Every year in January, Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX holds a day-long movie marathon to celebrate the birth month of legendary movie star Nicolas Cage. The event has been going on for four years now and each year, programmer Greg MacLennan has tried to get Cage himself to go down to Austin and participate. But as you know, Nicolas Cage is a pretty busy guy and he can never find time to squeeze in a day-long marathon of his own movies.

This year’s C4GED event, which went down over the weekend in Austin, started like every other year’s CAGED: with the crowd singing happy birthday to their hero, Nicolas Cage. But this year’s C4GED would turn out to be very different – and very special.

In the middle of Happy Birthday, a secret guest arrived on stage. It was Nicolas Cage himself, finally on-hand to celebrate his life and work in the company of his biggest fans (via Alamo Drafthouse). After four long years, Greg MacLennan’s hard work finally paid off. Nic Cage received a warm round of applause, blew out his birthday candles and proceeded to make C4GED the greatest Nicolas Cage movie marathon in history.

Cage could have just shown up to receive a round of applause, gotten back in the limo and ridden back to the airport, but that wasn’t enough for him. Instead, the actor stuck around to wow the audience with a reading of the Poe story A Tell-Tale Heart, a story Cage says was very inspirational to him as a kid. Cage says Poe’s tale of madness helped inspire him to create some of his most manic, insane characters. Cage then went on to do a long Q&A, after which he sat down with his fans and watched a five-movie marathon of his films, chosen by him. In the middle of all that, Cage also had time to preside over a marriage proposal. Everyone had a great time as we can see in the photos below (credit: Heather Kennedy).

 Nicolas Cage Surprises Fans At Nic Cage Movie Marathon

Photo credit: Heather Kennedy

 Nicolas Cage Surprises Fans At Nic Cage Movie Marathon

Photo credit: Heather Kennedy

 Nicolas Cage Surprises Fans At Nic Cage Movie Marathon

Photo credit: Heather Kennedy

 Nicolas Cage Surprises Fans At Nic Cage Movie Marathon

Photo credit: Heather Kennedy

 Nicolas Cage Surprises Fans At Nic Cage Movie Marathon

Photo credit: Heather Kennedy

 Nicolas Cage Surprises Fans At Nic Cage Movie Marathon

Photo credit: Heather Kennedy

 Nicolas Cage Surprises Fans At Nic Cage Movie Marathon

Photo credit: Heather Kennedy

Cage’s self-curated marathon included the movies Bangkok Dangerous, Joe, Bringing Out the Dead, Army of One and Lord of War. Interestingly, Cage did not include his Oscar-winning performance in Leaving Las Vegas. He also elected to leave out some of his more hilariously over-the-top turns. It might have been amazing to watch Wicker Man with Nicolas Cage, but alas that did not happen.

Considering all of the not-so-great movies that he appears in, it’s easy to dismiss Cage as a performer who has fallen from a great height and become a bit of a clown. But the folks who show up to CAGED every year clearly don’t feel that way. That’s not ironic appreciation going on there, that’s genuine affection and admiration. It seems that Nic Cage was truly tickled to be so warmly received and appreciated by his fans, and it’s cool that he finally got to return the love in person.

Source: Alamo Drafthouse

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