A trifle self-indulgent - well, it is directed by Alan Parker - but never boring, this tells of the strange, trusting friendship between Birdy (Modine), an introverted teenager whose ideal companion is one of his pet birds, and his protective mate Al (Cage). Their relationship is explored both through flashback, larking about at school and fighting as Vietnam conscripts, and in the present: interned in an army mental hospital, the lonely Birdy appears to believe that he has actually turned into one of his own feathered pets. A military doctor has sent for Al in the hope that he can bring his pal back to his senses. But is he mad? Or can genuine freedom exist only in someone's head? You come away convinced that all that RD Laing stuff about the integrity of mad people ought not to be consigned to the dustbin of the '60s after all.