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Birdy (1984)

Matthew Modine , Nicolas Cage , Alan Parker  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins, Sandy Baron, Karen Young
  • Directors: Alan Parker
  • Writers: Jack Behr, Sandy Kroopf, William Wharton
  • Producers: Alan Marshall, David Manson, Ned Kopp
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Mill Creek
  • DVD Release Date: February 15, 2000
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003L9CH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,515 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Birdy" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Soar to new heights in this spellbinding movie starring Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage. To escape an irrational world, Birdy (Modine), a Vietnam veteran, sits in an almost catatonic state in an Armyhospital, where he has come to believe he is one of the feathered creatures of his boyhood dreams. In an effort to break Birdy's silence, his psychiatrist brings in Al Columbato (Cage), Birdy's loyalbest friend of his youth. Al desperately tries to reach the disturbed Birdy and bring him back to reality. The answer may lie in their youth, where the eccentric Birdy first donned wings and the happy-go-lucky Al helped him to fly.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful film about friendship and being "normal" July 31, 2003
I first saw this film in college, and I have never been able to forget it. Both Cage and Modine give outstanding performances at this early time in both of their careers. The intense and even intimate friendship they share is both touching and inspiring. I wish I were still that close with many of the friends who I thought would be "brothers" of mine forever. I'll admit that I am moved to tears several times in this film after dozens of viewings.
Peter Gabriel's soundtrack is haunting, as are many of the visual images. Yes, it definitely has one of the most "controversial" endings of any film I have ever seen. You and your friends will talk about this one for quite a while! Even if you hate the ending, don't let it ruin the rest of the film.
Spoiler: I think that at the ending Birdy is helping Al understand that his behavior -- flying and catatonia -- haven't been all that strange or even that inappropriate. When Al freaks out over his leap from the roof, he doesn't understand why. He's fine. So he simply says, "What?" It doesn't matter if the hospital orderlies catch them. What matters more is that Al might begin to understand how "normal" Birdy really is.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
?Birdy? gets my nod as one of the greatest and most compelling movies of all time in so many ways. While it is like many that focus on the effects of the war in Vietnam, this movie is the most unique story of friendship, the effects of military combat, and eccentricity like no other movie of the 1980s or ever for that matter.
Nicholas Cage and Matthew Modine star in ?Birdy? as two lifelong friends from the run-down industrial ghettos of Philadelphia where they have played baseball together and ?Birdy? has had a huge passionate obsession with birds throughout his life and has dreamed of being able to fly like a bird. However, the two friends are recruited into the U.S. Army and are involved in the fighting in Vietnam and when they return, both are horribly scarred. One has suffered physical wounds with face wounds while the other has mental scars (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and being driven mad from the horrors of fighting in Vietnam, has almost withdrawn into his own ?birdland? and acting like a bird and not responding to outside social stimuli. As a result, Birdy has been hospitalized in a decrepit mental institution. Now Al Columbato must try to get his friend Birdy to be able to emerge from his catatonic state if he wants to leave the mental hospital and return to a normal life. During all of this, we can be able to see the flashbacks into Birdy and Al?s past and see how ?bird boy?s? obsession with birds grew increasingly strong and started to strain his social life with his friend and others around him but yet see very compelling acts of bonding between the two unlikely friends and how they?ve gone through so much together even before the war.
The characters are among the most compelling I?ve ever seen in a drama movie ever. This might be considered a ?coming of age?
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Movie About Strength and Resilience October 28, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
A tremendous film that captures the coming of age of two men, one man who is psychologically mature but socially withdrawn and the other man, his opposite. Together they find and draw strength from each other in order to survive the traumas of their lives, from the simple yet deep traumas of high school to the essential trauma of how does a man survive in a world of death and chaos. Modine and Cage are excellent in these early roles, with Modine especially interesting to watch in comparison to his role in "Full Metal Jacket". Technically, the film is excellent as well with Peter Gabriel's score adding an emotional overlay to key parts of the film. It is hard not to be moved by his score as we look through the bird's eyes in its headlong rush towards death. Those few seconds of film perhaps encapsulate most fully the fate that awaits innocence at the hands of war and the need of every being to seek solace and commiseration from those close to the heart.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a word about the ending... April 17, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I can't really add much more to the wonderful things already said about this movie, except perhaps to point out some wonderful scenes; like the intense scene where Birdy jumps off a scaffolding, and the quirky scene with Birdy and his date in the car. But, speaking of great scenes (the movie is full of them), by far the best scene in this or any movie ever made, as well as the best ending for a movie came at (what else?) the end. Of course, I'd love to tell you the ending, but that would spoil it for those who haven't seen it. Those who have know what I mean. It's a miraculous look at the lives of two friends, a great character study, and a powerful vehicle for both Modine and Cage. By the way, kudos to Peter Gabriel's musical score, and to the use of La Bamba for the ending, which was so perfect as an end song. Buy it! Rent it! Whatever. Just watch it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully made September 12, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I have to admit, this movie stands out in every way possible of a superb drama, made simply by a quirky plot: A Vietnam soldier (Nicolas Cage) tries to help his non-speaking, bird-loving friend, aptly named "Birdy" (Matthew Modine) get over his traumatic experience in Vietnam, in a mental hospital.
What follows is a complex, strangely fascinating flashback when Birdy and his friend were not in Vietnam and were going on with their lives before Vietnam, after World War II. It leads back to the present, up to a strange, enigmatic ending.
This cinematic masterpiece is terrifically written (which should have won an Oscar for the best screenwriting) and Modine puts on a poignant, fascinating role as a "queer" teenager stripping down and laying on the floor, imagining in his mind, to be a bird. The entire movie is a truly fascinating study of how traumatic experiences can have on veterans.
For all of this, it should have won an Oscar for everything. The cinematography, the best and supporting actors, and best direction, most of all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those Unknown Underrated Classics!
Great Movie! One of those Unknown Underrated Classics!
Published 18 days ago by cookiedough35
5.0 out of 5 stars I first saw this movie at least twenty years ago ...
I first saw this movie at least twenty years ago. It made an impression and I recently remembered when talking to my husband about movies that have moved me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Thomas Grote
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome movie Nicolas Cage is great..
Published 1 month ago by Nyroc the owl
2.0 out of 5 stars Saw this movie years ago but for some reason it ...
Saw this movie years ago but for some reason it just doesn't resonate with me now. It was just ok
Published 1 month ago by Steven E. Holland
4.0 out of 5 stars a good story
The sound on this recording was a bit "bright"; meaning that during graphics or bright scenes, you could hear the audio buzz. No - was not my TV or stereo. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Danielle
5.0 out of 5 stars Birdy: the greatest friendship story ever told since "Of Mice and Men"
I love this movie. It has a very powerful message about life, innocence, and the power of friendship. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Miles D.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Breakout Masterpiece for Cage & Modine
Directed by the great Alan Parker starring the very young Nicolas Cage & Mathew Modine who both give performances that guys twice there age would have found hard to match. Read more
Published 7 months ago by R. Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to see this movie!!
One of the best movies I have ever seen. I do not understand why it was not a bigger hit in the Theatres. Matthew Modine and Nick Cage were great.
Published 15 months ago by Elliott S. Rubin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Birdy is a great movie and I'm so glad to add it to my DVD collection. I received it in excellent condition and in a very timely manner! Thanks.
Published 16 months ago by Sherri Swaggerty
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and not "run of the mill"
Always loved this movie. It was quirky enough for Peter Gabriel to do the soundtrack for it! Two little known up and coming stars in their earliest work.
Published 17 months ago by Stephen R. Potts
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