Synopsis by Mark Deming
The first official co-production between the United States and the Soviet Union, The Blue Bird was the third screen adaptation of the children's story by Maurice Maeterlinck about a pair of children, Tyltyl (Todd Lookinland) and Mytyl (Patsy Kensit), who leave home to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. After spending some time wandering through a fantasy world and encountering The Night (Jane Fonda), The Cat (Cicely Tyson), Luxury (Ava Gardner), Father Time (Robert Morley), and The Oak (Harry Andrews), they meet The Queen of Light (Elizabeth Taylor) and discover that true happiness can be found right at home, with your family. As the box-office failure of the first two versions of this story proves, putting this sort of children's fantasy on film is tricky business, and despite a top-notch cast of American and Soviet talent and the directorial expertise of veteran filmmaker George Cukor, The Blue Bird had a notoriously difficult production, with the American and Russian crews not always understanding each other's working methods, the Soviet camera crew not knowing how to light African-American actress Cicely Tyson, and Jane Fonda often trying to engage the Russian crew members in political discussions.
birds, child, fantasy, happiness, home, search