Bird (1988): Eastwood’s Biopic of Charlie Parker, Starring Forest Whitaker

Warner (Malpaso Productions)

Clint Eastwood directed this fascinating biopic, from a screenplay by Joel Oliansky, about the life and music of jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker.

The tale is constructed as a montage of scenes from Parker’s life, from his childhood in Kansas City, through his early death at the age of 34.

The film moves back and forth through Parker’s history, blending moments to find some truth to his life.  The movie revolves around his relationships with wife Chan Parker, Bebop pioneer trumpet player and band leader Dizzy Gillespie, and his influence (both musically and into the world of heroin addiction) on trumpet player Red Rodney.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Sound: Les Fresholtz, Dick Alexander, Vern Poore, and Wllie D. Burton

Oscar Awards: 1