Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Comedy
  • 1996
  • 119 mins

Birdcage, The

Birdcage, The


Robin Williams swings his hips in a fluttery, farcical tale of family values and attitudes towards homosexuality. Nicely judged, generous performances and flamboyant costumes make this a sparkling treat


Colourful, camp, beautifully acted and brimming with gags, Mike Nichols The Birdcage sits comfortably in Hollywood's canon of unchallenging, 'It's OK to be gay' films. While mildly irritating much of America's gay community on its release, it was nevertheless a box office hit.

Based on the French play and film La Cage Aux Folles, and set in Miami's South Beach, Robin Williams dons gaudy shirts and tufty tash to play Armand Goldman, the owner of a successful drag night club. He lives with his boyfriend, the club's reigning star Albert (Nathan Lane). Their lives are turned upside down when Goldman's son - from his one heterosexual relationship years ago - Val (Dan Fullerton) announces his engagement to Barbara Keeley (a plumper Calista Flockhart), the daughter of a right-wing senator (Gene Hackman). Oblivious to their future son-in-law's unusual family set-up, Keeley's parents set out to visit Val's 'parents'. Meanwhile, Armand and Albert fret over how they are to fake 'normality'. And so the deftly choreographed comic chaos begins...

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, Calista Flockhart, Robin Williams, Dianne Wiest, Dan Futterman
  • Director: Mike Nichols
  • Writer: Elaine May, Edouard Molinaor, Francis Veber, Jean Poiret, Marcello Danon
  • Producer: Mike Nichols
  • Photographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

In a nutshell

Aside from Williams' blazing performance - his best in years - the film's real strength lies in director Mike Nichols' skill at eliciting believable performances, and, in turn, a proud, bold examination of the traditional nuclear family.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4


    Katell Quillévéré's family-based drama follows Suzanne, a teenage mother who falls for a gangster

  • Film4

    The Purge

    Ethan Hawke stars in James DeMonaco's drama about a sanctioned night where all crime is legal

  • Channel 4 Blog

    BIFA brings 2015 nominated films to cinemas

    BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4-backed films receive 41 nominations at the BIFAs

    Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register