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Brewster McCloud (1970)

R  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy  |  18 August 1971 (France)
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An introverted loner living in the bowels of the Astrodome plots to develop - with the aid of a mysterious guardian angel - a pair of wings that will help him fly.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brewster McCloud
Det. Lt. Frank Shaft
Suzanne Davis
The Lecturer
Abraham Wright
Officer Johnson
Daphne Heap
Officer Hines
G. Wood ...
Det. Capt. Crandall
Officer Douglas Breen
Angelin Johnson ...
Mrs. Breen
Dean Goss ...
Officer Ledbetter


Brewster is an owlish, intellectual boy who lives in a fallout shelter of the Houston Astrodome. He has a dream: to take flight within the confines of the stadium. Brewster tells those he trusts of his dream, but displays a unique way of treating others who do not fit within his plans. When the fateful day arrives, and he enters the dome with his fanciful construction of bird wings, Brewster is surrounded by the police. Will he be caught before he attempts to fly? Written by Rick Gregory <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Something else" from the director of M*A*S*H See more »


Comedy | Fantasy


R | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

18 August 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Brewster McCloud's (Sexy) Flying Machine  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the film, most of the greenspace surrounding the Astrodome was undeveloped (e.g. where Fannin and Knight Road intersect, along with a stretch of Holly Hall Road) back in 1970 - most of the area surrounding the Astrodome has been developed, either as retail or as part of the Texas Medical Center. See more »


In final scene, as Louise is leaving the Astrodome, and the large, roll-up door opens for her, revealing bright daylight, a stage-hand can be seen operating the door at the far right edge of the scene. This is only visible on wide-screen format; probably only on the LaserDisc. See more »


The Lecturer: I forgot the opening line.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are done twice, followed by the MGM lion opening his mouth to Auberjonois' voice saying, "I forgot the opening line". The opening credits are superimposed over Daphne Heap (Margaret Hamilton) rehearsing "The Star-Spangled Banner" with a marching band in the Astrodome. She stops the song and accuses the band of being on the wrong key. The band begins again, and the credits also start over, with the same titles repeated with the "better" version of the song. One of the opening credits reads: "Title song by Francis Scott Key" See more »


Referenced in Forrest Gump (1994) See more »


Brewster, Don't Blow Your Mind
by Peggy Lipton
See more »

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User Reviews

Bizarre, Unique, wonderful
22 September 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's hard to talk about a film as unparalleled as Brewster McCloud. It creates its own world out of element from the world we know so well. It plays with everything, including its self-consciousness about being a movie. It weaves together many threads into a lovely, heart-breaking snapshot of a moment in America.

The situation: The world has gone mad. The wicked witch is wearing the Ruby slippers, and has become a beloved social icon. Who wouldn't want to fly away?

Enter Brewster McCloud, a young man who plans to do just that. He is hiding out in the basement of the Astrodome in Houston, working on building his wings. The kind you wear. Like Icarus did. His plan is all feeling, very focused, but doesn't take him past the immediate "How?" He is under the tutelage and protection of a sort of Bird-Goddess/Angel (played by Sally Kellerman) who walks around wearing absolutely nothing but a red plastic raincoat. When she takes it off, you can see the long, curving scars where her wings were removed. She also drives around in a small red car whose license-plate reads "BRDSHT".

Lest you think I've given away too much, let me assure you this barely scratches the surface. Who is responsible for the wave of mysterious murders? What of the presidential candidate who's all over town, is he an assassination target? What is the connection with the horny young girl (Shelly Duvall, in her first movie role - I believe she was discovered by Altman when he attended a party at her house during the location shoot in Houston) who comes to visit Brewster but can't ever really get his attention?

A wonderful, under-rated film worth seeing.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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