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The Birdcage (1996)

R | | Comedy | 8 March 1996 (USA)
Trailer
2:12 | Trailer
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
1,568 ( 486)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Armand Goldman
Gene Hackman ... Senator Keeley
Nathan Lane ... Albert
Dianne Wiest ... Louise Keeley
Dan Futterman ... Val Goldman
Calista Flockhart ... Barbara Keeley
Hank Azaria ... Agador
Christine Baranski ... Katharine
Tom McGowan ... Harry Radman
Grant Heslov ... Photographer
Kirby Mitchell ... Chauffeur
James Lally James Lally ... Stage manager
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:

Come as you are. 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

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

Nathan Lane and Christine Baranski both co-starred in Addams Family Values (1993) three years earlier. They both only had screentime in this movie. See more »

Goofs

The color of the eggs in the soup at dinner changes between shots. 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

Referenced in The Codes of Gender (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Lady Marmalade
Written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Performance art
20 December 2005 | by Polaris_DiBSee 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.

--PolarisDiB


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