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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 ...
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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

One of seven movie collaborations of "The Two Alans" - producer Alan Marshall and director Alan Parker. The films include Birdy (1984), Fame (1980), Angel Heart (1987), Bugsy Malone (1976), Midnight Express (1978), Shoot the Moon (1982) and Pink Floyd The Wall (1982). See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Has Been Overlooked For Too Long:
23 August 2005 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

"Birdy"is an outstanding character study with a well-written script that was directed by a very talented director (Alan Parker of "Pink Floyd The Wall", "Midnight Express", "Mississippi Burning", and "Angel Heart"). Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage both gave unforgettable performances in this dark, disturbing yet somehow uplifting story of two friends from South Philadelphia, Al (Cage) and Birdy (Modine in the performance that easily could be one of the best ever given by any actor on screen and sadly has been overlooked for too long). Birdy is an innocent and odd young man who has been always fascinated by birds and wanted to learn to fly. Both friends had to take a traumatic tour of duty in Vietnam that affected them tremendously – both physically and mentally. The film is not about Vietnam, though – it is a brilliant story of friendship and how far Al would go for his friend. The film has one of the most original and surprising endings ever.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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