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The Birdcage (1996)

R | | Comedy | 8 March 1996 (USA)
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2:15 | Trailer

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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 »
Reviews
Popularity
2,124 ( 64)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

Birds of a Feather 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

The two-minute opening sequence looks like one continuous Steadicam shot when, in fact, the sequence consisted of three separate shots seamlessly combined through the magic of dissolves, matting, and morphing:
  • Shot one began in a helicopter out over the Atlantic and ended over the street in Miami's South Beach area where the club was located
  • Shot two began on a crane (simulating a chopper) where the Steadicam operator was gradually lowered to ground level before stepping off the crane; he then traversed the street and proceeded through the club's front door
  • Shot three was executed on a studio soundstage where the Steadicam operator began just outside the "club" exterior, and then proceeded inside for the shot's conclusion. According to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, the most difficult aspect of the process was matching the speed of the crane with that of the helicopter.
See more »

Goofs

When Armand tells Katherine Val was getting married she asks Armand how old Val is. What woman doesn't know how old a child she gave birth to is whether she kept the child or not. 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 »

Connections

Featured in 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

We Are Family
Written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best comedies ever made
5 August 2005 | by Koteas1See all my reviews

First off; I can understand why people would dislike this movie; The characters are all portrayed in an extremely stereotypical way, the acting is considerably over the top most of the time, the story is rather cheesy and not very believable - I mean which gay couple would (or COULD) transform their eccentric home into a monastery-like environment in 24 hours to pretend to be a cultured family to impress the son's fiancée's parents?

...Yet I couldn't stop laughing all the way through, even after the 10th time. Why? It's BECAUSE the characters are so stereotypical, it's BECAUSE the acting is over the top, it's BECAUSE the whole thing is so unbelievable that it makes it scintillating to behold. Even though the characters are stereotypical, the script has obviously been written by someone who doesn't intend to contribute to the stereotypical view of the gay drag community, but who rather wanted to create characters that are lovable while at the same time shouting "don't take us seriously".

This isn't a movie portraying life in the gay society; and everyone who expects realistic (and hence probably rather unfunny) portrayal of such a theme is better off NOT watching a comedy featuring gays (don't most comedies thrive on making the stereotype seem funny?) It may not be politically correct all the way, but hey; society's too hung up on all this political correctness as it is,. The characters in this movie were lovable, perhaps BECAUSE they were stereotypical depictions. However they're brought to life so well by the actors playing them that it doesn't make you shake your head in frustration over yet ANOTHER movie portraying stereotypes, but rather makes you shake your head in laughter over the deadpan things they say and do, which are so obviously unreal at times that anyone who thinks this movie will promote a false picture of the gay community needs a reality check.

The script is amazing, and even though it may really be too over the top once in a while, it doesn't distract from the overall picture. The story isn't much; the focus on details is what makes this movie funny. Little gestures, frowns, face expressions and little subtleties make this movie one of the best comedies I have ever watched, and probably one of the best comedies I will ever be fortunate enough to see in my entire life. Contrary to what it may seem like at first sight, the humor is overly refined without being intellectual, instead of jumping in your face all the time.

What's more, the cast is great. Both Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are very fine comedians who have the touch it takes to play a role like this one. They make over-the-top stereotypes actually FUNNY, instead of just laughable.

And yes, I HAVE seen the original movie, not all too long ago actually, and I have to say the remake is twenty to the power of 99 times better than the original. I barely laughed, and the original version was in my eyes an utterly forgettable movie. And that coming from a person who usually hates remakes.

This movie gives the original "Birdcage" a fresh new shine and transports the story into the 90's. Well made, on all accounts, I can't think of a single criticism!


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