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5.0 out of 5 stars True to the Show.
Unlike the 1963 film of the same name, this 1995 made-for-television movie of the classic musical stays true to the source. The film contains just about everything from the stage musical plus three new songs. The acting is great, the songs are a blast, and the settings/scenery capture the town of Sweet Apple, Ohio perfectly.
Tyne Daly as Mae Peterson, George Wendt as...
Published on May 16 2002 by tvtv3

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3.0 out of 5 stars Long, But OK
First of all, DO NOT call this a remake of the '63 film. Even though this version is truer to the stage play, it is Extremely long. The casting was good with some exceptions. Chyna Phillips was not a good casting choice. She was almost 30 when she did this film, and it was hard to believe she was a teenager. Jason Alexander was good choice, but after a while he gave me...
Published on Feb. 22 2000 by Pat McCurry


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5.0 out of 5 stars True to the Show., May 16 2002
By 
tvtv3 "tvtv3" (Sorento, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
Unlike the 1963 film of the same name, this 1995 made-for-television movie of the classic musical stays true to the source. The film contains just about everything from the stage musical plus three new songs. The acting is great, the songs are a blast, and the settings/scenery capture the town of Sweet Apple, Ohio perfectly.
Tyne Daly as Mae Peterson, George Wendt as Mr. McAfee, and Vanessa Williams as Rose Alvarez are perfect.Jason Alexander is a delight as Albert Peterson, but seemed to have trouble with some of the songs and I therefore liked Dick Van Dyke's Albert from the original film better. Chynna Philips, on the other hand, just doesn't seem believable as Kim: she appeared way too old and just couldn't hit the right notes of her songs. Ann-Margaret was by far the better Kim. Also, I didn't like the fact that Hugo carried a guitar around (too Conrad Birdie wannabee, which Hugo definitely is not) and the scene at the end of the play where Kim announces her engagement to Hugo was cut. Other than that, the film really has no flaws.
This version of BYE BYE BIRDIE is far superior to the original. At just around two hours, it's just like watching the play, but in your own home.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Version Made Me "Put On A Happy Face", June 6 2001
By 
John Adams "Farley Flavors" (Fort Lauderdale, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
Bad: The movie with Dick Van Dyke and Janet Leigh. Good: This version of a classic american musical. I had concluded my Junior year in high school performing a shabby yet fun production of "Birdie" and I was made aware of a TV production with Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams. When I saw that the video of it was to be released, without hesitation I purchased it. I was very pleased with what I saw. This production was extremely loyal to the story and even to the script. I love it when an adaptation adds on instead of taking away. In this version there are more songs added into the fray. Ranging from the triumphant "Giant Step," the enjoyably obnoxious "A Mother Doesn't Matter," and the rollicking title song. Sure the film is lenghty, but in all honesty, most of the best films are always long.
Next, it is customary in my reviews to comment on the performances, and in this film's case it is a priority. Let's start with the star, Jason Alexander. He managed to portray Albert Petersen perfectly through all his character changes, from humility, to self reliance. And thank god, with this, he proved to me that he was more than a whiny bald guy on a stupid TV show named after a comedian who can't act to save his life. In "Birdie" he manages to make each of his songs look like a natural behavior especially with "Put on a Happy Face." Now onto the beautiful and talented Vanessa Williams. She definitely holds presence in musicals and most of all, in this one. Her rendition of "Spanish Rose" which also neighbors the wild "Shriner's Ballet" are definitely high points of the film. Next, there's George Wendt, who is perfectly cast and in top-form as the easily irritated pure-blood american father, Mr. MacAfee. and "Judging Amy's" Tyne Daly as Mrs. Petersen is definitely the epitome of the clinging, demanding, melodramatic mother to Jason Alexander's character. But amongst all these notables. I must point attention to the dead-on portrayal of Conrad Birdie by broadway star Marc Kudisch (Who, coincidentally went to the same college, and worked with the same troupe as my High School Drama teacher. small world, eh?) Kudisch's spoof of Elvis is always a joy to watch. He totally comes to life in his first number "Honestly, Sincere."
The Story of "Bye Bye Birdie" is still socially relevant today as it ever was when it concerns the way teens gloss and drool over the next big trend, and how they follow them so blindly as to not realize how much trouble they get into. Meanwhile you have the parents who are too clueless to realize that times change and things can never be the way it was for them. And in the end of this we see how in the end we see how the girl Kim MacAfee learns the importance of not rushing into growing up, and learn to stop right where she is and live her life one minute at a time.
This film is definitely the definitive version of a classic musical. Filled with fun tunes, old and new, and associated with energetic choreography by "Fosse's" Ann Reinking, and performed by a top-notch cast. Any loyal Broadway buff is obligated to buy this version. So what are you waiting for?!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Long, But OK, Feb. 22 2000
By 
Pat McCurry (Wilton, NH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
First of all, DO NOT call this a remake of the '63 film. Even though this version is truer to the stage play, it is Extremely long. The casting was good with some exceptions. Chyna Phillips was not a good casting choice. She was almost 30 when she did this film, and it was hard to believe she was a teenager. Jason Alexander was good choice, but after a while he gave me a headache. Tyne Daly overdoes her part as Mae Peterson. George Wendt was funny as Harry McAffee, and showed he could even hold a tune. Like the '63 film, they casted an unknown to play Conrad Birdie. Marc Kudisch had fun with his role as Birdie and it showed. I even have the soundtrack and i love listening to his singing. So what made this a TV ratings flop? It was lengthy for one. They put in new songs and scenes. Even though some of the new songs were good (like "Let's Settle Down"), was it really necessary? Now don't get me wrong, I liked it, but I rather watch the '63 film (see my review). This was just a case of some actors overdoing roles, making some changes, and once again, LENGTH. One more thing I forgot to mention is Vanessa Williams. She does a good job with the role and the music. Give her any lyrics and she could sing them. So here is my advice coming from someone who's done a couple productions of Bye Bye Birdie: If you want to watch an entertaining take on the play, watch the '63 film. If you want to watch a version that is truer to the play, watch the '95 version. Just take it in moderation though. Don't be a hero and try watch it all in one sitting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Entertaining, March 14 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
This 1995 made for TV movie is millions of miles away from the tacky propaganda-filled 1963 film. This version follows the real story and doesn't leave out any key parts or songs. The casting was done well, especially Tyne Daly as Mae Peterson (hilarious) and the actor who plays Conrad Birdie--an amazing voice! George Wendt plays the role of Mr. MacAfee and not only can he sing but is a riot in the Ed Sullivan scene. However, Chynna Phillips is not a great choice for Kim--she looks too old, her singing voice is only so-so (Kim's songs have all been lowered an octave) and the way she interpreted the role made Kim seem snotty. One of the best scenes is when Ursula and co. are doing "Bye Bye Birdie" at the malt shop--their voices and enthusiasm are unbelievable. All in all, it's a great show, excellent viewing for anyone wanting to produce or direct the musical.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Musical Eva!!, June 13 2001
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
The Tv version of BYE BYE BIRDIE is the best musical I've ever seen! Sure it is long, but at the end, you'll find It is worth it! The cast is EXCELLENT!! Vanessa is so beautiful and she makes the perfect Rose! Jason did a great job playing a tenor-Albert. Marc was the best Conrad... he beats them all!! Chynna....well, she is much older than Kim is, but she still played a great Kim!! NOW TYNE........ Now there is a lady with talent. She played the perfect Mae Peterson! She had was great with her Jewish-New York accent! When they do a remake of that version, I'm waiting for Rosie Odonnel to play Mae! Cause she'd be perfect for the part. Me as Albert! LOL!! If anyone knows if that was Reese Witherspoon who played Ursula Merkle, email me and tell me so! She looked so much like her!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this fine Theatre to Film adaptation!, Aug. 10 2001
By 
Brian Nahodil (Catlett, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
Finally! A delightful and funny film interpretation of this excellent and very humorous Musical! Tyne Daly is brilliantly funny and the casting of Jason Alexander to the role of Albert was perfect. Also delightful was Vanessa Williams. It is clear to me that the cast had a lot of fun making this movie and it shows very well in this made for TV Version. Chyna Phillips as Kim?!? Did the casting Director pull names out of a hat? Though she tried her best and her acting was good, I just could not accept her as Kim McAffee. It certainly makes up for that abhorrent film interpretation of 1963. This includes ALL of the music, dialogue and scenes from the musical script. A highly recommended movie, especially if you are planning a HS or Community Theatre production of Bye Bye Birdie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wowzers! This is Great!, March 24 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
I saw the original, and let me tell you the absolute truth . . . this movie is about 99.9% better than the original. Even though a few songs were taken out, they made up for it with the new songs they added.
"George" definately proved himself as more than a sitcom guy. His singing in 'Put On a Happy Face' and 'What Did I Ever See in Her' was fantastic! I thought he did a SUPERB job!
Even though some of the words in the songs were a bit modified, the whole movie itself seems a lot more closely related to the play than the '63 version.
Every little thing was really really great! And I'd much rather watch this video over the Dick Van Dyke one....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original!, April 19 2002
By 
Amazon Customer "cteddiesgirl" (Indianapolis, Indiana United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
I admit that I seen this version on TV before I ever saw the original. I loved it. I thought most of the casting was perfect, George Wendt is very funny, and Jason Alexander really showed his talents. Also, Tyne Daly as the dominating mother and Vanessa Williams as the girlfriend was great. When I saw the original version on tape, I did not like it at all. What's with the Bye Bye Bird-He in the original? It sounded like they had to take a breath before the could finish it. The new version was much better with better voice casting. The original version I couldn't even finish watching and have since sold it to someone else. I'm keeping the new version!
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5.0 out of 5 stars So Much Better Than The Original, March 24 2001
By 
"smidges" (McLean, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
I don't see what people didn't like about this movie. Jason Alexander was a lot funnier than Dick Van Dyke in the role of Albert Peterson. I didn't think that this version was really long at all it never dragged and kept you interested throughout the whole show. I liked the extra songs they added like Bye Bye Birdie and A Mother Doesn't Matter Anymore. The whole cast was awesome even though the girl that played Kim wasn't very believable as a teenager but Vannessa WIllams was great and Tyne Daly was perfect for the role of Albert's dominating mother. I love this version and think it an upgrade from the 1963 version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, Jan. 5 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Bye Bye Birdie [Import] (VHS Tape)
Better than the original 1963 film. Great casting - the inclusion of Jason Alexander is always welcome. But casting Marc Kudisch as Conrad Birdie was a stroke of genius. I really cannot believe that no one else has yet mentioned him in their reviews...this actor is truly amazing and did a fabulous job with this film, and yet this is the only actual mainstream movie he has been in, although he's "made it big" on the Great White Way in musicals like Beauty & the Beast and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Hello, Hollywood!
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