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After two friends return home from the Vietnam War one becomes mentally unstable and obsesses with becoming a bird.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Harkins ...
Sandy Baron ...
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Dolores Sage ...
Pat Ryan ...
Joe Sagessa (as Robert L. Ryan)
James Santini ...
Maud Winchester ...
Doris Robinson (as Maude Winchester)
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Elizabeth Whitcraft ...
Sandra Beall ...
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Storyline

Philly boys Al and Birdy became friends in high school despite the extreme difference in their personalities, Al being the popular and athletic extrovert, Birdy the antisocial "weird" introvert. Al gave Birdy his nickname because of his fascination - obsession really - with birds, especially with flight. Al and Birdy have just completed their service of duty in the Vietnam War and have returned to the States. Al sustained some serious physical injuries, which required major reconstructive surgery to his face. Birdy, however, returned from Vietnam seemingly emotionally scarred. He was missing in action for one month. He has not spoken since he was found. Despite his own medical issues, Al travels to the institution where Birdy is being kept to see if he can assist in getting Birdy out of his near comatose state. Having always had issues with authority, Al is less than forthright with the doctors about Birdy's mental state prior to the war. As Al tries whatever he can to help Birdy ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A soaring experience unlike anything you've ever seen before.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 December 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alas de libertad  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First use of the skycam in a feature film. It was a camera held by wires supported by four cranes and controlled by computer, and was used in Birdy's dream sequence of actually being able to fly. See more »

Goofs

The position of Birdy's arm and hands change between shots. (at around 15 mins). See more »

Quotes

Birdy: Last night I flew. I really know what it feels like to fly.
Sergeant Al Columbato: Oh, you flew? How you flew?
Birdy: Well, I'm not sure. It's not something you can really take apart. When I fly, it's like in a dream. Only it's not a dream. The thing is, Al, you can't really put it into words. You just kind of have to feel it.
Sergeant Al Columbato: You're telling me you can fly like a bird?
Birdy: When I fly, Al... I am a bird.
Sergeant Al Columbato: This is getting too weird, Birdy. You gotta stop it with this.
Birdy: I thought if anybody would understand it would be you, Al.
Sergeant Al Columbato: Well...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Animals: Perta ... Bird No. 9 Perta's Stunts ... Queepers Alfonso ... AS HIMSELF Cat ... Hobbie Dogs ... Sneaky, Willey, Ace, Prince, Tiger, Bo, Rudah, Chiggar, Tyko, Kelly, Red, Fantasy, Scooter. Seagull ... Jonathan Snake ... Monty Jungle Bird ... Horatio Pigeons ... No's. 1 to 84 See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Commitments (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Strange, Depressing Character Study
7 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a strange and fascinating - but that likable - story about a kid who becomes obsessed with birds and then literally goes crazy. Matthew Modine plays the introverted "Birdy." A young Nicholas Cage plays his best friend, "Al."

It's not a particularly pleasant story. In fact, it's downright depressing many times. It also had an unusual ending, one the critics seemed to all pan but I liked. I thought it was neat.

The movie does keep your interest, so it gets decent points for that, and it certainly presents a unique character study.

I haven't seen this film in a long time, but after writing this review, I'd kind of like to view it again.....depressing or not.


25 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is it a remarkable frienship or Gay relationship? uday_b78
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