Birdcage

( 16 )

Overview

Director Mike Nichols teams up with his former partner/screenwriter Elaine May for the first time in many years and for the first time together in films to create this sophisticated, remake of the phenomenally popular French musical farce La Cage aux Folles that stars Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Diane Wiest as two dramatically disparate couples who manage to reconcile their vast differences for the sake of their children who are getting married. Williams plays Armand Goldman, the owner of a ...
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Fox Home Entertainme, 01/31/1998, VHS Tape, Brand New! VHS Tape. Case New. Shrink wrapped! Quality guaranteed! In original artwork/packaging unless otherwise noted.

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Overview

Director Mike Nichols teams up with his former partner/screenwriter Elaine May for the first time in many years and for the first time together in films to create this sophisticated, remake of the phenomenally popular French musical farce La Cage aux Folles that stars Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Diane Wiest as two dramatically disparate couples who manage to reconcile their vast differences for the sake of their children who are getting married. Williams plays Armand Goldman, the owner of a popular South Beach drag club known for putting on elaborate showcases starring his long-time lover/wife Albert (Lane) who appears as "Starina." Lately poor flamboyant, flighty Albert has been in crisis over the inexorable onset of middle age. He has been moody, paranoid and unbearably. When he gets too inconsolably distraught, handsome but clumsy houseboy Agador quietly slips Albert "Pirin" tablets (which he explains to Armand are simply Aspirin tablets with the "as" scraped off). Still though Albert can be a royal pain, Armand dearly loves him and the two live happily in their splendiferous apartment above the club. One day Armand's son Val (the result of Armand's single foray into straight sex) comes visiting with joyous news: he has found his dreamgirl and is getting married. The only trouble is, Barbara Keeley's father is the blustery ultra-religious right-wing Senator Keeley (Hackman), the founder of the Coalition for Moral Order. Senator Keeley and his colleagues are not as upright as they seem and when his closest associate is found dead beside a black, underage prostitute, Keeley finds his house surrounded by ravenous newshounds, hungry for dirt. Knowing that they are poised to ruin him, Keeley and his proper but slightly addled-wife (Wiest) decide that a big, elaborate, church wedding will be just the ticket to save his reputation. Barbara has neglected to tell them that Val's parents are gay, preferring to claim that they are members of the South Beach social elite. In a panic, she panics and calls Val who breaks the bad news to Armand and begs him to make the apartment less flamboyant and worst of all to hide Albert (who functioned as Val's mother while the youth grew up) during the visit. Armand is angry, but loving his son, finally, reluctantly agrees, knowing that he will deeply wound his companion. Unfortunately, Albert finds out and as a compromise tries to learn how to be macho so he can pretend to be Val's uncle, he is too much the Great Dame to ever pass as one of the guys and so is banned from the party. Armand then locates Catherine and asks her to masquerade as his wife. She agrees to show up later that evening. Meanwhile their friends busily redecorate the apartment until it looks as if it were done in "Early Inquisition." During the fateful dinner party, Catherine is late and Albert gets uproarious revenge. Achingly comic chaos ensues as Armand tries to hold the increasingly tenuous evening together while outside the newshounds bay and threaten to make even more trouble for Senator Keely.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Mike Nichols' The Birdcage is a funny, slapstick, but ultimately slight farce, notable as a forerunner in the movement to make gay characters mainstream and profitable at the box office. It succeeded bigtime, winning a broad audience and raking in close to $125 million. It's rare that another actor gets to upstage Robin Williams, but Nathan Lane does so wonderfully, playing an ungracefully aging drag queen who performs at the Miami nightclub owned by Williams, his subdued life partner. It's the role that catapulted Lane into the American popular consciousness, if also typecasting him in the process. His swishy hysterics never get tiresome, but it's even funnier watching him try to learn machismo from Williams, who can "pass" for heterosexual. Williams' treacly scenes connecting with his son are the weakest parts of the movie, which hits a more comfortable stride during its brilliantly staged, elaborate cover-ups aimed at hoodwinking Gene Hackman's right-wing politician. Almost as funny as Lane, in a supporting role, is the scantily clad Hank Azaria, as the couple's flamboyant housekeeper who loves dancing to Gloria Estefan. The Birdcage is also notable for a pre-Ally McBeal appearance by Calista Flockhart, who plays the son's fiancée.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/3/1998
  • UPC: 027616695536
  • Original Release: 1996
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robin Williams Armand Goldman
Gene Hackman Senator Keeley
Nathan Lane Albert Goldman / Starina
Dianne Wiest Louise Keeley
Hank Azaria Agador
Dan Futterman Val Goldman
Calista Flockhart Barbara Keeley
Christine Baranski Katharine
Tom McGowan Harry Radman
Grant Heslov Photographer
Kirby Mitchell Chauffeur
James Lally Cyril
Luis Camacho Goldman Girl
Scott Kaske Goldman Girl
Tim Kelleher Waiter in Club
Ann Cusack TV Woman in Van
Stanley de Santis TV Man in Van
J. Roy Helland Club Hostess
Anthony Giaimo Fishmonger
Lee Delano Bakery Man
Barry Nolan TV Reporter
Herschel Sparber Big Guy in Park
Brian Reddy TV Editor
Jim Jansen TV Editor
Marjorie Lovett Matron
Sylvia Short Matron
Rabbi Robert K. Baruch Rabbi
Dorothy Constantine Keeley's Maid
Francesca Cruz Katharine's Secretary
Andres Fuentes Goldman Girls
Anthony Richard Gonzalez Goldman Girls
Dante Lamar Henderson Goldman Girls
James Hill TV Reporter
Mike Kinsley TV Host
Mary Major TV Reporter
Trina McGee-Davis Black Girl On TV
James H. Morrison Pastor
Ronald Pitts TV Reporter
John Pontrelli Waiter In Cafe
Steven Porfido State Trooper
Amy Powell TV Reporter
Al Rodrigo Latino Man In Club
David Sage Senator Eli Jackson
Tony Snow TV Host
Kevin Stea Goldman Girls
Luca Tommassini Celsius
Madeleine Lee Gilford
Technical Credits
Mike Nichols Director, Producer
Arthur Schmidt Editor
Cheryl Carasik Set Decoration/Design
Marcello Danon Executive Producer
Thomas A. Duffield Art Director
Syd Dutton Special Effects
Rodrigo García Camera Operator
Sean Haworth Set Decoration/Design
J. Roy Helland Makeup
Michele Imperato Associate Producer
Ellen Lewis Casting
Emmanuel Lubezki Cinematographer
Neil Machlis Executive Producer
Elaine May Screenwriter
James McCoy Makeup
Mark Mothersbaugh Score Composer
Peter Owen Makeup
Vincent Paterson Choreography
Ann Roth Costumes/Costume Designer
Juliet Taylor Casting
Bill Taylor Special Effects
Joel Tuber Asst. Director
Jonathan Tunick Score Composer
Robert W. Welch III Production Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One of the only Remakes I love!

    I am generally not a huge fan of movie "remakes", but this is just too unbelievably funny to not love. Nathan Lane and Robin Williams have great chemisty together, and comedic timing is perfect.
    One of the best scenes in the entire movie, is Nathan Lane, playing a flamboyant gay man, trying to walk and talk like John Wayne, only to continueously break out into hysterical shrieks.
    I recommend this movie to everyone, although it does deal with topics of an adult nature, there is really nothing in it that would freak out a kid. I mean, I was 11 the first time I saw it.
    To be fair, it does depend on how mature and well adjusted your kid is. (and yourself.) :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    All time favorite movie...I know all the lines!

    By far, the funniest, most memorable movie I've ever seen. This is one of those films that causes me to stop whatever I'm doing and watch it EVERY SINGLE TIME I catch it on TV. Be sure to watch it several times...it gets funnier with each new viewing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    williams and lane

    Nathan Lane and Robin Williams are an amazing duo in this amazingly funny movie. I loved it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    Right up there!!

    Very well done, extremely funny.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Justin ''The Slant'' White

    Open...Honest...Touching. This film will bring a tear to your eyes, and a smile to your face. Cry, laugh, run the emotional gamete. This film gave me my slant and brought me out of the closet. The Birdcage would get five stars if it stared Jackie Chan!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 2, 2008

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