ann-Margret is probably a sweet and lovely woman by nature - just wondering whether one reason she's been able to be so sweet and lovely is because she's always had someone utterly loyal and devoted by her side to fight any battles for her.
Robert Morse looks pissed that they're not doing "How to Succeed" instead.
IIRC that Academy rule happened after Call Me Irresponsible unfairly won the Oscar.
Yes R65. I saved it to VHS tape and transferred it to DVD. A-M was great.
R44 Have you seen the bootleg video that was shot of the 1987 CABARET with Alyson Reed? She looked like a linebacker.
R46 true but Kim was played by an ingenue (Susan Watson) who played younger. The girl Allie Tims in the Gershon revival was too young.
R44 If Janet Leigh can play Hispanic, why can't Alyson Reed?
R41 My apologies.. you were right the treadmill was suspended in the air.
Here is A-M and Bobby Rydell talking about that, and a few other memories of the movie, at the Oscar screening of the film a few years back.