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Birdy [DVD] [2000]

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins, Sandy Baron, Karen Young
  • Directors: Alan Parker
  • Writers: Jack Behr, Sandy Kroopf, William Wharton
  • Producers: Alan Marshall, David Manson, Ned Kopp
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 17 April 2000
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RCOD
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,130 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Soar to new heights in this spellbinding movie starring Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage. To escape an irrational world, Birdy (Modine), a Vietnam veteran, sits in an almost catatonic state in an Armyhospital, where he has come to believe he is one of the feathered creatures of his boyhood dreams. In an effort to break Birdy's silence, his psychiatrist brings in Al Columbato (Cage), Birdy's loyalbest friend of his youth. Al desperately tries to reach the disturbed Birdy and bring him back to reality. The answer may lie in their youth, where the eccentric Birdy first donned wings and the happy-go-lucky Al helped him to fly.

From Amazon.co.uk

Based on William Wharton's transcendent novel of the same name, this film is about many things: friendship, war, and, of course, birds. The framing device is an effort by a horribly scarred combat soldier (Nicolas Cage) to break through to his best friend, Birdy (Matthew Modine), hospitalised after seemingly being driven mad by fighting in the Vietnam War. Cage then flashes back to their boyhood, where Birdy, a canary aficionado, was considered the school weirdo but managed to be a solid companion none the less. Directed by Alan Parker, it works best as a coming-of-age story, but misses the bizarre psychological transferences of the book, in which Birdy imagines himself within the world of canaries he creates in his bedroom at his parents' house. Modine is fine as an out-of-it misfit enraptured by his own little universe. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Alan Parker's 'Birdy' focuses on two war veterans struggling to cope with post traumatic stress disorder.
The movie is constucted cleverly as a series of flashbacks in which we see the two characters growing up together, one with a searing passion for birds, and the other with an infatuation for women. After their return from Vietnam, both men deal with their experiences in very different and bizarre ways.
The title character is committed to a mental hospital whilst his friend, who has suffered hoffific injuries in battle, fights to bring him back to sanity.
Matthew Modine and Nicholas Cage give arguably the best performances of their careers in this movie. Alan Parker's direction is faultless as he infuses aspects of humour with the heartbreaking reality of war. Peter Gabriel's soundtrack finishes the combination that makes this movie a 'must see'.
Alan Parker directed the movies 'Pink Floyd - The Wall' and 'Midnight Express' before 'Birdy'. He has since directed 'The Commitments' and 'Evita' amongst others.
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I'd forgotten how good this film is, I enjoyed it at the time of its release in 1984 but it is not often shown on television and I've not seen it since. However, it still holds up today, it's a real one-off that combines coming-of-age, anti-Vietnam-war and man-wanting-to-be-a-bird(?!?) themes to produce a thought provoking but still entertaining film.

Both the young Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine turn in wonderful performances that are dramatically intense but totally naturalistic and are backed up by a small, sympathetic supporting cast. And although the central premise of the film (that Modine's character wants to be a bird) is a bit 'out there' because of the acting and the story telling we completely accept this. Director Alan Parker does a great job in both directing his cast and in pacing the film so that the flashbacks inform our view of the characters and keep the plot unfolding. Visually the film is stunning, the 50s locations, cars and clothes are all perfect. There is also a pronounced contrast between the boy's 50s Philadelphia neighbourhood which is rich and colourful and the scenes in the mental hospital which are enclosed and stark, with subdued lighting and muted colours. A superb film, with great work from all concerned.
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If you have never seen this you've missed a treat. Its a story of male friendship, of two teenage boys in the USA a rare thing to see well protrayed. Oone of the boys becomes fixated upon the idea of being able to fly hence his nickname of birdy. It also relays the horror experienced by young men who get sent to war. The sound track is by Peter Gabriel and adds to the action well. Not quite as good as the book (which dealt with the World Wars rather than a later conflicts ised here) Never the less a touching film, it will have you laughing and crying. It is one of my all time favorites.
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This is a movie you want to see more then once, at least in my case. First of all I'm a great Peter Gabriel fan for the film music. I bought the record (not the CD) in 1985 and concider it as a little masterpiece.
Then Alan Parker, this guy made the film of Pink Floyd's masterpiece "The Wall" too, need I say more.
So if you like a really good story, beautiful directed and filmed by Alan PArker plus Peter Gabriël's music
you have to order this one, you will not be disappointed.
It's a keeper, a film you must have.
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By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
Birdy is, for me, one of the best films ever made about war and its effects, and it is also one of the most unusual. Very little of it takes place during the fighting in Vietnam, although the key sequence shot there is unforgettable and central to the meaning of the film. But much more time is devoted to creating a portrait of a marvellous friendship using flashbacks from a present in which both men are shown to be almost destroyed by their experiences. The theme of birds, and Birdy's obsession with them, is there right from the earliest age they are shown at (they're at high school), and could try the patience of some, although personally I loved it. The situation is not so different from Kes - a boy seeking a way out of his mundane environment through an involvement and protection of these other beings, with the fantasy element of flight being of primary appeal. This film goes much further from social realism in some truly startling imagery - the canary pursued by a cat, or Birdy lying in the aviary naked with the tiny yellow bird perching on his shoulder ... amazing images, the latter slightly unsettling because the obsession does seem to have got a bit out of control. There are many humorous episodes and no lack of adventure - jumping from rooftops in birdsuits, comical episodes with girls where the great interest of Al is set against the indifference of Birdy. The music adds just the right note to open the emotions to what we see, and Matthew Modine and Nicholas Cage are both outstanding and as moving as one could imagine. Modine has a difficult task to make Birdy believable, strange, challenging, yet ultimately fully deserving of affection and admiration, and he brings this off to a phenomenal degree. And Alan Parker's direction is bold, lyrical, full of strong images ... in short, the film is a classic and one of the most necessary on the subject of war and also of friendship.
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