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The Birdcage (1996)

R | | Comedy | 8 March 1996 (USA)
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A gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion agree to put up a false straight front so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée's right-wing moralistic parents.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writers:

Jean Poiret (play), Francis Veber (earlier screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Popularity
713 ( 83)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Brian Kerwin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Armand Goldman
Gene Hackman ... Sen. Kevin Keeley
Nathan Lane ... Albert Goldman
Dianne Wiest ... Louise Keeley
Dan Futterman ... Val Goldman
Calista Flockhart ... Barbara Keeley
Hank Azaria ... Agador
Christine Baranski ... Katherine Archer
Tom McGowan ... Harry Radman
Grant Heslov ... National Enquirer Photographer
Kirby Mitchell ... Keeley's Chauffeur
James Lally James Lally ... Cyril
Luca Tommassini Luca Tommassini ... Celsius
Luis Camacho ... Goldman Girl
André Fuentes André Fuentes ... Goldman Girl (as Andre Fuentes)
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Storyline

Armand Goldman owns a popular drag nightclub in South Miami Beach. His long-time lover, Albert, stars there as Starina. "Their" son Val (actually Armand's by his one heterosexual fling, twenty years before) comes home to announce his engagement to Barbara Keeley, daughter of Kevin Keeley, US Senator, and co-founder of the Committee for Moral Order. The Senator and family descend upon South Beach to meet Val, his father and "mother." What ensues is comic chaos. Written by Randy Goldberg <goldberg@nymc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What could possibly come between a match made in heaven? The parents. Dinner. And a nightclub called... (The Birdcage) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM/UA site | Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Birdcage See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,275,828, 10 March 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$124,060,553

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$185,260,553
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United Artists See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie, the Simpson case was mentioned. This is in reference to the high profile case of O.J. Simpson at the time. See more »

Goofs

Position of the wine bottle changes in Val's hand as he talks with Armand. Then after Val sets the bottle down, we see the back label in all the two-shots of Val and Armand and the front label in the one-shots of Val. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[singers are performing "We Are Family" on-stage]
Cyril: [backstage, into a telephone] Agador! Where is Starina? She goes on in 5 minutes!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the November 12, 1998 ABC-TV network airing of The Birdcage (1996), approximately 13 minutes of added footage was restored to the film:
  • After Albert and Armand have discussed the upcoming marriage with Val, there is a scene where the cake Albert had ordered earlier is delivered. Albert shrieks because the cake says "To My Piglet From His Uncle" instead of "...From His Aunty" like Albert had requested. Then Albert and Armand have an amusing discussion of what it will be like to have Val and his wife live with them and what it will be like to be grandparents.
  • After Armand initially refuses Val's request to "tone down" the apartment, there is an extra scene later where Armand has a conversation with the bartender that eventually convinces Armand to prepare the apartment for the Keeley's arrival.
  • During the long roadtrip, the Keeley family is seen leaving a rest-stop at the Florida border. There is a huge fiberglass orange on top of the yellow and white striped rest-stop. Lettering on the orange reads, "Welcome to Florida".
  • There is an extra scene where TV network executives decide to send their news team to Florida on the basis that The Enquirer is already there.
  • Armand's dinner speech about the origins of Guatamalan "Peasant Stew" is longer in the TV version and he refills the guests bowls while explaining that the stew is the main course.
  • Albert's speech about his parents's search for a cemetery plot is longer.
  • There is a short scene included where Katherine Archer asks a TV news van if they will be leaving their parking spot which happens to be in an intersection.
  • After the Keeleys have learned that they are stuck in the apartment and everyone is sitting around drinking, Katherine is shown eating the "Peasant Stew" in Albert's and Armand's bedroom. Katherine and Agadore have a brief exchange in which Agadore admits to having made the stew and Katherine compliments him on it.
  • In the version broadcast on ABC, swimming trunks were electronically painted over the skimpy thongs worn by Agador and other male inhabitants of South Beach, Florida.
See more »

Connections

Remake of La Cage aux Folles (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Mi Guajira
Written by Cachao (as Israel "Cachao" Lopez)
Performed by Cachao
Courtesy of Crescent Moon Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with Sony Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
one of the most human comedies i've ever seen
21 April 2007 | by tdowd-2See all my reviews

What makes this movie so wonderful is how good a job Robin Williams and Nathan Lane do as portraying loving, dedicated parents. Aside from the amazing soundtrack and the fun antics, it is their sheer goodness as human beings that stays in your head for a long time.

A fun thing to do is compare this movie to La Cage Aux Folles and see how different characters are interpreted differently. The son in the Birdcage is a much more complex character than the one in La Cage, and a lot of the movie is about him accepting his identity. The daughter, on the other hand, is much more of a three dimensional character in La Cage.

The other nice thing about this movie is that unlike in the original, you end up liking the girls parents to some extent. They actually do have a lot in common with the heroes. That isn't true in La Cage, where the girl's father seems to be almost sinister


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