MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,485 this week

Birdy (1984)

 -  Drama | War  -  21 December 1984 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 15,563 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 29 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(based on the novel by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 18 Mar 2011
 
a list of 29 titles
created 19 Nov 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 03 Dec 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 14 Jan 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Birdy" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Birdy (1984)

Birdy (1984) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Birdy.

User Polls

3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Based on the life of Ned Hanlan, the late-19th century Canadian sculler and world champion. Hanlan was one of the first scullers to successfully utilize the "sliding seat."

Director: Charles Jarrott
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Cynthia Dale, Christopher Plummer
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Portraying one of the shadier details of American history, this is the story of Jack McGurn, who comes to Los Angeles in 1936. He gets a job at a movie theatre in Little Tokyo and falls in ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Tamlyn Tomita, Sab Shimono
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1942 California, two young men await induction into the U.S. Marines and say goodbye to their girlfriends.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Sean Penn, Elizabeth McGovern, Nicolas Cage
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A fifteen year marriage dissolves, leaving both the husband and wife, and their four children, devastated. He's preoccupied with a career and a mistress, she with a career and caring for ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Albert Finney, Diane Keaton, Karen Allen
Time to Kill (1989)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

1936, Italian army is invading Ethiopia. Lieutenant Silvestri suffering toothache decides to reach the nearest camp hospital. But the lorry has an accident and stop near a rock, so ... See full summary »

Director: Giuliano Montaldo
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ricky Tognazzi, Patrice-Flora Praxo
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on the best selling autobiography by Irish expat Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Cotton Club was a famous night club in Harlem. The story follows the people that visited the club, those that ran it, and is peppered with the Jazz music that made it so famous.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane
Angel Heart (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Harry Angel is a private investigator. He is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer called Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The true story of Billy Hayes, an American college student who is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A story about the ins and outs of one unusual health facility in the early 20th century, run by the eccentric Dr. Kellogg.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Bridget Fonda, Matthew Broderick
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The travails of Jimmy Rabbitte to form the "World's Hardest Working Band," The Commitments, and bring soul music to the people of Dublin, Ireland.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball
Rumble Fish (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rusty James, an absent-minded street thug struggles to live up to his legendary older brother's reputation, and longs for the days when gang warfare was going on.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 December 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alas de libertad  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's title logo as seen in the movie's trailer formed the letter "Y" of the word "Birdy" out of an image of a bird. See more »

Goofs

Al calls Birdy "Al" (11:08) See more »

Quotes

Doctor Weiss: You mean the spitting?
Sergeant Al Columbato: Yes.
Doctor Weiss: The army left a bad taste in his mouth.
See more »

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 Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Brilliant story of friendship, and a journey into madness
21 March 2001 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

Birdy is a difficult film to describe. It's about the developing friendship between Al (Nick Cage) and Birdy (Matthew Modine), but it's also about a descent into madness, and the lengths to which Al goes for his friend.

The film starts in the late 60's, in a US military mental hospital. Cage has been seriously wounded, and has had reconstructive surgery on his face, but he's been brought in because Birdy is here. He's uncommunicative and appears to recognise no one, spending all day squatting on the floor of his cell squinting up at the window.

The story is mostly told in flashbacks, either Al recounting incidents in their growing friendship as neighbourhood kids or, later, Birdy remembering other incidents. From the start the two are pretty dissimilar - Al is athletic, outgoing and popular while Birdy is quiet and introverted - a typical nerd. The two are, paradoxically, brought together by Birdy's love of birds, and the stupid things they do - making suits out of pigeon feathers to befriend more pigeons, climbing on (and falling off) factories trying to capture more birds.

Al tries to set Birdy on a 'normal' track; they buy a wrecked car and fix it up, and head off to the beach. But Birdy is just too wrapped up in himself for this to work, and it's a wonder he doesn't alienate Al with his strange behaviour.

In the 'present', the doctor is putting more pressure on Al to get Birdy to respond; if he doesn't, then Birdy will be written off and sent to a permanent mental institution. The flashbacks continue, and it becomes clear that Birdy's love of birds has turned into an obsession, and then into the darker realms beyond that.

The final few minutes of the film cover a lot of ground; Al finally realises that Birdy is pretty well off the deep end; they both go off to fight in the war; Al gets his injury, while we see the incident that left Birdy in his present state. Meanwhile the doctor finally decides that time has run out, but Al decides he's not leaving.

The ending of the film is incredibly powerful, and it should be a criminal offence to give it away. Is it 'appropriate' to the rest of the film? I dunno - but I thought it was pretty damn good.

The film stands or falls on the performances of Cage and Modine - and, for me, it stands tall. Cage is excellent in his role, capturing the bravado of his character perfectly; but Modine is simply brilliant. During the flashbacks he portrays his nerdy character completely believably, but it's the way he handles the scenes in the asylum that amazed me. As soon as you know his obsession, it is crystal clear that he's not squatting in his cell, but perching, wishing to fly.

Alan Parker has made some great films; this might just be his best.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where did Matthew Modine go? ragelse80
Is it a remarkable frienship or Gay relationship? uday_b78
Soundtrack!!!!! soymilk
Why is it rated R? bigz55
Who has come to this movie through the soundtrack?? drf711
Asperger's Syndrome? bdass
Discuss Birdy (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page