User Reviews (19)

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  • I love this film and it is my favourite film of all time. I think the cast, costumes and music are all original and brilliant. I cannot fault this film.It was introduced to me as a young child by my grandmother and I'm now 25 and i still enjoy watching it.This film makes me happy, i am an artist and have been so inspired by this movie. My grandmother prefers the b&w version - with Shirley Temple. I love this version, it contains some of the worlds most beautiful women: Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardener.It's true that this film is a little quirky and has some surreal scenes, but this only adds to the genius of it. I only wish that i had created this film, it's totally artistic and creative. A beautiful masterpiece.
  • On a level of polished film making, this is possibly one of the shoddiest big-budget films ever made, but for viewers with the right (admittedly warped) perspective, it's terrifically entertaining. Most bad movies are merely ineptly made and therefore boring. But this film reaches such a surreal level of ineptitude that the viewer can only wonder, "What did I just watch? Was that a movie or was I hallucinating?" The script here is so disjointed and bizarre, it gave me the impression of what Ed Wood might have done if he had tried to make a children's film and had access to real stars. The plot is indescribable, so I won't try. Some golden moments are Will Geer and Mona Washbourne as the children's grandparents singing a song about how boring it is to be dead; Robert Morley decked out as Father Time in a slightly morbid Land of Unborn children; and my favorite, Ava Gardener in the Palace of Luxury, pointing out to the young boy all the luxuries (all grotesquely personified): the luxury of eating when not hungry, the luxury of loving one's own looks, etc. When the kid asks Ava, "Which luxury are you?" she leers at him and says, "You'll find out about me when you get a bit older."

    I saw this film when it was first released. The ad campaign had made it sound like a charming children's fantasy, and the fact that it was filmed in the USSR brought out all the liberal parents and their kids. By the end of the screening, the theatre was empty except for my friends and me, rolling in the aisles with laughter. So, if you like inexplicable bad movies, the ones that make you wonder just what in the world the filmmakers thought they were doing, don't miss "The Blue Bird".
  • This musical version of "The Blue Bird" is highly reminiscent of those awful, English-dubbed "Pippi Longstocking" movies from Sweden, where everyone is manic, grinning, out of step and out of tune. The same clueless qualities are on display here, only this picture was directed by George "My Fair Lady" Cukor and co-stars Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Cicely Tyson and Jane Fonda! Filmed in Russia (with the assistance of a Russian crew and Russian rubles), it's a remake of the Shirley Temple chestnut from 1940, adapted from the play by Maurice Maeterlinck, and literally defies explanation. Amateurish--and yet fascinatingly so--the movie is heavier than bricks and is never seamless; it feels patched together by a child's hands. I remember watching this on HBO many years ago several times, always in stunned, mind-numbing shock. Taylor (in four roles!) goofs around a little and she's fun to watch, Fonda has a pithy few seconds as Night, and Robert Morley is energetic without camping it up as Father Time; everyone else is out to sea. Forgettable, needless songs by Irwin Kostal and Andrei Petrov. Connoisseurs of bad cinema should feast on this for ages. Hey, terrible flicks can be fun, too. ** from ****
  • conniewatt13 December 2006
    When my son was approximately 7-8 years old, he loved watching this movie. At that time he was really into watching the Saturday afternoon monster movies, Ultra man etc. My daughters watched it a couple of years later and they both loved it too. Elizabeth Taylor is beautiful, but the storyline was nice too. Actually anything that held my son's attention had to be really good. As an adult, I watched it with the kids a couple of times and then that was enough for me, so I think it is really for the kids. I'd like to get a DVD of this movie because now I have two granddaughters. The four and half year old would really enjoy it. It would probably be another year before my other grandchild would sit still to watch it. I recommend this story for children, if you let them watch make believe and magical movies.
  • The Blue Bird (1976)

    ** (out of 4)

    George Cukor directed this USSR/USA co-production of the classic story about two children who set out to find the Blue Bird of Happiness. The all-star cast includes Elizabeth Taylor in four roles including the Mother, Witch and Queen of Light, Jane Fonda as The Night, Cicely Tyson as Tylette and Ava Gardner as Luxery. THE BLUE BIRD has been filmed countless times over the years and this one here has the reputation as being one of the worst. It's strange to see all the talent that is wasted here but at the same time I think fans of the weird and surreal will probably want to check this out and they might get a few kicks out of it. This version here is completely weird from the opening scene to the last but I think this here is what keeps it entertaining. For the most part the performances range from poor to average but with a cast like this you expect much better. Taylor seems out of place in all four of her roles but I will admit that I got a kick out of her playing the witch. Fonda seems like she's caught up in a bad dream as she never feels in place. Gardner is wasted in her small role as is Robert Morley. Poor Tyson comes off the worst with a rather embarrassing performance. I'd say that the majority of the visuals are quite nice and we're given some good cinematography but all of this is pretty much wasted since the story never fully takes off. The dance sequences really don't add anything either and in the end this here is just a strange mix of fantasy and drama.
  • The first co-production between USSR and Hollywood would have to be this strange kiddie film that is so icky sweet, it makes "Barney" look like "Penthouse Forum" in comparison! Some kids meet up with their fairy Godmother (Elizabeth Taylor dressed like a Mafia wife gone insane). With a wave of her magic wand, household pets, and inanimate objects come to life. The most disgusting has to be what happens to a pitcher of milk! It turns into a ballerina. To remind audiences of its milk origins, whenever the ballerina dances, we hear milk splash in a pitcher. It sounds as if the poor ballerina has a stomach disorder! The story goes that the production of this film was very rough. It went on forever. Jane Fonda supposedly kept on pestering the Russian workers, and it became an expensive mess.
  • I watched this last night, taped it off a TCM showing. This film is a lot better than reviewers said. I'd say it's a must-see for Elizabeth Taylor fans. She obviously enjoyed her roles. Patsy Kensit is simply adorable in this. The film has deep, yet surreally portrayed concepts involving life and death, sin and love. Certainly perfect for young children with a strong moral philosophy. The story is fantasy, some sets are better than others, it's all very colorful and has an early 19th century feel. If you are a student of set construction, choreography, ballet in film, or escapes to alternate realities, you will enjoy this perhaps more than you think you should.
  • icywind22 May 2004
    I don't agree with the author of the previous comment about this film. The film has to be understood in the context of the time when it was made-at the height of the Cold War. It is one of very few examples of the US-USSR cooperation, especially, in the movie industry. I was very young when I saw it for the first time, on Soviet TV. Right after the signing of the nuclear arms reduction treaty between the US and the then-Soviet Union. The soundtrack of the movie is beautiful; and some of the best Soviet movie actors are cast in it, to say nothing about Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Fonda. Yes, it's not the Lord of the Rings, by all stretch of imagination. It's rather a children's story, a fairy tale, without computer animation and Oscars for it, but with some good old-fashioned ACTING. By the way, I'd love to purchase the movie and would appreciate any hints regarding to who carries it on DVD.
  • Excellent, brilliant film! If you know what the happiness is, you'll search for it in that film. You'll be a guest in your own past, in your memory.. and you'll enter the amazing world of the future, which is always young. You'll enter the Castle of Darkness and the Palace of All the Enjoys of the World. You will have a lot of difficult adventures. You will have some true friends and some very envious enemies.. The Blue Bird - the symbol of happiness - is always flying somewhere close, but you can't get it in your hands. You'll probably try to answer to one question: "where your happiness is, if you have enjoyed it not once."
  • AnsM2921 February 2004
    Well, it's a movie of my childhood. I was charmed by it same as millions of Soviet kids did. Russian Soviet crew consisted of well-known actors who are amazingly remarkable even now when some of them are long dead. Music score plays tunes in your head once you've heard it. You need to be romantic or a kid to be succumbed completely in the plot and the play. I give it 100 points. P.S. I had no idea who Liz Taylor was when I had watched that movie almost 20 years back from now.
  • I have witnessed many bad films, and I really thought that Blues Brothers 2000 could not be out-done. But this is the most painful, excruciating and unbearable film ever. Do not watch it unless you have taken drugs.

    The acting is terrible, the directing is terrible, the costumes are just unreal... I cannot go on. It hurts me to even talk about it.

    What on earth were good actors like Liz doing? I can only assume that the back-ground of a Hollywood-Soviet joint children's film production in the middle of the Cold War was their contribution to bring the world together. Well, I can tell you this: I am a Brit, my wife is Slovak. We both saw it from other sides of the Iron Curtain, and we both agree - it sucks.
  • bartendrone30 January 2004
    This movie is a wonderful movie . its with great pride that i seen it back when i did , a child of all ages should see it for what it is a fantasy , about caring for someone and learning how to work together , it has its ups and downs but so do other movies , i give it thumbs up and hope to see it available on dvd some time
  • I loved this movie as a child. I would love to see it again and share it with my children. It is a wonderful movie for children and the young at heart. I like it much better than the Shirley Temple version.
  • This film immerses us into a fairytale atmosphere. As for me, I watch it many times, by the way, both in Russian and in English. It's too pleasantly to realize that Soviet Union and US joined together: legendary Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Jane Fonda and outstanding soviet actors Georgiy Vitsin, Margarita Terekhova, Oleg Popov. I was a little child when I found this masterpiece...Even then it left an imprint in my heart, and I'll always remember it with great pleasure and kindness! And know I can recommend u to watch this film and enjoy the playing of the best actors of 20th century. Don't miss the fairytale
  • Warning: Spoilers
    i love fairy tales, folk lore and children's literature, but let's get real. most of it is more than likely going to mess up your noggin. even Disney couldn't really homogenize much of traditional folk lore or stories. a lot is spooky or disturbing. most all of it is lost and bogged in archetypal imagery and all Disney helps to do is glamorize it to a facile and surreal perspective. it's pretty hard to keep a lid on the unconsciousness of most of the stuff. children's stories are almost inherently queerish and odd. but i suppose no more convoluted by the mess that teenagers and adults create for themselves with comic book super heroes or violent action plays. people just get naturally kind of weird when they let their imaginations go and entertain with stories. fine. as long as the recipient can handle the complexity or possible idiosyncrasy of it's thought processing.

    'The Bluebird' is one of my favorite fairy stories and folk lore legends because it is the most realistic message conveyed. by almost any story really. simply put. spiritual journeys are often found from within and cannot always be obtained in a physical sense. and you should often question what your basic concept and definition of happiness pertains. sort of like "click click there's no place like home", but a little less literal and concrete than that.

    i really love Disney films. but more often than not, Disney's concept of happiness is dumbfoundingly literal and concrete. Disney was a strong willed, ambitious shaker and mover who evidenced happiness much in physical pursuit and proclaimed his fantasy kingdom "the happiest place on earth". well, Disneyland IS a happy place, but i'm not sure that isn't a flat out statement that will confuse and distract you from true happiness rather than help you understand what happiness means to you. wherever you go, you are responsible mostly for your happiness. and searching for it in a certain place is futile and childish. not that a little change of scenery once in a while doesn't help, i just don't think you always need the keys to a earthly kingdom to be happy. love Walter E, but he doesn't know everything.

    often Disney films make for much better cinema than this joint Euro-Russian production. even the Shirley Temple version is probably better cinematically. but this is a good production, if not somewhat overblown a bit, but not so much as to loose the important directions of the original story. Elizabeth Taylor gives a very sweet performance here. "sweet" was something she really hadn't done since 'National Velvet' or 'Father of the Bride'.

    i don't think it's really the cinema that so many find hard to accept here. certainly people like and accept a lot of junky, horrid, commercial tripe and stuff. i think it's the message here of no guarantee. like the fairy of the tale that informs, "many have gone looking for the bluebird, but few have found it." i suppose if Disneyland had a motto of that kind of uncertainty, Disney probably could'not have sold annual passes.
  • I remember hearing the horrendous reviews when this film was originally released. Thirty-three years later, I finally managed to actually see it on YouTube. My, oh, my. Considering the budget and talent involved, it is indeed one of the worst films ever made. Most often, it comes across as a filmed stage play - one with incredibly bad performances. The technical aspects are well below par. The whole naive "political" background actually makes the film even more annoying...did these people actually think that they were performing some sort of noble gesture, bringing the world's superpowers together? If you haven't seen this, really, I suggest that you skip it. It might play as "good bad," if you've had a few drinks with friends. But watching this sober, is just plain tedious.
  • The mankind has been took at madness in a pressure world, everlasting work, tons of bills to pay, sadness and all sort of the misfortunes, then as escapism we quite often delve into fantasy, The Blue Bird was a fabulous fairy tale, taking two children in a travel to searching the Blue bird, they walking for many places through the time, meeting all kind of the characters, good and evil, even their grandparents already dead, Miss Taylor, Jane Fonda and Ava Gardner, and many more, each single scene has a specific meaningful, letting us to unknown wonder world, a special journey to forget our aches and pains, a joint venture USA-URSS co-production, where marvelous Soviet actors made it a pleasant picture, so easy to watch, based on Maurice Maeterlinck novel, a must to see!!!

    Resume:

    First watch: 2011 / How many: 2 / Source: DVD / Rating: 7.5
  • I thought I had seen bad movies but this is the WORST movie ever laid down on film. If the film used to make this movie had been simply used for toilet paper, wound around a film reel then threaded and shown through a movie projector, it would have been a much better movie and a plot might even have been evident.

    Please don't waste even 1 second of your life watching this movie. The only good thing that I received from this movie was the encouragement that a book I started writing (but quit because I thought it stunk) might be worth finishing, since ANY work of writing turned into a movie would be better than this one - even the directions on a frozen dinner would have been better than this movie, if made into a film.

    However, I must say that if you love the sappiest 70's flute riffs ever made, you will LOVE this movie.

    I see Elizabeth Taylor, standing at the gates of pearl, apologizing profusely and long for ever even CONSIDERING starring in a movie such as this....

    ...and poor TylTyl, having to go back to his earth-bound 6th grade class and suffer the laughter, derision, and persecution from his school mates after the movie came out..........I....I...

    I'm sorry, the tears are flooding my keyboard such that I cannot continue...save yourselves and don't watch this movie!! rp
  • hannahma5717 January 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    I confess I haven't seen this flick but it got a Gold Turkey Award from the National Lampoon's terrific book of the same name, calling this movie one of the worst ever made. S.J.Perelman once dismissed a silent version of The Admirable Crichton with the phrase, "I won't bother with the plot, which was paltry, or the acting, which was aboriginal" and the Lampoon was pretty similar. They quoted Cicely Tyson as complaining that Russian cinematographer didn't know how to light black actors, so her face simply disappeared into the shadows. They concluded that Maeterlinck's famous tale was unfilmable and that all the movie versions were awful. I look forward to seeing this gobbler someday.