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La Cage Aux Folles

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[English Dubbed] Two of Europe's most virile male stars, Michel Serrault and Ugo Tognazzi, portray two very flamboyant, aging gay gentlemen. Togazzi is the owner of a St. Tropez nightblub where the chief attration is a drag act performed by his lover, Serrault. Tognazzi has a son from a former marriage who is engaged to the daughter of a politician who is a very active vigilant member of the Union of Moral Order. The son has carefully hidden his father's true profession. But now the upright--and uptight--politician and his wife are coming for a social visit, and the future of Tognazzi's son's marriage is at stake. Tognazzi and Serrault desperately try to "butch up" their home and manners for the ensuing visit. The hilarious complications of the evening are (not quite) beyond belief...

Starring:
Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Serrault
Runtime:
1 hour, 36 minutes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jose R. Perez on August 6, 2001
Format: DVD
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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Format: Blu-ray
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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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?
7 Comments 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the ONLY version anyone should see of this film. Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault cannot be bettered by any other two actors portraying Renato Baldi and Albin Mougeotte. This film will have you getting hysterical to the point of not being able to catch your breath! One of the, if not THE, greatest comedy films! A must see.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
FR: Je me souviens de ce film quand il est sorti. A ce jour encore, ce film est ultra culte ici, en France, et Albin joué par Michel Sérault a parodié ce rôle dans d'autres films tels que "deux heures moins le quart avant Jesus Christ". Par conséquent, j'ai commandé l'édition Criterion Blu-ray et vous la recommande.

EN : I remember that movie when it came out. Now days, this movie is still a huge reference here, in France, and Albin played by Michel Sérault has played a few parodies of this role in other movies such as "a quarter to two BC" (litteral translation). Therefore, I ordered and recommand the blu ray Criterion edition.
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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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..As usual,the Americans remade the film and it was a disaster. They never learn in the U.S.A.The original French play on which it was based ran for several years in Paris.It is a rare comedy that never dates.The sequel was disappointing however.
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