Bird on a Wire

Published November 7, 2020

Bird on a Wire

Film info

  • Title Bird on a Wire
  • Director John Badham
  • Year 1990
  • Run time 1hr 50m
  • Genres Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance
  • Tagline He's every woman's dream and one woman's nightmare

Hiding under the FBI Witness Protection Program, Rick Jarmin gets nervous when old flame Marianne Graves recognises him. But before he can assume a new identity, the man he put in jail is released and comes to pay his respects. Rick and Marianne find themselves thrown together on an exhilarating cross-country scramble, barley evading the gangsters, police and an amorous veterinarian. Their whirlwind travels eventually lead to an unforgettable climax in an elaborate zoo exhibit.

Live blog

Time Comment
5:04 I don’t enjoy the pig with a machine gun.
11:10 Can you just go around demanding to see people’s tattoos?
14:45 Cute little floppy disk!
16:46 Dude, he’s walking on top of the big wheel? That’s terrifying.
20:36 It is UNACCEPTABLE that they shot Marvin.
27:07 “You have that mom tone.” “I’m a lawyer. I have that lawyer tone.”
35:09 I mean, she knows she’s on the run from some people and has opted to buy a dress.
37:04 She IS an attorney.
39:59 TRAIN!
48:56 I like Goldie being smug in the background as Mel camps it up.
55:19 “Get your face out of my sidewalk.”
1:06:19 He’s only just got the bullets out of his ass, now they’re shooting at him again!
1:16:45 I don’t think I could sleep in a bed in a room that I’d just had a fight with a cockroach in.
1:27:43 “You didn’t see us, Bob, okay?” BOB!
1:29:26 Feels a bit mean waking all the animals up.
1:39:35 Monkey with a gun!
1:47:35 Why are the credits going down?? It’s really freaking me out.


Considering this was made in 1990, everything about this movie has a hardcore 80s feel to it - the music, the technology, the way the action unfolds. It’s a good story though and it stands the test of time. I liked that Goldie Hawn isn’t a completely useless companion and I quite like how they had to discover each other again after such a long time apart (and a significant number of identities for him).

The only downside to the film, really, is the ending. Everything I’ve read about the movie suggests that the finale in the zoo was supposed to be this big, innovative, unique selling point, but I didn’t like it. It felt very different to the rest of the film, and took quite horrific turns here and there. And of course it meant there was added snakes where there didn’t need to be.

So overall, an entertaining film that I was really enjoying until the final twenty minutes.

Rating: 3 / 5

← Previous Wedding Crashers
Next → Failure to Launch