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The Birdcage (1996)

R | | Comedy | 8 March 1996 (USA)
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A gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion agree to put up a false straight front so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée's right-wing moralistic parents.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writers:

Jean Poiret (play), Francis Veber (earlier screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Popularity
2,749 ( 860)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Armand Goldman
Gene Hackman ... Senator Keeley
Nathan Lane ... Albert
Dianne Wiest ... Louise Keeley
Dan Futterman ... Val Goldman
Calista Flockhart ... Barbara Keeley
Hank Azaria ... Agador
Christine Baranski ... Katharine
Tom McGowan ... Harry Radman
Grant Heslov ... Photographer
Kirby Mitchell ... Chauffeur
James Lally James Lally ... Stage manager
Luca Tommassini Luca Tommassini ... Celsius
Luis Camacho ... Goldman Girl
André Fuentes André Fuentes ... Goldman Girl (as Andre Fuentes)
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Storyline

Armand Goldman owns a popular drag nightclub in South Miami Beach. His long-time lover, Albert, stars there as Starina. "Their" son Val (actually Armand's by his one heterosexual fling, twenty years before) comes home to announce his engagement to Barbara Keeley, daughter of Kevin Keeley, US Senator, and co-founder of the Committee for Moral Order. The Senator and family descend upon South Beach to meet Val, his father and "mother." What ensues is comic chaos. Written by Randy Goldberg <goldberg@nymc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Come as you are. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM/UA site | Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Birdcage See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,275,828, 10 March 1996

Gross USA:

$124,060,553

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$185,260,553
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United Artists See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Nathan Lane, like his character in the film, is openly gay, he hadn't come out at the time of the film's release. See more »

Goofs

After Albert enters the kitchen, the placement of Armand's Turkish coffee and newspaper change from where they were immediately prior to Albert's entrance. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[singers are performing "We Are Family" on-stage]
Cyril: [backstage, into a telephone] Agador! Where is Starina? She goes on in 5 minutes!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the November 12, 1998 ABC-TV network airing of The Birdcage (1996), approximately 13 minutes of added footage was restored to the film:
  • After Albert and Armand have discussed the upcoming marriage with Val, there is a scene where the cake Albert had ordered earlier is delivered. Albert shrieks because the cake says "To My Piglet From His Uncle" instead of "...From His Aunty" like Albert had requested. Then Albert and Armand have an amusing discussion of what it will be like to have Val and his wife live with them and what it will be like to be grandparents.
  • After Armand initially refuses Val's request to "tone down" the apartment, there is an extra scene later where Armand has a conversation with the bartender that eventually convinces Armand to prepare the apartment for the Keeley's arrival.
  • During the long roadtrip, the Keeley family is seen leaving a rest-stop at the Florida border. There is a huge fiberglass orange on top of the yellow and white striped rest-stop. Lettering on the orange reads, "Welcome to Florida".
  • There is an extra scene where TV network executives decide to send their news team to Florida on the basis that The Enquirer is already there.
  • Armand's dinner speech about the origins of Guatamalan "Peasant Stew" is longer in the TV version and he refills the guests bowls while explaining that the stew is the main course.
  • Albert's speech about his parents's search for a cemetery plot is longer.
  • There is a short scene included where Katherine Archer asks a TV news van if they will be leaving their parking spot which happens to be in an intersection.
  • After the Keeleys have learned that they are stuck in the apartment and everyone is sitting around drinking, Katherine is shown eating the "Peasant Stew" in Albert's and Armand's bedroom. Katherine and Agadore have a brief exchange in which Agadore admits to having made the stew and Katherine compliments him on it.
  • In the version broadcast on ABC, swimming trunks were electronically painted over the skimpy thongs worn by Agador and other male inhabitants of South Beach, Florida.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Showbiz Today: Episode dated 15 May 1996 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Can That Boy Fox Trot
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Nathan Lane (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Warm and Hilarious Comedy...
22 December 2005 | by ijonesiiiSee all my reviews

THE BIRDCAGE is the hysterically entertaining Americanized version of the French classic LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. In this version Robin Williams plays the gay owner of a Florida nightclub who learns his straight son (Dan Futterman) is coming home and is engaged to be married. Williams learns from his son that his fiancée's parents (Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest) are straight-laced and ultra-conservative and will not be comfortable meeting his gay father or his even more flamboyant lover (Nathan Lane) and suggests Williams send Lane out of town while Hackman and Wiest are in town. Instead, Lane puts on his best drag and meets the parents as Williams' wife in one of the most hilarious dinner party scenes ever filmed. This film is chock full of sparkling dialogue and sharp performances. I also found it rather refreshing to see Robin Williams playing straight man to Lane, who along with Hank Azaria as their housekeeper, practically steal the film from everyone else in one of the most entertaining comedies of the 90's. And the sight of Gene Hackman in drag is something everyone must experience.


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