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The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)

Two students from neighboring colleges in upstate New York are swept up in a tragic romantic interlude calling for a maturity of vision beyond their experience of capabilities. Pookie Adams... See full summary »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Pookie Adams
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Tim McIntire ...
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Storyline

Two students from neighboring colleges in upstate New York are swept up in a tragic romantic interlude calling for a maturity of vision beyond their experience of capabilities. Pookie Adams - a kooky, lonely misfit with no family and no place to go, insists on calling all those who won't participate in her world, "weirdos," clings to a quiet studious Jerry, who has the ability to make a choice of living in Pookie's private little world or be accepted by the society that Pookie rejects. Unwittingly, it is through their awkward relationship that Pookie actually prepares Jerry for the world of "weirdos" that she doesn't fit into or wish to be apart of. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

First love is beautiful hurt....if it happens to you once, you're lucky.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pookie  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Liza Minnelli's big telephone scene--where Pookie asks Jerry if she can spend her vacation with him at his dorm--was the first scene to be shot. Parts of this dramatic sequence were later used in the trailer, but with a different actor voicing Jerry. See more »

Goofs

The film's penultimate shot, that of Pookie looking out the bus window, was shot with the camera attached to the outside of the moving bus, but no one apparently thought about the trees lining the street behind the camera. The visual is shaken for a second after tree branches inadvertently brush up against the equipment. See more »

Quotes

'Pookie' Adams: Some people guzzle God like He was a keg of beer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in L.A. Law: The Unsterile Cuckoo (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

The House of The Rising Sun
(uncredited)
Traditional American folk song
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User Reviews

One of my favorite films of all time.
27 December 2000 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

I saw The Sterile Cuckoo by accident in 1970. I went to the movie theater to see True Grit because John Wayne had been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. The double feature that day included The Sterile Cuckoo and it changed the way I would view movies from that day on. I loved every second of this achingly beautiful story about first love for a gangly, awkward, pushy, scared girl and a shy young man. Liza Minnelli is so incredible in this role as she conveys the desperation of a woman who has probably never been loved and can't understand that it scares people away if you hold too tight and reveal too much. She has no game to play and it costs her. She is the whole movie as all the emotions of the part are captured in her beautiful, expressive eyes. Her monologue in the phone booth near the end of the film should be required viewing for anyone interested in persuing an acting career. Few before her or since have pulled off such a challenging feat with such seamless realism. She was fantastic in Cabaret because it showcased the full range of her talents but this is her best work as an actress.


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