Cinema: Solitary Rebel

Bird Man of Alcatraz. During a span of 43 years, Robert F. Stroud became a renowned authority on the diseases of birds, and produced an exhaustive book on the subject. He also wrote a mammoth study of the federal penal system. He did both while serving the longest term in solitary confinement in U.S. prison history at Leavenworth and Alcatraz, as the convicted murderer of two men.

The strange case of Robert Stroud has been fashioned into an absorbing film that is deceptively calm and emotionally powerful. Burt Lancaster plays the bird man with...

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