Birds Do It
|Birds Do It|
Original film poster
|Directed by||Andrew Marton|
|Produced by||Stanley Colbert,
|Written by||Art Arthur,
Leonard Kaufman (Story)
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||August, 1966|
|Running time||88 min.|
Birds Do It is a 1966 comedy movie that was made by Columbia Pictures and filmed at the Ivan Tors Studios in Miami. It stars Soupy Sales in his film debut as a leading man, Tab Hunter, Arthur O'Connell, Edward Andrews and Beverly Adams. Although shown very rarely on television, the movie is now available for online order in bare-bones DVD format through Sony's Columbia Classics line.
The film opens with a series of unsuccessful assassination attempts by an unknown organisation with their target being Melvin Byrd (Sales). Byrd is a janitor in a NASA laboratory headed by Major General Smithburn (Andrews) with his security officer being an inept bungler, Lt. Porter (Hunter). Porter is captured and impersonated by an enemy double from the same organization attempting to kill Byrd.
The head scientist Professor Waid (O'Connell) has employed Byrd due to his excellent janitorial skills as Waid blames American space program failures on dust that caused disasters. Byrd parodies the Ajax "stronger than dirt" white knight commercial when cleaning the base.
Waid's secret project is developing an ionisation process initially to be tested on a chimpanzee (Judy the Chimp, from Daktari) that would make the subject capable of anti-gravity with a side effect that not only gives him the ability to fly, but makes him "the most attractive man" on Earth. When General Smithburn leads a Congressional delegation who are in Florida due to European junkets being cancelled, Byrd hides in the ionization machine, causing him to be ionized. In addition to losing the ability to stay on the ground for longer than brief periods, Byrd finds himself forced to fight off the attentions of a Congresswoman (Doris Dowling) and Waid's daughter Claudine (Adams) as well as the assassins.
Producer Ivan Tors filmed the comedy at his Miami studios with cameos provided by Dean Martin (Columbia's Matt Helm), Flipper, director Andrew Marton as himself, and a Cary Grant impersonator played by Ray Anthony.
Star Soupy Sales was vocal in his dislike for this particular film.
The special effects of Byrd flying are in the style of the Hertz Rent-A-Car commercials of the time. One sequence featured Byrd being attacked by skydivers in a sequence reminiscent of the pre-credits sequence of Moonraker with Byrd's stunt double wearing a parachute under his sport coat.