Birds Do It (1966)

95 mins | Comedy | August 1966

Director:

Andrew Marton

Producer:

Stanley Colbert

Cinematographer:

Howard Winner

Editor:

Erwin Dumbrille

Production Designer:

Mel Bledsoe

Production Company:

Ivan Tors Enterprises
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HISTORY

The 24 Mar 1964 LAT listed the film among upcoming projects for producer Ivan Tors, to be released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM). The film remained in limbo until the following year, when the 10 Nov 1965 LAT announced it as the screen debut of comedian Soupy Sales, for release by Columbia Pictures. Although the picture marked Sales’s first starring role, he had already appeared in The Two Little Bears (1961, see entry), and Critic’s Choice (1963, see entry). Principal photography began in Miami, FL, on 15 Nov 1965, as stated in 19 Nov 1965 DV production charts. The 27 Nov 1965 LAT noted that bandleader Ray Anthony, who had an engagement at the nearby Carlton Hotel, was cast in a “cameo role.” Two weeks into filming, the 29 Nov 1965 LAT reported that the production was moving to Hollywood, FL, for exterior scenes.
       Casting announcements included Charles Wrenn, Bill Hawkes, and Florence Gull (22 Nov 1965 DV); Mal Jones and Gilbert Faye (30 Nov 1965 LAT); Ray Samuels, Eric Applewhite, and Robertson White (10 Dec 1965 DV). Various sources have noted cameo appearances by Dean Martin and Groucho Marx.
       Sales complained to the 6 Dec 1965 DV about the atypically cold Florida weather. He was currently awaiting a break in production so he could videotape new episodes of his weekday television series, The Soupy Sales Show (WNEW, 1964 – 1966), in New York City. Four days later, the 10 Dec 1965 DV ...

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The 24 Mar 1964 LAT listed the film among upcoming projects for producer Ivan Tors, to be released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM). The film remained in limbo until the following year, when the 10 Nov 1965 LAT announced it as the screen debut of comedian Soupy Sales, for release by Columbia Pictures. Although the picture marked Sales’s first starring role, he had already appeared in The Two Little Bears (1961, see entry), and Critic’s Choice (1963, see entry). Principal photography began in Miami, FL, on 15 Nov 1965, as stated in 19 Nov 1965 DV production charts. The 27 Nov 1965 LAT noted that bandleader Ray Anthony, who had an engagement at the nearby Carlton Hotel, was cast in a “cameo role.” Two weeks into filming, the 29 Nov 1965 LAT reported that the production was moving to Hollywood, FL, for exterior scenes.
       Casting announcements included Charles Wrenn, Bill Hawkes, and Florence Gull (22 Nov 1965 DV); Mal Jones and Gilbert Faye (30 Nov 1965 LAT); Ray Samuels, Eric Applewhite, and Robertson White (10 Dec 1965 DV). Various sources have noted cameo appearances by Dean Martin and Groucho Marx.
       Sales complained to the 6 Dec 1965 DV about the atypically cold Florida weather. He was currently awaiting a break in production so he could videotape new episodes of his weekday television series, The Soupy Sales Show (WNEW, 1964 – 1966), in New York City. Four days later, the 10 Dec 1965 DV reported that the shooting schedule was temporarily rearranged to accommodate co-star Arthur O’Connell, who was stricken with influenza. Meanwhile, cast member Burt Taylor was dividing his time between the picture and a singing engagement at the Miami Playboy Club, as noted in the 7 Dec 1965 DV.
       On 6 Jul 1966, Var reported that Ivan Tors and Columbia were preparing television trailers at the producer’s Miami studio. According to the 24 Aug 1966 Var, Sales had embarked on a promotional tour to coincide with the film’s release. Birds Do It opened 21 Dec 1966 at thirty locations in Los Angeles, CA, on a double bill with The Professionals (1966, see entry). The 28 Jul 1966 DV commended Sales’s performance, despite a weak script. Box office reports in the 19 Oct 1966 Var indicate a positive public response in Toronto, Canada. The picture continued its theatrical run into the following year, according to the 22 Mar 1967 Var.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Nov 1965
p. 10
Daily Variety
6 Dec 1965
p. 2
Daily Variety
7 Dec 1965
p. 5
Daily Variety
22 Nov 1965
p. 4
Daily Variety
10 Dec 1965
p. 2, 6
Daily Variety
17 Dec 1965
p. 2
Daily Variety
10 Jan 1966
p. 2
Daily Variety
28 Jul 1966
p. 3
Los Angeles Times
24 Mar 1964
Section C, p. 9
Los Angeles Times
10 Nov 1965
Section D, p. 18
Los Angeles Times
27 Nov 1965
p. 17
Los Angeles Times
29 Nov 1965
Section C, p. 23
Los Angeles Times
30 Nov 1965
Section C, p. 19
Los Angeles Times
21 Dec 1966
Section C, p. 18
New York Times
1 May 1966
p. 9, 22
Variety
6 Jul 1966
p. 34
Variety
24 Aug 1966
p. 38
Variety
19 Oct 1966
p. 12
Variety
22 Mar 1967
p. 9
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Prod exec
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Soupy Sales' ward
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
SOURCES
SONGS
"Birds Do It," music and lyrics by Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
August 1966
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 21 Dec 1966
Production Date:
began 15 Nov 1965
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Ivan Tors Enterprises
27 July 1966
LP32996
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Pathé
Duration(in mins):
95
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

When a dust particle ruins a space rocket being constructed at Cape Kennedy, Melvin Byrd becomes a "top secret" janitor equipped with selfpropulsion cleaning utensils. Since his duties are not divulged to outsiders, enemy agents infiltrate the base and unsuccessfully attempt to eliminate him. Melvin's affection for Judi, an astrochimp, results in his accidentally becoming "negatively ionized" so that he not only floats and flies like a bird but becomes irresistible to women. As Melvin soars away over the base, he is watched by a stunned group of visiting congressmen, field personnel, and the enemy agents. And young Claudine Wald, the daughter of Melvin's superior, forgets her usual indifference to Melvin and races after him, wildly screaming her love. Melvin's journey over the bay creates havoc among commercial and private planes and among the boats in the harbor. But just as the Coast Guard arrives on the scene, the "ionizer" at the base is turned off and Melvin descends to the ground. The Coast Guard gathers all of his pursuers into a huge cargo net, picks out the enemy agents, and releases the others. Despite the loss of his extraordinary powers, a delighted Melvin discovers that Claudine still finds him ...

More Less

When a dust particle ruins a space rocket being constructed at Cape Kennedy, Melvin Byrd becomes a "top secret" janitor equipped with selfpropulsion cleaning utensils. Since his duties are not divulged to outsiders, enemy agents infiltrate the base and unsuccessfully attempt to eliminate him. Melvin's affection for Judi, an astrochimp, results in his accidentally becoming "negatively ionized" so that he not only floats and flies like a bird but becomes irresistible to women. As Melvin soars away over the base, he is watched by a stunned group of visiting congressmen, field personnel, and the enemy agents. And young Claudine Wald, the daughter of Melvin's superior, forgets her usual indifference to Melvin and races after him, wildly screaming her love. Melvin's journey over the bay creates havoc among commercial and private planes and among the boats in the harbor. But just as the Coast Guard arrives on the scene, the "ionizer" at the base is turned off and Melvin descends to the ground. The Coast Guard gathers all of his pursuers into a huge cargo net, picks out the enemy agents, and releases the others. Despite the loss of his extraordinary powers, a delighted Melvin discovers that Claudine still finds him irresistible.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.