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Birdy (1984)

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

Director:

Alan Parker

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 George Buck ... Birdy's Father
Dolores Sage Dolores Sage ... Birdy's Mother
Pat Ryan ... Joe Sagessa (as Robert L. Ryan)
James Santini James Santini ... Mario Columbato
Maud Winchester Maud Winchester ... Doris Robinson (as Maude Winchester)
Marshall Bell ... Ronsky
Elizabeth Whitcraft Elizabeth Whitcraft ... Rosanne
Sandra Beall Sandra Beall ... Shirley
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alas de libertad See more »

Filming Locations:

Hercules, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,720, 25 December 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,455,045
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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

Quotes

[last lines]
Birdy: [to a surprised Al, who was expecting to see Birdy dead] What?
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 Star Appeal (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
When Did They Stop Making Movies Like This?
5 June 2014 | by nirvan-psychologySee all my reviews

If ever I needed convincing that Nicholas Cage is a great actor and human being, it is in this role and the brilliant performance of Birdie himself. If ever good can be portrayed as coming out of bad, it is the deeply moving message and point of making a movie like this. Who needs convincing that war is evil, that life is cruel and that love conquers all its madness? Who can even begin to understand the torment of post-traumatic stress? Those who perpetrate suffering not only to humans but animals alike can never have the empathy that defines us as human. On many levels, the story and how it is told, speaks to the heart and we weep in sympathy for the pain of those who suffer whether from mental illness, bullying or the unspeakable abuses of war. Where have all the great movie makers like Alan Parker gone? There is nothing but fake, shallow and profit orientated products that mirror the fake, shallow and insecure "virtual" relating that goes on today. For that I weep. It has created a hunger deeper than that suffered from starving Biafra.


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