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The Birdcage (1996)

Robin Williams , Nathan Lane , Mike Nichols  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (574 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Dan Futterman
  • Directors: Mike Nichols
  • Writers: Marcello Danon, Elaine May, Francis Veber, Jean Poiret, Édouard Molinaro
  • Producers: Marcello Danon, Michele Imperato
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, Subtitled, Full length, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • 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: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 1997
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (574 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792833198
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,671 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Birdcage" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The great improvisational comedy team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May reunited to (respectively) direct and write this update of the French comedy La Cage Aux Folles. Robin Williams stars as a gay Miami nightclub owner who is forced to play it straight and ask his drag-queen partner (Nathan Lane) to hide out when Williams's son invites his prospective--and highly conservative--in-laws and fiancée to a meet-and-greet dinner party. Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest play the straight-laced senator and his wife, and Calista Flockhart (from television's Ally McBeal) plays their daughter in a culture-clash with outrageous consequences. May's witty screenplay incorporates some pointed observations about the political landscape of the 1990s and takes a sensitive approach to the comedy's underlying drama. Topping off the action is Hank Azaria in a scene-stealing role as Williams's and Lane's flamboyant housekeeper, "Agador Spartacus." --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

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-starring Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, Dianne Wiest, Christine Baranski and Calista Flockhart, The Birdcage is an uproarious comedy that will send your spirits soaring. Armand (Williams) and Albert (Lane) have built the perfect life for themselves tending to their gaudy Miami nightclub. But their pastel tranquility is shaken when Armand's son announces that he's getting married to the daughter of ultra-conservative Senator Keeley (Hackman)...and they're all getting together for dinner! Can Armand and Albert transform themselves into Mr.and Mrs. Family Values in time? It'll take the performance of their lives, but they'll do anythingand everythingto pull the chiffon over Keeley's eyes!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny Williams, Superb Nathan Lane June 9, 2002
Format:DVD
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.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nathan Lane and Robin Williams! Wonderful Casting! November 8, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Politically Incorrect Movie of the Decade! (Fab-u-lous) February 18, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
You will laugh until your sides hurt and you will rewind scenes two or three times ! This film is loaded with catchy phrases and scenes that keep popping into your thoughts and make you giggle, despite your attempts to think of something-else. You will never forget the Butler / House Boy....ever--"Agadore Spartacus" steals scene after scene, as (Robin Williams) struggles to maintain his sanity and composure, while fending-off Emotional Outbursts and Episodes of Self/Relationship Doubt from his transvestite Partner, (Nathan Lane). The plot revolves around "their" son getting married and not being able to deal with certain "issues," concerning his "parents." He is marrying (Alley McBeal), whose parents are Right-Wing Politicians.... thus, the "Issues."
I have seen "The Birdcage" many, many times & I know children love the movie (they will watch it repeatedly). Couples will find lines from the film invading their daily conversations. When I watch it, with my girlfriend, we have weeks of fun from one viewing! This is just one of those fun-filled, hilarious films, that even homophobic men can't resist. You will laugh, Nathan Lane will cry....and you will do poor imitations of "Agadore Spartacus" for weeks afterward. Enjoy !
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Vamp - It's all about appearances November 13, 2004
Format:DVD
The Birdcage is a funny, engaging, and touching movie about two aging homosexuals, Armand and Albert played brilliantly by Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, respectively. It is a story about life, love, and appearances. It's all about the appearances.

The Birdcage itself is all about appearances as cross-dressing men line up to vamp and sing and entertain as, well, sensual women. But the highlight of the film is the byplay between Williams and Lane - imagine an effeminate Robin Williams as the straight man to a gay guy - the remarkable talent of Nathan Lane. At one point, Nathan Lane (a straight guy) is playing a homosexual trying to imitate a straight guy.... it was a stellar performance and side-splittingly funny.

Gene Hackman is the perfect foil as an uptight, conservative Senator.

If you don't mind the jabs at Republicans, tradition, religion and morality, it will amuse and entertain.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Birdcage
Well not much to say Besides BEST MOVIE EVER! I remember watching this growing up on TV and it always made me laugh!
Published 15 hours ago by MH
5.0 out of 5 stars It is simply the funniest movie I have ever seen.
Amazing actors and fantastic dialogue.
It is not a new movie, but it feels very contemporary.

Extraordinarily funny and entertaining. I love it!
Published 5 days ago by Ana F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Too close to "home" and always a GREAT laugh! Robin at his finest!
This is one of my very favorite movies, and in a way, a part of my own lifestyle & world I share (as a straight woman) with a gay man who works in a nightclub & a transgendered... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Cheryl
1.0 out of 5 stars Arrived LATE
Paid extra to get this for my mom's birthday party but it did not arrive on time. Unacceptable and unforgivable these days. I may return it on principle. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Christopher Perez
3.0 out of 5 stars I like it
It was a very funny movie. We enjoyed it. Robin was great in this movie. I enjoy all of Robin Williams movies.
Published 10 days ago by Jerry
5.0 out of 5 stars You just can't go wrong with Robin Williams.
A very funny movie. Not meant for homophobes or anyone who can't laugh. Lighthearted and crazy, for mature people only.
Published 10 days ago by Spring Therapist
2.0 out of 5 stars condition of dvd
The condition of the DVD was very poor . There were a lot of deep scratches and the case was broken
Published 11 days ago by Mandy Luker
5.0 out of 5 stars The bird cage
This movie is an awesomely played movie by two of the best actors I grew uo to watch and couldnt have expected any better of a proformance and it was timely delivered and it secure... Read more
Published 11 days ago by juan vaca
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Robin Williams was the best choice for this movie. He is so talented and act as anyone. The cast did a marvelous job and we love this movie.
Published 11 days ago by gladys dunn
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!
The combination of actors, ESPECIALLY Nathan Lane and Robin Williams, make this a hilarious movie. Even though I've seen it probably a hundred times, it still makes me laugh out... Read more
Published 13 days ago by A. ODELL
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