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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

Queepers was a stunt bird who doubled for the bird Perta who was portrayed by Bird No. #9. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Birdy: I guess it's kinda hard to be good at something nobody wants, huh?
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 Xingxing xiangxi xi (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The interplay of an extrovert and an introvert is both hilarious and an intriguing psychological study.
9 April 1999 | by PelradSee all my reviews

Many critics rated this as one of the most overlooked films of the mid-eighties. The film has moments of deep seriousness blended with killer humour. The interplay of an extrovert and an introvert - the different ways that they think and react to situations - is often hilarious. The film can also be regarded as an intriguing psychological study, as Cage tries every technique his fast-paced mind can think of to snap his introverted friend out of his acute mental state - a condition caused by witnessing the horrors of warfare. It is extremely interesting to see what works in the end. Modine's physically-challenging performance is top-notch. Contains a great Peter Gabriel soundtrack as well. Although not to everyone's taste, I, for one, liked the "gag" ending. (10 out of 10)


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