The Birdcage

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Mike Nichols
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 25 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

# We are family

# I got all my sisters with me

# We are family

# Get up, everybody, and sing

# We are family

# I got all my sisters with me

Agador, where is Starina?

She goes on in 5 minutes.

# Get up, everybody, and sing

# Everyone can see we're together

# As we walk on by

# And we fly just like birds of a feather

# I won't tell no lie

# All of the people around us they say

# Can they be that close

# Let me state for the record

# We're giving love in a family dose


The Kennedys are

here again for supper.

Third time this week.

Do we pick up their tab?


No, just the younger ones.

Wish we'd get Ted.

Give them free coffee.

Leave room for coffee.

Where's Starina?

Agador said she'd be down in five.

# We are family

# Get up, everybody, and sing

# We are family

Starina won't go on.

She's still in her robe.


I don't know what happened.

Go upstairs. Try to get her ready.

I'll be right up. Go!

She won't.

Merde! Have Carmen get ready to do

Starina's number, just in case.

Honey, please. You got to

get dressed for me. Please!

No, Agador.

Victoria Page will not dance

the Dance of the Red Shoes tonight.

Or any other night.

How about just your stockings?


Victoria Page is dead.

Watch how nice

I'm gonna put it for you.

You know how she died?


weeping for her lover.

Darling, have you eaten?

You look haggard.


You got to help me a little.

- What is this?

- Supplements.

I bought them for Armand, but...

that's all over now.




What are you...?

Albert, stop!

- Open up, baby.

- Get out!

- Open it, Albert!

- Go away!

I don't want him to see me.

I'm hideous!


- Go away!


I'm calling 911!

Abre la puerta!


- Open the door!

- I'm trying, but he's crazy.


- Oh, my God!


Are you trying to ruin me?

Don't look at me.

I'm hideous!


Fat and hideous.

Agador, I'm in such pain.

I know, honey.

It's gonna pass.

No! It will never pass.

I hate my life.

Are you crazy?

There is a packed house

out there.

That's all I am to you--

a meal ticket.

- I can't stand this.

- Forget about my feelings.

Never mind about my suffering.

It's just about your show.

Not even our show.

Your show.

I want a palimony agreement.


I don't have one on me now.

Is tomorrow all right?

- Don't use that tone to me.

- What tone?

That sarcastic, contemptuous tone

that means...

you know everything

because you're a man...

and I know nothing

because I'm a woman.

- You're not a woman.

- Oh, you bastard!

Everybody, take it easy.

Whatever I am, he made me.

I was adorable once--

young and full of hope.

Now, look at me.

I'm this short...

fat, insecure,

middle-aged thing!

I made you short?


What do I do?

The number is nearly over.

Do I send Carmen on?

We have no choice.

- Yes.

- No! Not Carmen!

How dare you?

- Do it!

- No! No!

- Cyril, go.

- Please.

I will go on.

The people have come to see Starina.

Starina will not disappoint them,

even in this state.

Put on the mambo number.

Tell Beatrice and Dante to get

the staircase ready. Go!

- My hands are shaking.

- That's okay.

Agador, I need some Pirin tablets.


- What are you taking?

- Nothing.

Just one, okay?

One before the show...

and one after.

No more, so don't ask.

Thank you, my darling Agador.

I'm gonna put

this here for you.


Ignore the bad things.

This room is so crowded. Can I have

a moment to myself to prepare?

Let's leave her.

Come on.

- What are you doing?

- What?

Why are you giving him drugs?

What the hell are Pirin tablets?

It's aspirin

with the 'a' and 's' scraped off.

- What a brilliant idea.

- I know.

I don't believe it.

You're shaving your chest now?

I didn't have time to wax.

Indifference is the most awful thing

in the world.

I've done everything I could

to make myself attractive for you.

I've lost and gained

over a hundred pounds in the last year.

I've yo-yoed from a 16

to a 10 to a 16...

and you've never said a word.

Not one hint of encouragement.

Not one scrap of validation.

If not for the Pirin tablets,

I don't think I could go on.

If you don't finish making up,

I'm going to kill myself.

You don't love me anymore.

Oh, sh*t.

- There's a man in your life.

- What?

I sense it.

And I saw

a bottle of white wine...

chilling in the refrigerator.

I only drink red.

And so do you.

There's no man.

I'm switching to white

because red has tannins.

Now there are 150 people out there,

half of them Kennedys, waiting for you.

Waiting to applaud you.

To applaud the great Starina.


- What do you do while I'm onstage?

- Nothing. I lie here.

Where do you go while I'm killing

myself onstage? I know that look.

Go ahead, hit me.

Go on.

That's what you want to do.

Do it. Hit me.

Go on, hit me.


Ladies and gentlemen...

the one, the only...

the incomparable Starina.

Thank you

and welcome to The Birdcage.

As you see, I've just gotten back

from safari. I picked up a new muff.

Look, it comes with accessories.

Don't look at me like that.

I didn't kill him.

He died and left me everything.

Where are the adorable couple

celebrating their anniversary?

Mon congrats, you sweeties.

I may have something

to celebrate myself very soon.

I think I have found the one.


You know I hate to brag, but...

# I know this grocery clerk

# Unprepossessing

# Some think the boy's a jerk

Excuse me.


What do you think?

You look like Lucy's stunt double.

I'm a combination

of Lucy and Ricky.

And it's terrifying. Get out

the white wine and an ice bucket...

chill two glasses

and take the night off.

Why do you talk to me

like I'm your servant?

Because you're

our faithful houseman. Go!

My father was the shaman

of his tribe. Okay?

My mother was

the high priestess.

Then why the hell did

they move to New Jersey?

I don't know. They were stupid.

They want me to have a career.

Hello? A career? When will you

let me audition for you again?

When you have talent. Take that wig off,

or I'll tell Albert you wore it.

You do that, I'll tell him you're

seeing someone while he's onstage.

I have two words for you:

green card.

Now go! And leave

the front door unlocked.

You're such a beast to everybody.

Come on, Gloria.

You keep getting better looking.

Thank you.

So do you.

Oh, no. Really?

I feel bloated.

- You think I look good?

- You look great.

That's very sweet.

I'm glad you cut your hair.

- Did you eat?

- Yes.

Something to drink?

- Beer, if you have it.

- I do not. Talk about bloat.

White wine.


- How long has Albert been on?

- He just went on.

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Elaine May

Elaine Iva May (née Berlin; born April 21, 1932) is an American screenwriter, film director, actress, and comedienne. She made her initial impact in the 1950s from her improvisational comedy routines with Mike Nichols, performing as Nichols and May. After her duo with Nichols ended, May subsequently developed a career as a director and screenwriter. Her screenwriting has been twice nominated for the Academy Award, for Heaven Can Wait (1978) and the Nichols-directed Primary Colors (1998). May is celebrated for the string of films she directed in the 1970s: her 1971 black comedy A New Leaf, in which she also starred; her 1972 dark romantic comedy The Heartbreak Kid; and her 1976 gritty drama Mikey and Nicky, starring John Cassavetes and Peter Falk. In 1996, she reunited with Nichols to write the screenplay for The Birdcage, directed by Nichols. After studying acting with theater coach Maria Ouspenskaya in Los Angeles, she moved to Chicago in 1955 and became a founding member of the Compass Players, an improvisational theater group. May began working alongside Nichols, who was also in the group, and together they began writing and performing their own comedy sketches, which were enormously popular. In 1957 they both quit the group to form their own stage act, Nichols and May, in New York. Jack Rollins, who produced most of Woody Allen's films, said their act was "so startling, so new, as fresh as could be. I was stunned by how really good they were."They performed nightly to mostly sold-out shows, in addition to making TV appearances and radio broadcasts. In their comedy act, they created satirical clichés and character types which made fun of the new intellectual, cultural, and social order that was just emerging at the time. In doing so, she was instrumental in removing the stereotype of women being unable to succeed at live comedy. Together, they became an inspiration to many younger comedians, including Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin. After four years, at the height of their fame, they decided to discontinue their act. May became a screenwriter and playwright, along with acting and directing. Their relatively brief time together as comedy stars led New York talk show host Dick Cavett to call their act "one of the comic meteors in the sky." Gerald Nachman noted that "Nichols and May are perhaps the most ardently missed of all the satirical comedians of their era." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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