La Cage Aux Folles

La Cage Aux Folles

5.0 1
Director: Edouard Molinaro

Cast: Edouard Molinaro, Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Serrault, Michel Galabru

     
 

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An international comedy sensation based on a successful French stage play, La Cage aux Folles depicts the farcical chaos that results when a gay man attempts to pose as straight for the benefit of his son's future in-laws. Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) owns a popular nightclub and is the long-time lover of Zaza (Michel Serrault), a female impersonator who is the club'sSee more details below

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Overview

An international comedy sensation based on a successful French stage play, La Cage aux Folles depicts the farcical chaos that results when a gay man attempts to pose as straight for the benefit of his son's future in-laws. Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) owns a popular nightclub and is the long-time lover of Zaza (Michel Serrault), a female impersonator who is the club's main attraction. Unfortunately, Renato's son Laurent (Remy Laurent) has told none of this to his future father-in-law, an important figure in a morally conservative political organization. Not wanting to ruin his son's chance of happiness, Renato agrees to pose as a straight man, but he finds his familiar habits, and those of the even more flamboyant Zaza, getting in the way at every turn. Zaza is the one who comes up with what he thinks is an ideal solution: he'll dress in drag and pose as Renato's wife. Naturally, the plan does not pan out as expected. La Cage aux Folles' pleasant, unthreatening comic sensibility attracted a large mainstream audience in both Europe and the United States, which was at the time unusual for a film with a homosexual theme. Indeed, the film was popular enough to inspire two remakes: a stage musical and, nearly two decades later, the Hollywood comedy The Birdcage with Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, and Gene Hackman.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
A wry portrayal of gay stereotypes animates La Cage aux Folles, the superb French comedy directed by Edouard Molinaro. Based on a French stage play, La Cage follows a middle-aged gay couple -- the owner of a gay nightclub (Ugo Tognazzi) and the star of the club's transvestite revue (Michel Serrault) -- who agree to conceal their flamboyantly gay lifestyle in order to impress the parents of the girl the club owner's son intends to marry. Despite the nightclub setting, the transvestite stage show takes a backseat here to the domestic comedy and the superb work of Serrault and Tognazzi, with the latter's low-key performance working as a perfect foil for his partner's marvelously detailed gay affectations. They make a fascinatingly believable couple, and the depth of their 20-year relationship keeps the sex farce from boiling over. La Cage inspired two sequels, a Broadway musical and a Hollywood remake, but the original's effortless, crowd-pleasing charm ensures its place among the classics.
All Movie Guide
A study in high camp and chaotic hilarity, La Cage aux Folles became America's most successful foreign-language film on its 1978 release. It was also the first gay hit in film history, inspiring not one but two sequels, as well as an American remake, Mike Nichols's The Birdcage (1996). Despite its milestone status, it was denounced by some gay publications, which took issue with its gay and racial stereotypes. La Cage may indeed suffer from shameless stereotyping and other obvious flaws, but as a high farce, it remains a classic. Much of its strength lies in Edouard Molinaro's assured, frenetic direction, as well as in the performances that he draws from his actors. Michel Serrault as Albin provides the film with its heart and soul. Having performed the role over 1700 times in the original stage version, he inhabits Albin like a treasured article of clothing, a well-worn and well-loved second skin. His portrayal reflects the film as a whole: colorful, high-strung, sometimes insufferable, but exceedingly tender-hearted. He and Ugo Tognazzi's Renato make believable, affectionate partners as they dance to the choreography of mounting hysteria, reveling in stereotypes yet imbuing them with considerable sympathy.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/10/2013
UPC:
0715515109819
Original Release:
1978
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
848

Special Features

New interview with Director Edouard Molinaro; Archival footage featuring actor Michael Serrault and Jean Poiret, writer and star of the original stage production of La Cage aux Folies; New interview with Laurence Senelick, author of The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre; French and U.S. trailers; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by critic David Ehrenstein

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ugo Tognazzi Renato
Michel Serrault Albin/ZaZa
Michel Galabru Charrier
Claire Maurier Simone
Remi Laurent Laurent
Benny Luke Jacob
Luisa Maneri Andrea
Carmen Scarpitta Madame Charrier

Technical Credits
Edouard Molinaro Director,Screenwriter
Marcello Danon Producer,Screenwriter
Ambra Danon Costumes/Costume Designer
Mario Garbuglia Art Director
Monique Isnardon Editor
Robert Isnardon Editor
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Armando Nannuzzi Cinematographer
Jean Poiret Screenwriter
Piero Tosi Costumes/Costume Designer
Francis Veber Screenwriter

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