6.9/10
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34 user 11 critic

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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(novel), (screenplay)
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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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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 | Romance

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pookie  »

Box Office

Gross:

$13,982,357 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carrie Snodgress and Elizabeth Hartman auditioned for Liza Minneli's role. 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

'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

Hey Liley, Liley Lo
(uncredited)
based on traditional Caribbean folk song
Written by Elizabeth Austin & Alan Lomax
See more »

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User Reviews

Not a comedy, but the reason Liza is where she is!
11 December 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

For years, I put off watching this film, and when I finally did turn it on, the title and everything I'd read about it led me to think that I was going to be seeing a classic late sixties type comedy on the general level of THE TIGER MAKES OUT, THE HEARTBREAK KID and GOODBYE COLUMBUS. Instead, I was treated to a moving, somber, slow paced but intriguing story of two very ordinary and very real people. There are few genuine laughs, but even fewer false notes in this obscure little gem that probably would have been totally forgotten, if not for Liza Minelli.

In recent years, Liza's talents seem to have gotten all but lost in all the hype and scandal around her. People remember that she's her mother's daughter, they remember that she was in rehab, they remember her reputation for marrying gay men and beating them up, and they remember cartoon like portrayals of her in places like the recent Broadway show, THE BOY FROM OZ. What they don't remember is that, besides being a great singer, Liza is truly a sensational actress.

Film work is far more eternal than any other kind, in entertainment, especially these days when everything is on video, and there are hundreds of premium movie stations available. But while Judy Garland might have done more movies before she was twenty than her daughter did, in her entire life up to this point, I'm not sure if Judy ever gave a performance that was as real, as sensitive and as genuine as Liza's performance here.

If you ever think that Liza's success was due to her mother, remember that Judy had two other children who tried, but didn't quite succeed in the forever fickle entertainment industry. Then watch this film, that a relatively inexperienced Liza did when she was in her early twenties, and ask yourself if she deserves her success.


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