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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 & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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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

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Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After winning the part of Pookie Adams, Liza Minnelli had a copy of the script sent over to her mother, Judy Garland, who read it and thought the part of this troubled, friendless girl would be an unattractive role for her daughter. Minnelli says she became defensive and argued that Pookie was a great role for any actress, but that Garland was personally concerned Minnelli identified too closely with Pookie. See more »

Goofs

Takes place in Upstate New York over the course of an entire school year, yet the location is never snowy, even in December, when all the deciduous trees still have their leaves. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Arrested Development: Queen B. (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
(uncredited)
Traditional English song
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User Reviews

 
Loneliness when you're with somebody, loneliness when you're apart
10 February 2001 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

A friend of mine once commented that she never liked the TV series "Courtship Of Eddie's Father" because "it was such a lonely little show." I understand what she meant. It wasn't that it was underpopulated, it just exuded an atmosphere of melancholia. "The Sterile Cuckoo" is much the same way. Even though Mary Ann "Pookie" Adams has found her guy, she can't escape the loneliness within. She's desperate, clinging, and beautiful in her need--but a pain to her college boyfriend who quickly outgrows her. There are monologues by Liza Minnelli in this film that are haunting (the story of her father spraying perfume on his bed, or the one with Pookie making a recording for her father out of a love letter she swiped). Most importantly, Minnelli makes Pookie easily identifiable to us. Sure, we get angry at her, frustrated with her childish games, but she never alienates the audience (or director Alan J. Pakula, who stays right with her on the bus as the film fades out). I don't think I've ever seen a portrait of loneliness and need conveyed as well as it is done here. Liza probably deserved an Oscar for this quiet tour-de-force--hers is an amazing achievement that has not been equaled. ***1/2 from ****


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