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La Cage aux Folles (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1978)

Ugo Tognazzi , Michel Serrault , Edouard Molinaro  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $24.59  
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"The Life Aquatic" Available for Pre-order on Blu-ray
The Criterion Collection's release of Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic is available for pe-order on Blu-ray. This title releases May 27th, 2014. Learn more

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La Cage aux Folles (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Serrault
  • Directors: Edouard Molinaro
  • Format: Blu-ray, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: September 10, 2013
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,850 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New interview with director Edouard Molinaro
  • Archival footage featuring actor Michel Serrault and Jean Poiret, writer and star of the original stage production of La Cage aux Folles
  • New interview with Laurence Senelick, author of The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre
  • French and U.S. trailers
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Ehrenstein
  • More!

  • Editorial Reviews

    Renato (La grande bouffe’s Ugo Tognazzi) and Albin (Diabolique’s Michel Serrault)—a middle-aged gay couple who are the manager and star performer at a glitzy drag club in St. Tropez—agree to hide their sexual identities, along with their flamboyant personalities and home decor, when the ultraconservative parents of Renato’s son’s fiancée come for a visit. This elegant comic scenario kicks off a wild and warmhearted farce about the importance of nonconformity and the beauty of being true to oneself. A modest French comedy that became a breakout art-house smash in America, Edouard Molinaro’s La Cage aux Folles inspired a major Broadway musical and the blockbuster remake The Birdcage. But with its hilarious performances and ahead-of-its-time social message, there’s nothing like the audacious, dazzling original movie.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
    American audiences tend to resist foreign films for some good reasons. Sure, its tough to keep up with subtitles at times, and yes, sometimes the translations are lacking the depth the filmaker intends to convey. But this is a film that can and should be enshrined in the Movie Hall of Fame as one of the funniest, most endearing films ever released. Audiences who are willing to put up with subtitles will quickly find themselves hysterical and at last, on DVD, "La Cage Aux Folles" deserves to find a new audience, a new generation that appreciates broad humor, with a few good lessons thrown in.
    Americans are familiar with the story, since "La Cage" was turned into a successful Broadway show and then a huge money-making comedy "The Birdcage" featuring Nathan Lane and Robin Williams in the lead roles (not to mention a young Calista Flockhart of "Ally McBeal" fame and Dan Futterman who is brilliant in "Urbania.") But "The Birdcage" as funny as it can be, fades by comparison to the original, with star making performances by Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault as the leading cross dressing couple of the French Riviera. Where "The Birdcage" allows for broad humor that both confronts and appeases the typical homophobic US audience, "La Cage" offers no apologies, and rests on its own merits as a farce without limits. When Tognazzi teaches Serrault how to "walk like John Wayne" you quickly forget the language barrier, and give up on Robin William's own attempts to educate the shrill Lane in the English version. Somehow, the fact that these characters are French adds a dimension of humanity that is lacking in the "Birdcage.
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    26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, Substandard Transfer August 13, 2001
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    Since others have already expounded on the enduring comic nature of the movie itself, I'll restrict my comments to the DVD. I'd give the movie about 4 stars, but the DVD transfer I would award only 2.
    Why? The film quality is not only substandard, but on occasion the frame jumps, as if somebody had bumped the telecine during the process. Additionally, the audio is VERY poor, not only varying in loudness, but at times the French audio track is not even synchronized with the lip movements on screen.
    This would be worthy of a re-do by Criterion or other reputable production company...please?
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterically funny -- a comedy classic. December 9, 1998
    Format:VHS Tape
    One of the funniest films ever made. Tognazzi and Serrault are well matched in the lead roles, and Benny Luke as Jacob the maid steals every scene. Years after first seeing the film, I still chuckle remembering Luke's line, "I cannot wear shoes; they make me fall!" Laughter is great therapy, and this classic favorite is genuine feel-good fun.
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    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterical July 15, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    This original french version is far better than the campy Ameian version. The leads are played by great actors who know how to work the screen. I still laugh each time I hear Zaza's screech. This movie also deals with a major issue, which gives it a reality flair!
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    11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Successful Comedies of All Times April 9, 2005
    It pays to overcome both aversions to foreign films and homophobic sentiments to enjoy this film, which is now already a classic farce that has already made it into a Broadway play and an Americanized version, "Birdcage," with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. The original, however, stands out as especially spectacular, largely due to the talents of actor Michel Serrault who went on to the sequel, "La Cage Aux Folles 2," to demonstrate his acting abilities to an even greater degree.

    The story tells of the owner of a gay nightclub, La Cage Aux Folles, one Renato Baldi (Ugo Tognazzi), whose son Laurent (Rémi Laurent) comes home to inform him he is getting married. Because his father has come to live a very openly gay lifestyle with his partner, Albin (Michel Serrault), a drag queen who performs in his club and who is very openly effeminate in real life as well, Laurent is very concerned that his father make a good impression on his fiancée's conservative family, who happen to be involved in politics and are very concerned about negative publicity. The only problem is that the fiancée, Andrea (Luisa Maneri), has also told a little white lie to her family that her fiancé's father is a cultural attaché. Of course, the lie ultimately breaks down when the families meet. The groom's father invites the mother, Simone (Claire Maurier), to come, but then Albin decides, without informing anyone, to dress up as a woman and pretend to be the mother, and the result is classic farce as anyone could expect.
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    16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Great film - poor DVD transfer September 8, 2001
    A much funnier film than the leaden, limp American remake "The Birdcage" but the DVD can only be considered a disappointment. Some of the complaints above come from the film itself: the original film was shot through a great deal of diffusion leaving a very, very soft image and almost all the dialogue was post-dubbed, even in the original French prints. Ugo Tognazzi is evidently speaking his lines in Italian and is dubbed in French by another actor. Given that, there are problems introduced on the DVD. The sound on the French language track is awful with background noises like footsteps and door closings loud and phasing in and out. This problem is not present on the secondary choice of the English-dubbed track and forces one to choose it just to watch the film without distractions. Reel changes are also dirty and occassionaly choppy and, despite the lack of extras (only the theatrical trailer and the English track), it is not 16 X 9 enhanced. A pity as this grand and lovely farce should be seen in top condition by anyone who loves great comedy.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Hilareous
    I had seen this a couple of times in French and then I saw the English version which is not bad but it certainly is not the real thing. Read more
    Published 18 days ago by Maggy Standish
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best comedies ever!
    Skimpily one of the funniest movies out there. The actors are great, and this needed transfer to blu-ray, and a Criterion choice at that, makes this a must ow. Read more
    Published 18 days ago by R. Burke
    5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST COMEDIES OF ALL TIME.
    This hilarious film ran for a year in the same cinema in Sydney, on its original release,This would not happen today for a Foreign language film.. Read more
    Published 23 days ago by Peter Fraser
    4.0 out of 5 stars I Preferred The American version With Ron Williams And Nathan Lane
    Also, Gene Hackman was good and Han Azaria was Fabulous. This one was OK--I liked it, but I would recommend the American knock off, The Birdcage. Read more
    Published 29 days ago by Holly
    4.0 out of 5 stars Keep laughing
    I remember the first time I saw this movie I laughed till my ribs hurt. And having it in my collection is great! Thank you
    Published 1 month ago by michael wayne leiva
    4.0 out of 5 stars It fun to see the orginal
    What fun to see this dvd again. I really liked seeing it in French. Isn't the only way to see this one. I am glad to have this in my collection.
    Published 2 months ago by John S. Sullivan
    5.0 out of 5 stars One very funny movie!
    This is one of the true gems of comedy. I went to see it at a movie house, and there were moments you couldn't hear the movie because people were laughing THAT loudly. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Pablo E. Mercado
    5.0 out of 5 stars A great party CD
    One of the finest movies with wonderful up beat music! The songs are just splendid--- great beat---- great words and so melodic! This CD connotes FUN!
    Published 2 months ago by Alice
    5.0 out of 5 stars Still hilarious after all this time
    Despite the advances in our culture of accepting alternative lifestyles, La Cage Aux Folles continues to make me Laugh Out Loud.
    Published 2 months ago by Karyn Traut
    5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!
    I really like this movie. The only problem I had with it was that I did't like the dubbing, the voices sounded kid of weird especially Albin his voice was just wrong. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Julio Rayo
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