MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,610 this week

Birdy (1984)

R  |   |  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 16,341 users  
Reviews: 61 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

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 07 Jan 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 31 Oct 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 2 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... 

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
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
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
Time to Kill (1989)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 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
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
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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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
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
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
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand
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
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

Then-unknown Danny Glover was scheduled to make a speech as a bit player, but because he kept botching his lines his scenes had to be cut from the movie. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Birdy: Do you like pigeons?
Sergeant Al Columbato: What's to like?
Birdy: They fly.
Sergeant Al Columbato: They fly. So what?
Birdy: That's enough.
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 A Better Tomorrow (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Birdy" flies away into cinematic greatness
4 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(I was flipping through the channels one quiet evening at home when I stumbled across this picture, "Birdy.")

To some, the character Birdy (Matthew Modine) has an unnatural and (quite) unhealthy obsession with birds. Well, he spends most of his time with birds, has dreams of flying away from his real-world troubles, and his only friend is a neighborhood tough named Al (Nicolas Cage). So because of his obsession with birds, Birdy has to be crazy, right? So is Al even crazier for befriending him… well, isn't he?

It is these questions and many more that make up the central theme of Alan Parker's superb 1984 drama "Birdy" (adapted from William Wharton's novel), a film about two crazy guys whose friendship is ultimately tested by each other's mental sicknesses. Both of their lives take drastic turns before and after they have done tours in Vietnam, and ultimately wind up in opposite ends of the psyche ward of a state mental hospital, with Al, who's been left virtually unrecognizable by his facial bandages and Birdy, who's stuck in a catatonic state as a result of an accident out on the killing fields.

It is also the feelings of isolation between the two that brings them together, as flashbacks during their stay help to emphasize their emotions. Birdy, feeling like he is the only one that understands his bird "dream," may in actuality be the only "sane" character in the whole film. Al, who is injured from a shell explosion, questions who he is because he's not even sure who it really is underneath the bandages on his face. And it is liberation, whether it be physical or mental, that is expressed greatly by the film's ending, and Birdy's eventual coming to grips with his own current predicament.

Director Parker has always made it a point of capturing human suffering on celluloid, and this has been the main subject in a number of his films, including "Midnight Express" (1978) and "Angel Heart" (1987). Here, his subject matter is fairly lighter than those films, since the audience is spared the really intense mental anguish that accompanied "Express" and the graphic carnage of "Angel."

There's a kind of deep spiritual undercurrent flowing through "Birdy," which is most apparent by the lead character's fascination with his quarry – birds. To him, birds represent freedom, a kind of freedom that can only be obtained by literally taking to the skies, and soaring high above all his problems (fans of Terry Gilliam's political satire "Brazil" should take notice here). This of course leads to the film's profound ending on the mental hospital's rooftop, where Al and Birdy must make a desperate choice – choose freedom, or choose confinement – of the body, or of the psyche.

I won't reveal any more than those close details but you'll have to see what happens for yourself. It really caught me off guard and in a lesser movie might seem tacky, but the way Parker and the actors handle just makes the on-screen action that much more moving. But you can be sure of this: Birdy flies. And "Birdy" does fly into underrated classic movie status because of its performers and director Alan Parker's direction.

10/10


16 of 18 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
Why is it rated R? bigz55
Soundtrack!!!!! soymilk
Asperger's Syndrome? bdass
Who has come to this movie through the soundtrack?? drf711
Discuss Birdy (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page