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The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)

M  -  Comedy | Drama  -  22 October 1969 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,314 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 9 critic

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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Title: The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 3 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

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  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patty Duke was offered the part that eventually went to Liza Minnelli. See more »

Goofs

Jerry Payne twice refers to roommate Charlie Schumacher as "Charlie Schoonover." The character's name in the novel was "Harry Schoonover." See more »

Quotes

Charlie Schumacher: [privately debunking his ladies-man reputation to Jerry] I'll bet you and me are the only two guys in the dorm who've never been laid.
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Connections

Featured in And the Oscar Goes To... (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Hey Liley, Liley Lo
By Elizabeth Austin & Alan Lomax
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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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