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Bird on a Wire

4.4 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Superstars Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn team up with this non-stop action-comedy directed by John Badham. Hiding under the FBI Witness Protection Program, Rick Jarmin (Gibson) gets nervous when old flame Marianne Graves (Hawn) recognizes him. But before he can assume a new identity, the man he put in jail (David Carradine) is released and comes to pay his respects. Rick and Marianne find themselves thrown together on an exhilarating cross-country scramble, barely evading the gangsters, police and an amorous veterinarian (Joan Severance). Their whirlwind travels eventually lead to an unforgettable climax in an elaborate zoo exhibit. PBS-TV calls the film "a roller coaster of a movie with hot action and wild humor! This Bird soars!"

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This action-comedy from 1990 makes the critical mistake of trying to mix a potentially suspenseful plot with the kind of humor that Mel Gibson can only get away with in his Lethal Weapon movies. It doesn't work here because the movie's supposed to be a Hitchcockian thriller and Mel's wisecracking--not to mention some implausible plot twists and ridiculous chase scenes--makes it impossible to take any of this movie seriously. It works best as a lightweight vehicle for Gibson and Goldie Hawn, who bring their own established appeal to their roles as old lovers who are reunited under unexpectedly dangerous circumstances. After testifying against some drug-running killers, Mel's been safe under the protection of the FBI's witness relocation program, and Goldie coincidentally enters his life again just as the bad guys are hot on Mel's trail. They join up and go on the run from the villains and ... well, let's just say director John Badham doesn't have any big surprises up his sleeve. Goldie and Mel are enjoyable, as always, but you'd have to be their biggest fan to watch this movie more than once. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, David Carradine, Bill Duke, Stephen Tobolowsky
    • Directors: John Badham
    • Writers: David Seltzer, Louis Venosta, Eric Lerner
    • Producers: Rob Cohen
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      PG-13
      Parental Guidance Suggested
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: July 21, 1998
    • Run Time: 110 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783227396
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,608 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Bird on a Wire" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By the gunner VINE VOICE on February 18, 2008
    Format: DVD
    Bird On A Wire DVD

    Bird On A Wire is about a guy (Mel Gibson) who is in the Witness Relocation Program (WRP)going by the name Billy Ray Bowers, named for both the scoundrels that could have been his Daddy, per his Momma. One day his ex-fiancé ( Goldie Hawn) drives up to the gas station where he is working and tells him to fill `er up, unleaded.

    Goldie Hawn at 45 still had great legs and takes every opportunity throughout the movie to show them off..

    The movie is filled with action and for the ladies even has a shot of Mel Gibson's back-side.

    Recommended for fans of Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn ( of Laugh-In fame).

    Gunner February, 2008
    1 Comment 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: VHS Tape
    Superstars Mel Gibson and the loveable Goldie Hawn star in this enjoyable, action-comedy. The plot is somewhat convoluted but the general story is that Rick (Gibson) is hiding under the FBI witness re-location program but he gets nervous when an old flame, Marianne (Hawn) recognises him. Before he can assume a new identity, the man he put in jail (David Carradine) is released and comes to pay his respects. Rick and Marianne find themselves reunited when they are thrown into a cross country, action packed adventure, avoiding gangsters, police and an amorous veterinarian, played by Joan Severance. There is nothing short of great chemistry between the two leading players, even if there roles are quite typical of roles they have both played in other films. Never the less this film holds many laughs and good points and the unforgetable climax in an elaborate zoo exhibit is where the film really scores best.
    Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    This movie sure got bashed bewtween Malten and Shannon. Well, let's give it a thoughtful review - just for kicks. On the upside, this movie did illustrate, well, the laughable personal and professional behavior of just about everyone in the late 1980s. In fact, the illustration by itself should get a rise out of people who lived as adults through the "Crazy 80s" and others. The government and its representatives were represented in this movie as what most Americans would believe to be true to form, Gibson was a protected government informant and Hawn was his high school love, it helped the movie and Gibson that she was a rich, divorced attorney. Her character enabled Gibson to emerge victorious in a battle planned by a corrupt FBI Agent and an honorable FBI agent who became the unfortunate victim of Alzheimer's Disease. Their adventure was wild and wooley. However, on the downside, it did fall short in that there were certain scenes in which there was an unrealistic portrayal of technical procedure (like the bank scene for instance) and other scenes which did take away significantly from the movie. Basically folks, the movie was a no brainer, but it was fun and Hawn and Gibson made a pig into a chicken - rent it for fun, you won't have any regrets!
    Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    Private Benjamin was one of Goldies greatest movies. But this bird on a wire was good too. Not on the same level as PB, but okay. This is one of Mel's earlier movies. The chemistry between the two actors seemed a bit forced at times. I don't think they really liked each other all that much in real life. Tough job. "I love you!" (Really I don't like you much but kiss me anyway)..

    This story is, start in the middle, go both ways. It's funny at times and you get to see Mel and Goldie in their heyday! He's a guy that's deeply hidden in a witness relocation program. There are some very bad dudes looking for him. And he thinks he's finally found a spot where he can settle. After years of hopping around, he finally settles for being a mechanic in some rural garage. He and the owners are friends. I think the owner knows that Mel's talents far exceeds where he wants to be ...But hey, the owner is getting old and needs a partner. Don't look a gift...er..Mel in the mouth, right? All seems nice and calm...

    And then Goldie stops for gas. They were an item before he disappears. Goldie wants to know why he left when they were so close. Mel panics. Calls his bugg-out squad, and causes enough commotion that a corrupt FBI agent, (a plant especially put there to find Mel in the Witness Relocation) finds Mel and tells his old buddies that are looking for him where he is. And the race is on. Goldie and Mel run for their lives as the Hit Men get on their trail. Fast paced action. Lots of fun to watch them run as they hash out their abrupt separation! I especially like how Goldie plays the ultimate pampered rich chick that gets into these situations where she becomes Sigourney Weaver but complaining about her manicure the whole time! Nobody does it better.

    Would I watch it again?
    Read more ›
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    Well, good old Mel and Goldie, back when they were one the main attractions and a bit more younger. Good comedy action. Goldie gets to know Mel while he's working in a garage after so many years of being under witness protection by the government and the bad guys end up finding oiut where he was and is a chase from there on, trying to get Mel. Enjoyable film, no sex and many a couple of F bombs here and there, nothing major.
    He does a similar character to his Lethal Weapon series, only here he's not a cop. Enjoy it
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