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The Birdcage
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Product Description

Armand & Albert,a middle-aged gay couple, reluctantly accept Armand's son's intention to marry the daughter of a conservative Senator, but when the fiancee's family comes to visit, the whole household is turned upside down.
Genre: Feature Film-Comedy
Rating: R
Release Date: 7-OCT-2003
Media Type: DVD

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 fianc¨¦e 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

Customer Reviews:

  • John Wayne's BEST
    Oddly, I can't stand the stars of this film. Robin Williams exudes an arrogance that is so annoying to me that I can't watch him. Nathan Lane is a bore. Hackman is an old favorite, but other that that, there isn't anyone is in this picture who is a favorite. Yet, I love this picture and think Williams and Lane together are brilliant. Only in this picture do I think Williams' peculiar talent for pretentiousness really works. He's a show-off type, a pseudo-intellectual, and a gifted mimic. Here it all combines into a role that makes sense. Lane has an essentially weak personality. One sees this in "The Producers." Without a strong Robin Williams type to play against, he disappears. In this, again, he is better than good - he is brilliant. Both are talented physical artists, whose small gestures really work well in their various efforts to appear masculine. Conflict, it is said, is the source of humor. The story line, of course, is all conflict, wonderful conflict. The writing is strong. Hackman has a wonderful monologue, spewing utter nonsense about the countryside and patriotism. It is pure genius. Overall, this is one of the best comedies of the decade, silly yet topical and fresh. ...more info
  • Fly, Be Free!
    I have owned the MGM DVD of "The Birdcage" since 1998. I decided to watch it today and, after all this time, I STILL love it! The film boasts quality comedic characterizations, tight editing, vibrant wonderful color and music that captures not only the tropical flavors of the Florida coast, but accents the hilarious gems of irony that run throughout the whole film.

    Sure, there are a few minor missteps in scripting and line delivery. But, it's ENTERTAINMENT . . . NOT a socio-political treatise on the evolving state of the human condition. Those who try to find profound philosophy in fanciful farce will only meet up with disappointment. Those who feel compelled to (or rather obsessed with) making "play-by-play," nitpicking value comparisons of this remake to the original "La Cage Aux Folles" should lighten up. You might as well compare Little Women to Desperate Housewives . . . they just aren't meant to be mentioned in the same breath!

    I have watched the original AND the remake, and I can appreciate the merits and weaknesses of both. Each film expresses its own unique flavor and personality--playing off of and satirizing the popular contemporary cultural and historical context in which each was created . . . THAT is the attitude one should take when watching either of the films.

    Aside from that, I wonder if there is any way for MGM (or another production company) to produce an anniversary / collectors edition of The Birdcage? Hmmmm, perhaps they could include new special features such as:
    *Movie Commentary--Maybe an audio conversation with the directors, cast key crewmembers as they watch the film (With Robins Williams/Nathan Lane in the "dish" mix, it could really be a funny, unique feature).
    *Special Documentary--"Uncaging the Birdcage"--look at what effect The Birdcage has had on film and society. How life/film has changed since the time The Birdcage was released. (maybe include interviews with film critics, social commentarists, reactions of old & young audience/film-goers)
    *Cast, Crew interviews--about the production, their own process of characterization, technical effects, etc.
    *Outtakes/Deleted Scenes--we've heard there are SO MANY hilarious ones. We are dying to see what they are!
    *Where Are They Now?--Bios of Cast, Crew, Director
    *Trivia Game--Which happened in which film? (La Cage Aux Folles vs. The Birdcage)

    "The Birdcage" earned more than $124 million in its theatrical release domestically, and over $61 million overseas. Not only is it a popular mainstay on various TV channels throughout the year (which means it must get a consistently good audience rating), but there is now widespread public acceptance of similar content in both film and TV.

    I am sure if whoever has the DVD copyright decides to make an anniversary / collector's edition of "The Birdcage", there will be many of us out here who would LOVE to buy it and recommend it.

    In the meantime, don't hold your breath. If you're thinking about getting The Birdcage now, then hop to it already. :) Buy it, then kick back with some popcorn & a couple of margaritas. Watch it, laugh at it, dance to it, and THOROUGHLY enjoy it. I certainly did!...more info
  • Fosse, Fosse, Fosse, Martha Graham, Martha Graham!
    This movie is practically perfect in every way! By turns riotously funny and endearingly touching, this movie illustrates in a very lighthearted way that true love comes in many forms. (In fact, I consider the scene on the bench with Armand and Albert to be one of the most truly romantic scenes captured in modern film. Forget those phony sex scenes with airbrushed stars that you see in most of today's films -- Armand and Albert's interactions capture the heart of real tenderness in a long-term relationship!) Oh, yes, and did I mention it was funny? My husband and I have watched it at least 20 times and know every line, but we end up watching it again and again because it's just that good! If you're a hardcore "red stater", this movie may not be your thing, but for everyone it!!!...more info
  • Birdcage
    My only regret is that I never took the opportunity to see this movie in the theatre. It's hilarious and Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as well as Gene Hackman portray their roles with such believeability. My favorite scenes are when everyone is together for dinner. A definite must see! ...more info
  • If You Want to Laugh Till You Cry
    This is one of the funniest movies ever. You will have side splitting laughter. Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Calista Flockhart, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest and Hank Azaria all do a fabulous job in this superb comedy. Set in South Beach, a gay club owner and his partner try to pass themselves off as a straight couple for the benefit of the strict parents of their son's fianc¨¦e. It results in total hilarity which I am sure will brighten your day. Power Path to Love...more info
  • 3.5 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    A delightful comedy that's also one of the few remakes to hold a candle to the original, The Birdcage is consistently funny (often side-splittingly so) while also managing to be warm and smart; also notable for featuring a nicely-restrained turn by Robin Williams and a flamboyant over-the-top foil in Nathan Lane, the Birdcage is a treat....more info
  • i love this movie, it is my fav.
    i had this movie in vhs form and wanted it in DVD. ...more info
  • Too perfect
    Robin Williams can do anything and everything well. In this film, his aging homosexual role is understated. He's got the walk, the wrist, the clothes...he is the perfect stereotype of the older gay male. He's as funny as ever.

    Nathan Lane's tour de force as Williams' "wife" couldn't be funnier or, depending on how you view "the life", pathetic. He is a genius in this role and there are times you actually do think of him as a woman, especially when he tells Williams while folding laundry, "You never wanted to share your son with me."

    Agador, the barefoot half-naked Latino house-boy/girl, comes close to stealing the flim from Williams, an almost impossible feat, but he almost pulls it off, especially when he whines about not being able to take part in Williams' drag shows. Those too-short scenes are hilariously funny. Agador's role in this story at first seems peripheral but you realize quickly that it is integral to the entire gay scene and especially to this film. Agador's role rounds out the picture perfectly.

    Another hilarious scene is when Williams and Lane, about to be "interviewed" by Williams' straight son's future in-laws (Gene Hackman and Dianne Weist) who don't know they're a gay couple, come to call. But before they do, Williams tries to teach Lane how to be masculine in his walking, talking and tea drinking. Both men are brilliant in this blast of a scene.

    There is a scene where Williams is trying to teach one of his hired drag queens to show more enthusiasm in his dancing role for the drag club; in the scene, Williams takes off on one of his famous spontaneous stream-of-consciousness riffs that, unfortunately, only lasts about ten seconds but it is truly a riot.

    This is a very funny film. Exceptionally funny, in fact. You don't have to agree that homosexuality is normal in order to enjoy this film for its sheer hilarity. If, like me, you can get past your moral objections to homosexual behavior long enough, you will love this laugh-fest....more info
  • Review of the Birdcage
    The movie is one of Robin Williams better movies. I also liked the role that Gene Hackman played. Nathen Lane was great in his role....more info
  • They'll recognize us!....Not neccessarily
    This movie is hilarious and I never get upset no matter how many times it's played on cable because it's funny every time. Plot: Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are a gay couple who own a drag club. The Robin Williams character has a son who is getting married to a girl with super conservative parents. The plan is to have the girl's parents over for dinner and that's when everything gets crazy. Decorators scramble to rid their house of 'gay' looking art and statues. Robin Williams attempts to coach Nathan Lane on how to act "straight" and finally Nathan Lane gives up and dresses in drag and plays the 'wife' and everything just gets funnier from there. The timing of the movie is awesome and the story itself has a very good message. I think a lot of people, gay or straight will enjoy this movie. I would not call this a 'family' movie but unless parents are very uptight and strict there is nothing really racy in the movie and it should be ok for older kids. I think also it has a good message in the sense that the movie really teaches us that loving families are not limited by gender. In the movie Nathan Lane makes a far more loving 'mom' to the son than his own biological mother! Of course there is also my favorite line which I made the title of my review, you have to see the movie to understand this line but once you do, you'll see why "Not neccessarily" is one of the funniest lines of all time! ...more info
  • The Birdcage: A Humorous Spin on a Serious Topic
    The Birdcage is a hilarious look at the life of a homosexual couple living above their club in Miami Beach. When their son comes to visit, he shares that he is engaged to be married and that his fiance's family is coming to meet them. The movie then centers around the hilarious transformation that the Goldman family goes through to "de-homosexualize" their home and appearances.

    The most admirable character in this movie is Albert, the overly dramatic and effeminate drag queen. He is beloved by everyone in the community, as demonstrated by his visit to the market, and doesn't abandon who he is even when the conservative Republican family comes to their home. Albert is not ashamed of who he is and doesn't change himself to please anyone else.

    The Birdcage addresses and pokes fun at the issue of homosexuality, but the underlying message is more profound than noticed at first glance....more info
  • Get into the cage...
    Robbin Williams plays a gay caberet owner whose partner played BRILLIANTLY by Nathan Lane is the main attraction. You see, Robin Williams charactor had a son back in college (Dan Futterman) and his son is getting married..but his fiance's parents (her father played by Gene Hackman) are a little straight laced and won't appretiate the lifestyle of his son-in-law to be's parents, so Robin and Nathan agree to "play it straight" and this includes Nathan dressing up as a woman (nothing new for his charactor) but it's getting to that point that is histerical! And may I add that, while not having a HUGE role, Hank Azaria as the gay butler is just brilliant! This film has laughs from start to finish and just never stops. I loved it, have watched it over and over and will continue to watch it until something better (not gonna happen) comes along!...more info
  • Gets More Annoying With Time
    The more I watch "Birdcage" the more it annoys me. The REALLY slow pacing of the story, not to mention the absolutely obnoxious son of two gay men who seem so I'll suited to one another, and Nathan Lane's over-the-top, whinning queen act get tired very fast. What exactly is so funny about two gay men having to hide everything about themselves to please a hateful, right-wing Republican? So if you're a straight, WASP-ish Republican bigot, then all is good? Why do gay men always have to be the brunt of the joke? Maybe straight audiences in 1996 thought this was hysterical, but in 2008 it's just plain old. ...more info
  • Its a good remake, overall
    I am loyal to the very first "La Cage Aux Folles" which came out in 1978, I have to admit. However, if I had been asked whom should be in a remake of this movie, I definitely would have put Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in it. Very well casted. I do think, however, that the acting on these two guys' parts was a little overdone. In the original, even though Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault were very campy, it never seemed like it was overacted. Williams and Lane were a bit too much for me.

    However, when it comes to Hank Azaria's part as Agador, that was as funny as it gets. He DOES steal every scene he's in, and, as mentioned in a previous review, thats pretty hard to do with the larger-than-life actors Williams and Lane. Frankly, I think Azaria's part was what probably saved this movie. I might also mention that Gene Hackman in drag is pretty hysterical too - he looks halfway decent as a girl, I must admit....more info
  • One of the funniest comedies ever made, and one of my favorites!
    It never fails. No matter what mood I am in, this film can make me laugh till I cry. I can be in the nastiest, most foul mood ever, pop in this DVD, and laugh my head off. It never gets old, either. Watching the entire cast at the top of their game is quite a treat. Mike Nichols struck comic gold with this film in 1996. I saw it in the theatres when it came out, and it has been a favorite of mine ever since! Why this film wasn't nominated for several Oscars is beyond me. You'll never see a funnier comedy of errors than this! Well, some of you may disagree, but as far as I am concerned, this film takes the cake!

    For those who are offended by the subject matter, get over yourself and watch the film. Give it a chance. You may find yourself rolling in the floor....more info
  • Great!
    Brand new movie, still in packaging. I watched the movie the same night I received it. The DVD was in perfect condition. I received this movie shortly after I ordered. The delivery was fast!...more info
  • Hilarious!
    The Birdcage is one of those comedies I am sure some people with love and others will hate. I thoroughly enjoy this movie every time I watch it, and it was no different this time - except it looked and sounded better than ever by dint of it now being on DVD (naturally!)
    For starters, we have a gay couple comprised of Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. Robin Williams (Armand) has a unique gift, for he can be both outlandish with his talent, or he can be subtle and understated. It is the latter quality which he brings to The Birdcage, with only small offerings of his more traditional high-energy humour, and he has a charm which endears him in every movie he appears in. Put him alongside the limp-wristed extrovert Albert (Nathan Lane), who screams when he damages toast, and you have a recipe for some outrageous comedy which director Mike Nichols stirs with an expert wooden spoon.
    In a nutshell, this unlikely couple must pretend to be man and woman to receive the parents of Armand's son's fianc¨¦ as guests for a first encounter. For, in a previous state of mind Armand did produce a son with a woman. The real twist is that the father of his son's fianc¨¦ is no less than Senator Kevin Keeley, played wonderfully by Gene Hackman. Not only must the fact that Armand is gay be hidden, but his partner Albert transforms into a woman in a way which the Senator finds appealing. A wig and and a dress is all that is needed for Albert, who given his nature is overly feminine anyway. The Senator mistakes this ludicrous man as being a stout, moral (if homely) looking woman and takes a liking to her. Mingle in an absolutely fall-over funny performance from Hank Azaria (who steals any scene he is in) and the stage is set for a very entertaining two hours or so.
    ...more info
  • Under any title -- these films are winners
    I loved the French film La Cage Aux Folles when it was made and The Birdcage is a wonderful remake. Both films are worth owning.
    Whenever I need a laugh, I watch The Birdcage because every performance is spot on. It makes you laugh until you cry and it makes you cry because the love of the two men for their "son" is so poignant. Both versions of the story are highly entertaining....more info
  • Very funny remake
    (4.5/5 stars) Excellent cast and inspired writing make this remake of the classic French comedy, "La Cage aux folles," a terrific movie. Nathan Lane is perfect as Albert Goldman, a cross-dressing cabaret performer with a flair for the dramatic. His husband, Armand Goldman (or is it Coleman?), is played with understated brilliance by Robin Williams. When Armand's son, Val, wants to bring home his girlfriend, Barbara(Calista Flockhart), a situation comedy ensues. Also wonderfully cast are Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest as Barbara's parents and Hank Azaria as Agador the housekeeper in a performance that is not to be missed. This is one of the funniest films I have seen and I recommend it highly to adults. ...more info
  • The Birdcage
    grerat fun. Nathan Lane is out of control and fun. Gene Hackman never looked better!...more info
  • Nathan Lane and Robin Williams need I say more!
    Nathan Lane and Robin Williams need I say more! The movie will have you laughing with tears in your eyes. Seeing Gene Hackman in drag is worth the price of the movie....more info
  • The Birdcage
    I love this movie! I remember seeing it in the movie theaters when it came out. The cast is hilarious and so is the plot. ...more info
  • Great movie; excellent service
    I love this movie. I was so happy to be able to order it at a good price and receive it in a timely manner. I recommend not only the dvd version but ordering it from this vendor....more info
  • Funny!
    This is a very funny movie. It has all the stereotypes . . the masculine and the feminine gays, the straight son, the understanding mother, the right wing idiot, the cute daughter, and the rest of them, but everything and everyone plays well together. It's addictive, you can't see it just once....more info
  • Review of Birdcage
    I always thought that the movie was greatest movie of Robin Williams. I had been looking for aDVD of the movie for quite sometime now but was always looking in stores who carried DVD's. Then it dawned on me. Look on I'm glad I did....more info
  • When the bird hits the fan.
    The Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane is a funny film but not the best. This film is a bit dated and you kind of lose interest after an hour. Calista Flockhart stars in this as well, pre-Ally McBeal. This comedy is a mixed bag for me....more info
  • Excellent in every way...
    Funny, entertaining & would recommend to anyone who like a good laugh!!!!...more info
  • Great
    was bought as a gift for a friend, don't know of the condition but I received it quickly....more info
  • An Entertaining Remake of La Cage Aux Folles
    This is one movie that did translate well from the European original to an Americanized version. Nathan Lane and Robin Williams do a great job as Albert and Armand. Williams, in fact, gives a surprisingly subdued, subtle performance, letting Nathan Lane be the outrageous one. However, the scene stealer was Hank Azaria as the Latino house boy--he is absolutely hilarious. Gene Hackman is great as the ultra-conservative Senator Keeley, while Dianne Wiest plays his long-suffering wife to perfection. This film has a great soundtrack as well. I saw this film in the theater, and at the time it came out, Christine Baranski was starring in the sitcom "Cybil." As soon as her character came on screen, people cracked up because they associated her with the role of the alcoholic, funnily caustic Maryann Thorpe. I'll always have great affection for the original "La Cage" but this remake is extremely good and very entertaining....more info
  • The Birdcage
    I have always loved Robin Williams and this is a classic. Nathan Lane is fall down hysterical as Albert. The supporting cast is superb. Hank who plays Agador nails it.
    I highly recommend this DVD!!!...more info
    THE BIRDCAGE is one marvelously entertaining and well done comedy. Based on the popular French farce LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, screenwriter Elaine May and director Mike Nichols have fashioned a hilarious tale of love, family and acceptance, infused with some uproarious scenes, superb acting and a heart bigger than all of Miami!
    The Oscars in 1996 ignored some of the best performances on screen: Nathan Lane is picture perfect as Albert, the feminine side of a relationship with the equally marvelous Robin Williams. Lane's portrayal is the heart of the movie, and Oscar blew it in neglecting a nomination. Likewise, Hank Azaria as Abagor Spartacus is just brilliant as their Guatemalan "maid", and he was sorely overlooked as well. How about the usually staid Gene Hackman bringing such intelligence and life to an otherwise obnoxious character--his getup in the end is priceless, especially when he moans that nobody wants to dance with him...and it's because I'm in white..I told them I looked fat in white!! Dianne Weist as his stuffy wife is great, as are Calista Flockhart and Dan Futterman as the youngsters involved. Futterman is especially impressive, and I'm surprised he hasn't had a better career.
    THE BIRDCAGE is not a "gay" film per se; it's a film about love, commitment, acceptance and the ability to love in spite of what sex one chooses to love. A brilliant comedy that is one of the most entertaining films I've seen in quite some time. Sorry I waited so long to see it!!!...more info
  • The Birdcage
    This is the BEST comedy I have seen in years. I recomend this movie to anyone....more info