6.9/10
1,456
32 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Starting Over (1979)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A divorced man falls in love, but somehow he can't get over his ex-wife. This affects his love life in comic ways. Based on Dan Wakefield's novel.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh, Candice Bergen
Drama | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Ella Connors is a single woman who gets pressured to sell her failing cattle farm to her corrupt ex suitor, Jacob Ewing. She asks for help from her neighbor, Frank Athearn. As Ella and ... See full summary »

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: James Caan, Jane Fonda, Jason Robards
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Junie Moon's face has been disfigured by ill-gotten burns, and depends on her friends and her with to cope. She, Warren, and Arthur leave the hospital - they yearn for independence - and ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Liza Minnelli, Ken Howard, Robert Moore
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

American Walter Elbertson, in his late teens, is feeling lost within his family of overachievers. Thirty-something Englishwoman Lila Fisher is emotionally repressed. The two meet on their ... See full summary »

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Maggie Smith, Timothy Bottoms, Don Jaime de Mora y Aragón
Dream Lover (1986)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

After she's been attacked in her apartment, Cathy starts reliving the event in her dreams. She seeks help at a sleep disorder research center, but in doing so she encounters some unexpected... See full summary »

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Kristy McNichol, Ben Masters, Paul Shenar
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Can a bickering odd couple in Manhattan become friends and maybe more? Owlish Felix is an unpublished writer who vents his frustration by reporting to the super that the woman in a ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Barbra Streisand, George Segal, Robert Klein
Rollover (1981)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An Arab oil organization devises a plan to wreck the world economy in order to cause anarchy and chaos.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Jane Fonda, Kris Kristofferson, Hume Cronyn
Orphans (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The two brothers Treat and Philip lived alone since they were kids. Interdependent they dwell in a loft house and live on little thefts, until an aging minor criminal moves in with them and takes over the role of a father.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Albert Finney, Matthew Modine, Kevin Anderson
Klute (1971)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Richard and Priscilla Parker's lives take a turn for the better when Eddy and Kay move into the house next door. Eddy's a risk taker and shows his new neighbours how to enjoy life at the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Kevin Spacey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Three years after his divorce from his model-wife is the psychologist Larry Livingstone ready for a new commitment. He falls in love with the young widow Beth who has two children. But Beth... See full summary »

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Alice Krige, Farrah Fawcett
Human Desire (1954)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in a sordid affair with a co-worker's wife and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pookie  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original novel, the story takes place over three years. This was shortened to a single school year for the movie. 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.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The House of The Rising Sun
(uncredited)
Traditional American folk song
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


53 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ebert Being a Jerk wmarkley
What does the title mean? MJBRLD
On TCM Jan 27/08 patchofblue65
Bloopers and Trivia dasein451
Locales where the Sterile Cuckoo was Filmed. definitedoll
The Friend Charlie Lady-Mercedes
Discuss The Sterile Cuckoo (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?