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Review: The Legend of Pale Male

Strictly for the birdwatchers
By GERALD PEARY  |  December 22, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars


Frederic Lilien fled a career he would have hated as a lawyer in his father's firm in Belgium to land in New York . . . and do what? How about spending 20 years of your life making a documentary about a red-tailed hawk who in the early 1990s relocated to Manhattan, nesting on the ledge of a Fifth Avenue high-rise and scouring Central Park for pigeons and rats. The hawk, named Pale Male by the many humans who followed his career by telescope and camera, became a Big Apple celeb as he mated with various female hawks and raised his baby chicks. Pale Male's story turned into a major media event when the Grinch-like co-op board of directors at 927 Fifth Avenue tore down the nest. All of the above is fairly interesting and quietly touching, but Lilien's telling of the tale via voiceover is corny and overwrought and way too sentimental. This one's strictly for the birdwatchers.

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  Topics: Reviews , Birds, movie review
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