The Birdman of Alcatraz Blu Ray review

Masters of cinema has released a selection of significant, sensational and superb films from the history of cinema. This release is an outstanding film from any era. John Frankenheimer first huge success came from this film. A true life story that covered the life of a prisoner on Alcatraz, who became a national sensation. Robert Stroud was sentenced to life in solitary confinement after murdering a prison guard. While in confinement he found an injured sparrow. Nursing it back to health, he discovered he had a talent. He became a respected author, writing about ornithology.

The disc comes to us in a 1080p transfer. It doesn’t quite make the grade in every respect. It looks good but sometimes the grain has the image furry and blurred. The audio commentary from Paul Seydor keeps the flow of ideas and historical realities but churns up some of the productions events which help color the whole. The best piece is Illusion of Freedom. A documentary which allows Kline to define the significance of the film in both Lancaster and Frankenheimer work.


  • 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray, with a progressive encode on the DVD.
  • LPCM mono soundtrack (Uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Audio commentary with film historian and editor Paul Seydor, moderated by Twilight Time’s Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman
  • Illusion of Freedom: Richard H. Kline on John Frankenheimer s Birdman of Alcatraz (29 mins) a new video piece on the film
  • An exclusive new video interview with film historian Sheldon Hall
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Travis Crawford, as well as a selection of archival imagery from the film s production


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