R 1996 | 119 mins | Comedy
How far would you go to make your kid happy? If you answered "put on a dress, a wig, some lipstick and dance with a U.S. Senator," congratulations! You're fit to be a gay dad! Robin Williams and Nathan Lane combine pratfalls, transvestite jokes and just enough sweetness to turn this American adaptation of "La Cage Aux Folles" into a modern comedy classic. Added bonus: this is the movie that introduced the world to Hank Azaria's incredible man-gams.
Trailers + Extras
Top 10 Fun Facts
- Director Mike Nichols insisted that improv-happy actors Robin Williams and Nathan Lane give him one clean take as written in the script before letting loose with an onslaught of ad-libs. Sort of like eating all your broccoli so your mom will fork over the Jell-O.
- Robin Williams was originally cast as over-the-top Albert, but decided he'd rather play the more serious role of Armand. Two years later he picked up an Academy Award for his dramatic work in Good Will Hunting. Who knew the short road to Oscar gold was putting Nathan Lane in a wig?
- Early drafts of the script featured the title Birds of a Feather. We would have gone with Throw Momma from the Gay Nightclub.
- The Birdcage became Robin Williams' seventh film to gross over $100 million at the U.S. box office. The World According to Garp was not one of the first six.
- Hank Azaria based the character of Agador on his grandmother. Although it's decidedly less funny when Nana falls down because she's not used to wearing shoes.
- There's another version of the Agador Spartacus we all know and love: Azaria came up with two distinct voices of the character, one deeper and more masculine than the other. A gay friend convinced him to go with the higher-pitched choice, calling it "more realistic." We're not sure if that assessment included the half-shirt.
- David Alan Grier was cast as Albert and Armand's butler, but concerns about racial insensitivity led producers to eliminate the character from the script. Instead they gave more screen time to Agador Spartacus - who was played by a white guy. Hooray for racial sensitivity!
- Continuity crazies: when Armand discovers that his son is getting married, he quickly pounds his entire glass of wine - but in the next take, the glass has magically refilled itself. If anyone knows where to find a glass like that, let us know.
- Heads up, Broadway nerds: Nathan Lane's drag queen persona Starina performs a song called "Can That Boy Foxtrot," a musical number cut from the 1971 Stephen Sondheim stage show "Follies."
- The Birdcage earned high marks from The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), who praised the film for "going beyond the stereotypes to see the characters' depth and humanity." They had no comment about Robin Williams' mustache.