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The Birdcage
The Birdcage
Actors: Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Dan Futterman
Director: Mike Nichols
Genres: Comedy
R     1997     1hr 57min

Lies and deceptionit's all in the family when Robin Williams must convince his future in-laws that he's as upstanding and uptight as they are in "the funniest comedy you'll see this year" (Gene Shalit, "Today Show"). Co-st...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Dan Futterman
Director: Mike Nichols
Creators: Marcello Danon, Michele Imperato, Edouard Molinaro, Elaine May, Francis Veber, Jean Poiret
Genres: Comedy
Sub-Genres: Gay & Lesbian, Robin Williams
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Full length,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/26/1997
Original Release Date: 03/08/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 03/08/1996
Release Year: 1997
Run Time: 1hr 57min
Screens: Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Sharon F. (Shar) from AVON PARK, FL
Reviewed on 10/12/2022...
I adore this movie and have watched it several times. Sorry, this one is staying in my collection. Everyone in this movie is FUNNY! This was about a gay couple before it became popular. Side-splitting funny.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 2/11/2017...
one of my RW favorites! makes us laugh every time.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Vicki V. (Vickifer) from MIAMI, FL
Reviewed on 4/5/2011...
Hillarious movie! Memorable characters and lines. Loved it!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tamyra D. (tamjammer70) from STANLEY, WI
Reviewed on 6/29/2010...
This movie was EXCELLENT!! Robin Williams and Nathan Lane star in the film and its absolutely hilarious!! :) I highly recommend this comedy. Gene Hackman is also in this movie and he is a wonderful actor and plays his roll in this gay themed film perfectly. Robin Williams is a gay caberet owner and Nathan Lane plays his drag queen partner. Gene Hackman portrays a senator and his daughter is engaged to Robin Williams son that he had many years before on a one night stand to see if he wanted to be with women. Mr. Hackman and his conservative wife are clueless to what is really going on and the entire movie is laugh after laugh from beginning to end! There is no "raunchy" storyline and it is set in the nightlife of Miami. While the Senator is trying to avoid the media, the truth starts to come out and it is one tangled mess that makes for some very good laughs. I think this is a really great comedy! ENJOY!!! :)
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Funny Williams, Superb Nathan Lane
Jose R. Perez | Yonkers, NY USA | 06/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"American audiences flocked to this remake of the French classic, "La Cage Aux Folles" - perhaps the funniest comedy ever released in ANY language. It's no surprise that the US viewer could easily lose his or herself in this laugh riot, especially with the incomparable Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in starring roles. Lane is delicious here as the top billed female impersonator and star at Birdcage, a drag extravaganza club owned by his better half Williams. While Williams tones down his Mork routine and actually softens as a result, as funny as he his, Lane steals the movie, with a warm, knowing performance that ranks up there with STeve Martin in "All of Me" as one of the best comedic works ever on film. Dan Futterman (brilliant in "Urbania") plays Williams' son with the right mix of charm and apprehension, while Calista Flockhart (yes, Ally McBeal herself) is strong as his fiance. And that's Hank Azaria (of "The Simpsons" and the ex-Mr. Helen Hunt) as the butler, in a HYSTERICAL mode. Gene Hackman is a hoot as the bride-to-be's right-wing Jesse Helms-like character...and his final scene in drag (think Robert Preston in "Victor Victoria" mixed with Martin Landau in "Ed Wood") alone deserved Oscar consideration. Both Hackman and Lane were robbed at Award time, unlike Ugo Tognazzi (who played the Robin Williams role in the original) who scored an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Williams doesn't come close to achieving Tognazzi's utter sincerity and charm, but the movie works regardless. If you've seen and enjoyed the "Birdcage" do yourself a HUGE favor - suspend all fears about reading subtitles and rent thyself "La Cage Aux Folles" (part ONE, not part TWO, which is a poor continuation.) Even in French - perhaps even more as a result of being in French - "La Cage" soars now as it did long before the "Birdcage" was let out of the bag. Its universal themes speak to us in ANY language, but on-screen, the chemistry between its two main characters (indeed, their "marriage" and intimacy) is exceptional - laugh-out-loud funny, utterly winning and full of life. Whereas both Lane and Williams at times seem to be floating through the material, the actors in "La Cage" are clearly taking major risks, especially 20+ years ago when it was first released to wide acclaim. They swish and bicker themselves into your heart and soul, physically and emotionally transforming themselves into shadow images of ANY mom-and-pop couple I've ever known, whether hetero or not. "La Cage" is flawless. If you've seen La "Birdcage" experience this one-of-a-kind masterpiece and you'll be rewarded with a raw and rowdy comedy that's pure genius."
Why Does the Caged Bird Sing....?
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 02/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This review refers to MGM DVD edition of "The Birdcage".....

Those eyes!...those sighs!...those thighs!....Who are we talking about here? Marilyn? Raquel? maybe even Jay Lo? Nope. None of the above. We're talkin Nathan Lane, who is simply mahvelous darling as the one, the only.. "Starina!", star attraction at South Beach, Florida's gay cabaret "The Bird Cage".

Directed by Mike Nichols(The Graduate/Primary Colors), with a brillant screenplay by Elaine May,and a cast that will knock your socks off, this update of Jean Poiret's La Cage Aux Folles(see my review for film details) will have you laughing out loud from the first to the last frame of this wonderful film.

Armand Goldman(Robin Williams),owner of the lavish nightclub, and his long time lover and companion Albert(Nathan Lane) are about to have some company. The ultra conservative parents of Armand's son's fiancee are going to pay a little visit. Senator and Mrs. Keeley (Gene Hackman/Dianne Wiest)are under the impression that "The Colemans"(as they've been told)are an all American family and Dad is the "Cultural Attache to Greece"("whatever that is?"). Having been involved in a bit of a scandel, the Senator feels that this wedding will be the perfect scenario to refresh his reputation.

Meanwhile...Armand is frantically trying to tone down his gaudy place,and add some masculinity to his appearance. And then there's Albert! What to do with the extremely feminine Albert?
The laugh's are non-stop as these two families meet and try to impress each other.This is one dinner party you don't want to miss, as dinner is served up by "Agador Spartacus"(Hank Azaria),the Guatamalan "Houseboy" who will have you in stiches.

The cast, which was awarded The Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a cast, also includes Chritine Baranski,Calista Flockhart, and Dan Futterman. Nathan Lane and Dianne Wiest also recieved honors from The American Comedy Awards.The music, choreography and costumes are terrific as well.

I haven't seen any better quality on a DVD. The picture and colors are bright and beautiful. The sound is marvelous with all the great music coming through tremendously in the 5.1 Dol Dig Surround. It may also be viewed in French or Spanish(both in Stereo), and has subtitles in all three languages as well.Other than the theatrical trailer, there are no special features on the disc itself, but it does come with a great little booklet that has production notes and a look at the making of the film.

So why does the caged bird sing?...cause it's so darn much fun in "The Birdcage"......have fun...Laurie"
Nathan Lane and Robin Williams! Wonderful Casting!
Alphia D. Larkins | Acworth, Georgia United States | 11/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the funniest movies that I have seen in ages! Robin Williams is not the funny one here, it is Nathan Lane's character, Albert, that gets the most laughs. This movie has made me a life-long Nathan Lane fan. Both Williams (whose character is Armand Goldman) and Lane play gay men, with William's role being the dominant or male character. Since I am not gay, it is hard for me to define gender definitions of gay couples, but in this movie, there can be no missing the fact that Lane is the female side of the couple. When William's son comes to tell Dad of his impending marriage to a young woman (played admirably by Calista Flockhart) and to plead with Dad to pretend to be straight when he meets the girl's parents, as her father is a very straightlaced Senator in D.C.(played by Gene Hackman),trouble starts, in the form of hurt feelings and feelings of rejection to the other member of the relationship, namely, Albert. All kinds of solutions are considered to try and work him in to the charade, but he is so blatantly what he is, a gay man who is a female impersonator, but more female in his real self image than he is male, then it is nigh on to impossible to have him pose as an "uncle" or any male person, though he does try to adapt, with a few lessons on "maleness" from Armand, but he is incapable of being anything other than what he is, so they don't know what to do with him, how to explain him, and he refuses to just go away and be quiet until the wedding is over.
The ensuing struggle between the characters to remain true to who they are and each other, and yet not mess things up for the young couple is hilarious! The supporting actors are as good as the stars in this movie. The wonderful Christine Baranski plays the biological "real" Mother of the son, whom she has given up to Armand, his biological father, to raise, and does not even know her son, but is willing to help in his time of needing a "normal" Mother. This causes some problems also, because Albert (the Lane character) is jealous of the relationship she has with Armand. Hank Azaria is superb in his role of Agador, the Guatemalan housekeeper, as well as the best looking male in the cast! The usually serious Gene Hackman as the "Father of the Bride" proves that he can do comedy as well as serious drama, and so does Diane Weist, the "Mother of the Bride." They have their own problems, unknown to Armand and Albert, trying to allude the press and escape D.C. undetected because of a recent scandal in the Senator's cabinet concerning one of his cronies and an underage hooker. Their way of dealing with their pursuers assures that the movie is hilarious to the very last scene! This is one of a very few movies that I can watch over and over, and never tire of it. In my opinion, it is the best characters that Williams and Lane have ever played. It is the roles that I have liked best in all of the movies that I have seen them in. I love this movie!!"