Rare Birds

Rare Birds

Feature Comedy (2002) – 103 minutes


Producers: Paul Pope, Janet York, Sam Feldman, Jeff Sackman
Writer: Edward Riche
Director: SturlaGunnarsson
Cast: William Hurt, Andy Jones, Molly Parker


A gently dark comedy set in a rugged Newfoundland outport, RARE BIRDS pits a seemingly overmatched and defeated Newfoundland man against his quirky best buddy, a warmly sexy acquaintance and his own mid-life crisis.

Dave Purcell (William Hurt) is ready to call it quits on his marriage and his restaurant. His wife has left him for a job in Washington and the restaurant, The Auk, like the ill-fated bird for which it was named, has never really taken off.

Disheartened and desperate, Dave endeavors to consume the rare delights of his well-stocked wine cellar and larder before they are repossessed by the bank. All seems lost until Dave’s neighbour, Alphonse Murphy (Andy Jones), proposes a mad yet ingenious scheme to save The Auk. They will announce the sighting, in the vicinity of the restaurant, of an extremely rare duck, attracting bird watchers the world over. Soon, the restaurant is crawling with well-heeled gastronomes, vain celebrities and bellicose politicos. The place is such a success, that Dave must ask Phonse’s alluring sister-in-law Alice (Molly Parker) to help run the show and shortly thereafter falls in love with her.

However, Phonse Murphy has been up to some other tricks, including the salvage of some cocaine and the secret manufacture of a ‘recreational submarine vehicle’, the revelation of which threatens to expose the duck hoax. Sinister forces soon close in on Dave and Phonse: Have drug barons returned for their smuggled bounty? Is the narcotics squad interested? Can it be possible, as Phonse suggests, that the recreational vehicle giant Winnebago have a proprietary interest in the submarine?

The answer casts the entire caper in an entirely different light.

Awards, Nominations and Screenings

Related Links

Rare Birds Official Site
Lions Gate Films
Rare Birds Trailer

Produced in Association With

The Canadian Television Fund
Telefilm Canada
Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Newfoundland and Labrador film and Video Tax Credit
Astral Harold Greenberg fund
The Movie Network
Super Ecran
Movie Central
Corus Entertainment
British Columbia Production Services Tax Credit
The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit


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