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

Ugo Tognazzi , Michel Serrault , Edouard Molinaro  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Serrault
  • Directors: Edouard Molinaro
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,065 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
    87 of 96 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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    28 of 32 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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    11 of 11 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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    14 of 16 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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    14 of 16 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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    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant snapshot of a time gone by June 25, 2013
    I saw La Cage aux Folles in a movie theatre here in Manhattan the month it came out. I had to see it a second time because it flew by so quickly, and because the audience was laughing so hard it was difficult to get every line (even though it's subtitled). Today this gay couple appears to be a relic of the past (for some a seeming embarrassment), but it's this precisely why it's a valuable film today. Men like Albin and Renato had to adapt and adjust if they were going to survive the mid-20th century as a gay couple; a gay couple raising a child at that. Rather than being ashamed or dismissive of such men as these, we should be grateful they had the guts to be out and open as they could be in a time that was very hostile to them. A touching movie, and funny as hell. If you haven't seen it you're in for a treat.
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