IMDb > Birdy (1984)
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Birdy (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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Birdy -- US Home Video Trailer from Columbia Tristar


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7.3/10   15,793 votes »
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Up 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
William Wharton (based on the novel by)
Sandy Kroopf (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Birdy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 December 1984 (USA) See more »
A soaring experience unlike anything you've ever seen before.
After two friends return home from the Vietnam War one becomes mentally unstable and obsesses with becoming a bird. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
An Outstanding Film About Friendship and Adversity See more (61 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Matthew Modine ... Birdy

Nicolas Cage ... Al Columbato
John Harkins ... Doctor Weiss
Sandy Baron ... Mr. Columbato

Karen Young ... Hannah Rourke

Bruno Kirby ... Renaldi

Nancy Fish ... Mrs. Prevost

George Buck ... Birdy's Father
Dolores Sage ... Birdy's Mother
Pat Ryan ... Joe Sagessa (as Robert L. Ryan)
James Santini ... Mario Columbato
Maud Winchester ... Doris Robinson (as Maude Winchester)
Marshall Bell ... Ronsky
Elizabeth Whitcraft ... Rosanne
Sandra Beall ... Shirley
Victoria Nekko ... Claire
Crystal Field ... Mrs. Columbato
John Brumfield ... Mr. Kohler
Joe Lerer ... Military Doctor
Alice Truscott ... Mother on Train
Ed Taylor ... Zimmy The Human Fish
Irving Selbst ... Fairground Announcer
Steve Lippe ... Junkyard Proprietor
William Clark ... Policeman on Beach
James Pruett ... Emergency Doctor
Priscilla Alden ... Waiting Room Lady
Howard Kinsley ... Mr. Tate
Robert Diamond ... Maloney
Bud Seese ... Drunk in Jail
Ray Pili ... High School Band
Lawrence J. McKenna ... High School Band
David Kuhn ... High School Band (as David W. Kuhn)
Kevin P. Kuhn ... High School Band
Ronald Distefano ... High School Band
Larry Hochman ... High School Band
Guy Jones ... Hospital Orderly
Erskine Morgan ... Hospital Orderly
Ramona Bajema ... Girl on Train
Maurice Frizzeli Jr. ... Nuts and Bolts Patient (as Maurice Frizzell Jr.)
Donald Sims ... Nuts and Bolts Patient
Richard Mason ... Injured Soldier

Charles A. Tamburro ... Helicopter Pilot
Richard Holley ... Helicopter Pilot (as Rick Holley)
Harry Hauss ... Helicopter Pilot
Mark Simpson ... Helicopter Soldier
Clark Taylor ... Helicopter Soldier
Michael Shaner ... Veteran
Tim Davis ... Veteran
Bird No. 9 ... Perta
Alfonso ... Himself
Hobbie ... Cat
Sneaky ... Dog
Willey ... Dog
Ace ... Dog
Prince ... Dog
Tiger ... Dog
Bo ... Dog
Budah ... Dog
Chiggar ... Dog
Tyko ... Dog
Kelly ... Dog
Red ... Dog
Fantasy ... Dog
Scooter ... Dog
Jonathan ... Seagull
Monty ... Snake
Horatio ... Jungle Bird
No's. 1 to 84 ... Pigeons
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dennis Erectus ... Veteran (uncredited)

Directed by
Alan Parker 
Writing credits
William Wharton (based on the novel by)

Sandy Kroopf (screenplay) &
Jack Behr (screenplay)

Produced by
Ned Kopp .... associate producer
David Manson .... executive producer
Alan Marshall .... producer
Original Music by
Peter Gabriel 
Cinematography by
Michael Seresin (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Gerry Hambling 
Casting by
Juliet Taylor 
Production Design by
Geoffrey Kirkland 
Art Direction by
W. Stewart Campbell  (as Stu Campbell)
Armin Ganz 
Set Decoration by
George R. Nelson 
Costume Design by
Kristi Zea 
Makeup Department
John Caglione Jr. .... special makeup (as John Caglione)
Barbara Kelly .... makeup artist
Paul LeBlanc .... hairdresser (as Paul Le Blanc)
Production Management
Nancy Giebink .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Davies .... second assistant director
Chris Soldo .... first assistant director
Art Department
Rodney Armanino .... construction best boy
Robert Bovill .... draughtsman
Richard W. Clot .... construction foreman (as Rich Clot)
Roger Dietz .... set artist
Margery Z. Gabrielson .... painter (as Margery Gabrielson)
John Gorham .... graphics
Dale Haugo .... paint coordinator
John A. Kelly .... painter (as John Kelly)
Tom Sindicich .... construction coordinator
Michelle Souza .... assistant props
Anthony Tortorice .... assistant props
Don Watson .... lead man
Aaron Zajac .... assistant props
George Zimninsky .... property master
Sound Department
Clive Barrett .... assistant editor
Danny Benson .... boom operator
Leonard Green .... assistant editor
David Grimsdale .... footsteps editor
Stephen Janisz .... assistant editor (as Steve Janisz)
Eddy Joseph .... sound editor
David MacMillan .... sound recordist
Marty McGee .... cable operator
Ray Merrin .... assistant mixer
Peter Pennell .... sound effects editor
Bill Rowe .... re-recording mixer
Jeremy Strachan .... assistant editor
Special Effects by
Cliff Wenger .... special effects
Eric Roberts .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Costas Charitou .... opticals: Camera Effects Ltd (uncredited)
David Smith .... optical cameraman (uncredited)
M. James Arnett .... stunt coordinator (as James Arnett)
Queepers .... stunts: Perta
Mic Rodgers .... stunt player
Reid Rondell .... stunt player
Michael Runyard .... stunt player
Camera and Electrical Department
Maurice Beesley .... best boy
Don Biller .... assistant cameraman: Local 644 (as Donald Biller)
Peter Bloor .... chief electrician
David L. Butler .... aerial cameraman (as David Butler)
Ted Churchill .... Steadicam operator
Joseph F. Coffey .... cameraman: Local 644 (as Joseph Coffey)
Harold Cole .... grip
Robert Corso .... grip
Jan d'Alquen .... cameraman: Local 659
Alan R. Disler .... first assistant camera (as Alan Disler)
Brad Edmiston .... steadicam assistant (as Bradford Edmiston)
Gary Gill .... key grip
Jon Guterres .... camera grip
Charlie Hammerschmitt .... Steadicam operator
Douglas C. Hart .... steadicam assistant (as Douglas Hart)
Kerry Hayes .... still photographer
Robert Hillman .... camera operator: Local 659
Alec Hirschfeld .... camera operator: Local 644
Marc Hirschfeld .... assistant cameraman: Local 644
Doug Hunt .... assistant cameraman: Local 659 (as Douglas Hunt)
Adam Kimmel .... Steadicam assistant
Mark Ludwig .... second assistant camera
Larry McConkey .... Steadicam operator
Donna Morrison .... assistant camera: second unit
Terry Morrison .... camera operator: second unit
Ralph Nelson .... still photographer (as Ralph Nelson Jr.)
Scott Rathner .... second assistant camera
Mike Roberts .... camera operator (as Michael Roberts)
Frank Strzalkowski .... best boy
James Wise .... electrician
Michael Meier .... electrician (uncredited)
Michael Meier .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Lisa Clarkson .... extras casting
Ellen Lewis .... assistant casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mark Burchard .... costumer
Judy Feil .... assistant costume designer
Molly Maginnis .... assistant costume designer
Mary Elizabeth Still .... costumer (as Mary E. Still)
Editorial Department
Daniel Candib .... assistant editor
Richard Hymns .... first assistant editor
Music Department
Larry Fast .... special musical contributor
John Hassell .... special musical contributor
Daniel Lanois .... music co-producer
Tony Levin .... special musical contributor
Jerry Marotta .... special musical contributor
David Rhodes .... special musical contributor
Transportation Department
Ed Arter .... transportation coordinator
Michael Brum .... transportation captain (as Mike Brum)
Paul Cimino .... transportation captain
Andrew Mendez .... dispatcher (as Andy Mendez)
Michael W. Broomer .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Christine Baer .... production assistant
Brett Barclay .... craft service
Steph Benseman .... location coordinator
Thomas 'Doc' Boguski .... production assistant (as Tom Boguski)
Janice Clark .... assistant auditor
Kathryn Colbert .... production assistant
Josephine Cornell .... first aid (as Josie Cornell)
Michael DeMay .... production assistant (as Michael De May)
Rory Enke .... location manager
Gary Gero .... bird trainer
Monica Goldstein .... assistant: Mr. Marshall
Peter Govey .... titles
Tom Gray .... unit publicist
Dick Gros .... location auditor
Robert Harman .... flying effects
Mark Jackson .... assistant animal trainer
Gwen Johnson .... assistant animal trainer
Ken Johnson .... ornithopter
George Krafft .... police coordinator
David Lamb .... unit coordinator
Donna Lindemann .... production secretary
Maureen Murphy .... production secretary
Larry Payne .... assistant animal trainer
Ron Phipps .... financial controller
Tracy Rosenthal-Newsom .... production assistant (as Tracy Rosenthal)
Gilly Ruben .... assistant: Mr. Parker
Sally Sherwin .... assistant: London office
Alice Tompkins .... script supervisor
Michael Waxman .... location coordinator
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
120 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Matthew Modine auditioned for the role of Al but Alan Parker cast him as Birdy instead.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Al calls Birdy "Al" (11:08)See more »
[reaction to Al extolling the female breast]
Birdy:They're just like on a cow, but in a more stupid place.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Commitments (1991)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
37 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
An Outstanding Film About Friendship and Adversity, 9 September 1999
Author: Scott A. Frisina ( from Tacoma, Washington

A friend of mine has been after me to watch "Birdy" for several months now. Yesterday we finally had a chance and much to my delight, I found the film to be everything she said it was and more.

"Birdy", directed by Alan Parker, is a story of friendship between Al (Nicholas Cage) and Birdy (Matthew Modine), two Philadelphia, Pa high schoolers who end up being sent to Vietnam. It is the early 1960's and Al could very easily be the street hood, but we can see he has a heart. He is tough (and will not back down from a fight) but plays ball with the neighborhood kids in the field which ajoins Birdy's house. Everytime a home run is hit, the ball flies over the fence and is scooped up by Birdy's mother, never to be seen again. Birdy's mother is uncompromising with his father and the neighborhood kids, a source of embarrassment and guilt which burdens Birdy, causing him to feel like an outsider. He is interested in birds and flight, which becomes a metaphor for Birdy's developing obsession with the idea of flying away from his increasingly unbearable family situation.

As a result of a misunderstanding regarding a stolen knife, Al warms to Birdy and sees there is more to this clumsy kid than meets the eye. Al is experiencing his own troubles with his father but deals with the situation in a different way than Birdy. The birds begin to fascinate Al and the two develop a close friendship which strengthens in troubled times and blooms in good times.

In Vietnam, Birdy finally faces a situation which he can't physically fly away from, which is a hundred times more horrible than his home life. And Al, although also in Vietnam, is not with him for support. Here is where Birdy's final breakdown occurs and it's up to Al, who now is dealing with his own physical scars, to bring Birdy back.

Alan Parker directed this film (from the novel "Birdy" by William Whorton, who also wrote the source novel for "A Midnight Clear") with a flashback narrative which works beautifully. Al and Birdy's friendship is fully developed and realistic. Both characters have depth and are engaging. Never has Nicholas Cage done as fine a work as his role as Al (his performance in "Guarding Tess" was close). His performance as Al made me wish he would choose more roles like this instead of "Face/Off" and "Con Air". Matthew Modine is excellent as Birdy. We can feel the emotional pain of a youth who didn't ask for any of this but uses his inner strength of character to stave off mental defeat.

Thankfully, the Vietnam sequences, although very well done, are short and few. This is not a film about Vietnam but a film about Al and Birdy. Birdy went to Vietnam with a pre-existing problem. Vietnam made it worse. There is some commentary concerning the military and the VA but it does not criticize. Although not always on the right track, the Army Major who brings Al (a wounded sergeant by this time) from Fort Dix to the VA psychiatric hospital to speak with Birdy made the right choice.

"Birdy" is one of those films which haunts the mind. I'm sure other elements and ideas from the film will become more apparent to me long after this writing. This is an outstanding character study which has been overlooked for too long.

Was the above review useful to you?
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