Bye Bye Birdie [1963]

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh, Maureen Stapleton, Bobby Rydell
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Rating: G (General Audience)
Runtime: 112 minutes

When Elvis-like rock & roll star Conrad Birdie is drafted into the military, the teen nation is united by a contest in which the winner bestows a farewell kiss upon their idol while on the Ed Sullivan Show. Ann-Margret (in her film debut) is the lucky little lady from Sweet Apple, Ohio, who wins the contest, much to the chagrin of her steady beau (Bobby Rydell) and miserable parents (Paul Lynde and Mary LaRoche). Dick Van Dyke and Janet Leigh are an older couple kept from marrying by his meddlesome mother, played to the hilt by Maureen Stapleton. Lightweight but fun, this features an exuberant soundtrack with such memorable ditties as "Put on a Happy Face" and "Kids" and the title track. This is a much better choice than the lackluster, 1995 made-for-TV version. --Rochelle O'Gorman

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