Philly boys Al and Birdy became friends in high school despite the extreme difference in their personalities, Al being the popular and athletic extrovert, Birdy the antisocial “weird” introvert. Al gave Birdy his nickname because of his fascination – obsession really – with birds, especially with flight. Al and Birdy have just completed their service of duty in the Vietnam War and have returned to the States. Al sustained some serious physical injuries, which required major reconstructive surgery to his face. Birdy, however, returned from Vietnam seemingly emotionally scarred. He was missing in action for one month. He has not spoken since he was found. Despite his own medical issues, Al travels to the institution where Birdy is being kept to see if he can assist in getting Birdy out of his near comatose state. Having always had issues with authority, Al is less than forthright with the doctors about Birdy’s mental state prior to the war. As Al tries whatever he can to help Birdy using tools from their shared history prior to the war, he deals with his own post-war mental state. —IMDb
An advertising gofer-turned-writer and director, Alan Parker began his film career through his association with producer David Puttnam, another ad man with cinematic aspirations, who hired Parker to write the screenplay for the preteen romance Melody (1971). After a stint directing television commercials and short films for the BBC, Parker made his first movie, Bugsy Malone, in 1976. He joined the front ranks of young filmmakers two years later with the fact-based thriller Midnight Express, a brilliant and brutal retelling of the experiences of a young American who escaped from a Turkish prison where he had been incarcerated for drug possession. Both an exposé of government corruption and an indictment of American pomposity, it earned lavish acclaim and a number of honors, including a Best Director Oscar nomination for Parker.
The director followed this success with the megahit Fame in 1980. A box-office smash, it spawned a long-running TV series and became a fixture in the American… read more