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Birdman of Alcatraz

Birdman of Alcatraz(1962)

Remind Me

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  • Stroud really should be known as the "Birdman of Leavenworth," since it was there that he kept his birds and did his research. He was not actually allowed any birds during his time at Alcatraz.
  • Robert Stroud died the day before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; therefore news of his death was not well publicized.
  • Stroud was actually imprisoned in cell #42 located in the D Block. According to Frank Heaney, a former prison guard (1948-51), Stroud was anything but the sympathetic character as portrayed by Burt Lancaster. He was an extremely difficult and demented inmate who, though highly intelligent, was a villain and a psychopath.
  • After the film's release, many letters were written pleading for Robert Stroud's release. Despite his sympathetic portrayal by Burt Lancaster, Stroud was a conniving and volatile sociopath who killed two people in prison (one a guard he stabbed in full view of the Leavenworth cafeteria), stabbed an orderly who snitched on his escape plan, wrote child pornography and (as an old man at a parole hearing) said that he "had a lot of people left to kill and I don't have much time to do it."
  • Karl Malden (Leavenworth warden Harvey Shoemaker) introduces a new warden to the institution. He identifies one of the prisoners as "Sekulovich", Malden's own real name.

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