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 <email@example.com>
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.
In the bakery, Albert says "the Schnecken beckons". He should have said, with perfect rhyme, "the Schnecken beckon.". In Yiddish/German, Schnecken is plural. It's a sweet pastry rolled in the shape of a snail, hence the name, which in German means snail. Singular Schnecke, plural Schencken. See more »
[singers are performing "We Are Family" on-stage]
[backstage, into a telephone]
Agador! Where is Starina? She goes on in 5 minutes!
See more »
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.
"The Birdcage" is a hilarious movie about a happily "married" gay couple, forced to play straight for the marriage for Armond's son and his conservative in-laws. Even though it is a bit stereotypical, it was played with charm and energy and is absolutely irresistible. I really enjoyed "The Birdcage" because it had a lot of serious issues, yet managed to turn into a fun joke. We take the politic stand on gay marriages so seriously, that I think this was needed just for a good laugh at it.
Nathan Lane and Robin Williams, what terrific performances! Again, I know it was stereotypical, but I have a couple friends that do actually act like that. So, I was more than willing to go with it. I loved the whole Nathan being the Mom dinner scene. It was just too hard not to laugh. I am little surprised by the rating of 6.5. I think people should see this film and just have a good time with it. Trust me, it's just a fun movie and it's not offensive in any way.
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