Academy Awards 1962 -
Best Supporting Actor: Ed Begley
Los Angeles Times - 04/27/2003
"...A top-notch adaptation....Newman gives another gritty performance....Both Newman and Page played these roles on Broadway and their chemistry is astonishing..."
Widescreen Review - 06/01/2006
"Paul Newman stars as Chance Wayne, who aims to get what and who he wants, and he doesn't intend to let anyone stop him....The soundtrack does sound good."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Handsome Chance Wayne (Paul Newman) never found the Hollywood stardom he craved, but he's always been a star with the ladies. Now, back in his sleepy, sweaty Gulf Coast hometown, he's involved with two of them: a washed-up, drug-and-vodka-addled movie queen. And the girl he left behind...and in trouble.
Paul Newman, Best Actress Oscar nominee Geraldine Page, Rip Torn and Madeleine Sherwood recreate their stage roles and Ed Begley gives an Oscar-winning portrayal as the town's corrupt political boss in a bravura film version of Tennessee Williams' Broadway hit. Sex, money, hypocrisy, and financial and emotional blackmail are all familiar elements in Williams' literary realm and combine powerfully in Sweet Bird Of Youth as Chance battles his private demons in a desperate bid to redeem his wasted life and recapture his lost Sweet Bird Of Youth.
Paul Newman and Geraldine Page re-created their Broadway roles in Tennessee Williams's SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH for this stylish film adaptation. Newman stars as Chance Wayne, a Hollywood gigolo determined to become a star, who teams up with Alexandra Del Lago (Geraldine Page), a washed-up Hollywood actress, on his way back to his small-town home. The town clamors at the reappearance of the charismatic Chance, who claims to have found fame and fortune in Hollywood, while the mysterious Alexandra lies in a drunken stupor in their hotel room. Alexandra convinces Chance she can make him a star, so he protects her reputation while rediscovering his love for his hometown sweetheart, Heavenly (Shirley Knight), whose heart he broke when he disappeared to find fame. Chance's attempts to reignite his passion for the naive Heavenly deeply angers her vengeful father, the cruel town "boss" (Ed Begley) who will stop at nothing to see his daughter's lost innocence avenged. Williams's hard-hitting themes of betrayal, mob violence, and deceit are fully examined in this fine adaptation. Geraldine Page ignites the screen as she seductively manipulates Chance and languishes alone in her prisonlike hotel room, terrified of losing her star status.
Description by Warner Home Video:
Sweet Bird Of Youth
Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. With him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago.
Paul Newman and Geraldine Page star in this sizzling screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams's play. Chance Wayne, a Hollywood gigolo, returns home with his washed-up starlet girlfriend, pretending to have found fame. He gradually realizes that he still has feelings for the woman whose heart he broke when he left town--and that her father, a cold, sadistic political boss, has neither forgotten nor forgiven his betrayal.
Geraldine Page, Paul Newman, Madeleine Sherwood, and Rip Torn all re-created their roles from the original Broadway production.