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The Birdcage (1996)

R | | Comedy | 8 March 1996 (USA)
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.



(play), (earlier screenplay) | 4 more credits »
2,225 ( 91)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Radman
National Enquirer Photographer
James Lally ...
Luca Tommassini ...
Goldman Girl
André Fuentes ...
Goldman Girl (as Andre Fuentes)


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


Come as you are. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

8 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Birds of a Feather  »


Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While Albert acts as Mother, Armand describes her to Senator Keeley as the "girl from Grover's Corners." Senator Keeley replies that Grover's Corners is "a great place to call home." Grover's Corners is the fictional, idyllic small town in Thornton Wilder's famous stage play "Our Town." See more »


The evening that Val arrives home, Albert comes upstairs in a fit. While screaming "Where is he? Where's your little Chippie," Albert throws a product of the stage skit at Armand and, as a result, the candle on the table goes out. In the next shot, the candle is lit again. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996) See more »


She Works Hard for the Money
Written by Donna Summer and Michael Omartian
Performed by Hank Azaria (uncredited)
Courtesy of Mercury Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Performance art
20 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

One of the joys of watching good performers is seeing them fall so deeply into their role that when their character is asked to change, the change is so uncomfortable it either creates drama or comedy. In this case, we have comedic gold. Robin Williams headlines but Nathan Lane is the star of this filled festival of frolicing, where everybody throws in their characters worth and has the audience on the floor laughing.

Robin Williams and Nathan Lane play two gay Jewish lovers in Florida who own a drag club called The Birdcage. William's straight son is going to get married to the daughter of a Rightest Senator from Ohio. Williams and Lane decide to try to play it straight for a night, which means turning everything in their comfortable world upside down and inside out to pull it all together.

The writing is simply excellent, great dialog and very quotable. Even if the movie itself ended up terribly, it would have had good camp value regardless. However, the movie itself is supported strongly by the fantastic work of the acting, especially Lane because he is able to not only convince the audience about his character, but have his character try and act as well, thus creating multiple levels of personality hard to come to terms with inside of just one person. Williams does well too, but probably the best counterpart to Lane is Hank Azaria in a hilariously gay role and Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest as the conservative parents. They actually make the conservatism the movie pokes at believable while not becoming too mocking or too caricaturistic.

All in all, it's a good time, and great fun for the whole (openminded) family.


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