Film: Bird On A Wire

"You come to Detroit and you rent a Beamer? That's like going to Germany and eating Jimmy Dean sausages!"
Rick Jarmin

Bird on a Wire is a 1990 feature film starring Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn, directed by John Badham, and shot mainly in British Columbia, Canada. The alley motorcycle chase scene was filmed in Victoria BC's Chinatown, in Fan Tan Alley.


This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Artistic License Geography: The "DETROIT TO RACINE" ferry. Putting aside the actual location of the shoot, Detroit is on the wrong side of Michigan for such a ferry to even be practical, while Racine doesn't even have a dock capable of handling such a ferry.
  • Convenient Escape Boat
  • Damsel in Distress: Marianne Graves.
  • Dirty Cop: Sorenson and Driggs.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Room Disservice: Attempted, but failed thanks to Rick being Genre Savvy enough to be suspicious.
  • Screaming Woman: Marianne.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: The ferry is obviously a BC Ferry, markings aside, to anyone familiar with the BC Ferry system. The scenery during the ferry ride will also be very familiar to habitual BC Ferry riders.
    • The scenes in Victoria, especially Fan Tan Alley.
    • The chasing motorcycle cop radios he's in pursuit through Fan Tan Alley.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rick Jarmin
  • No OSHA Compliance: The zoo in which the final battle takes place. Let's count the ways: 1) Mixing leopards and tigers in the same space. 2) putting chimpanzees and baboons in the same habitat then 3) allowing aforementioned leopards and tigers access to the monkey habitat 4) also, crocodiles and snakes and 5) rickety bridge/ledge that connects with 6) unsecured artificial waterfall that fills artificial lake filled with 6) wholly natural piranhas!
    • At least the rickety bridge was not intended for human use; but it may be dangerous for the animals as well.
  • Scenery Porn: The ferry ride.
  • Shot in the Ass
  • Shout-Out: Fan Tan Alley, where the motorcycle chase takes place, is actually referred to by the pursuers as Fan Tan Alley.
  • Skirts and Ladders
  • Titled After the Song: The title refers to the Leonard Cohen song "Bird on the Wire".
  • Vancouver Doubling (and Victoria doubling).