The Birdcage (1996)

R   |    |  Comedy


The Birdcage (1996) Poster

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.


7.1/10
77,016

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  • Robin Williams in The Birdcage (1996)
  • Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer at an event for The Birdcage (1996)
  • Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in The Birdcage (1996)
  • Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in The Birdcage (1996)
  • Jennifer Tilly at an event for The Birdcage (1996)
  • Mike Nichols in The Birdcage (1996)

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22 December 2005 | ijonesiii
8
| A Warm and Hilarious Comedy...
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hank Azaria continued his Agador character in several episodes of The Simpsons (1989).


Quotes

Cyril: Agador! Where is Starina? She goes on in 5 minutes!


Goofs

When Armand and Val are talking, the door behind Armand is alternately open/closed between shots.


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.


Soundtracks

It Takes All Kinds
Written by
Stephen Sondheim
Written to be used in the opening of the film but not used by director Mike Nichols.

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