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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2 nominations. See more awards »
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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?


Robert Altman always referred to this as his boldest work. See more »


The chase with Shaft begins with a closeup of the traffic light at which Suzanne is waiting in the Road Runner. When the light changes from red to green there's a slight change in the shape and position of the clouds in the background, indicating an edit. See more »


Officer Douglas Breen: [At the zoo: throwing Brewster, with his expensive camera, into some bushes] Get over in there!
Officer Douglas Breen: [Holding up a small cylindrical paper object] You know what this is?
Brewster McCloud: A poorly rolled cigarette.
Officer Douglas Breen: It's a marijuana cigarette. It's dope. It's dope I picked up after I saw you drop it outta' your pocket. You give me that camera and we'll forget this little matter. If ya' don't, it's one to ten. So take your pick.
Brewster McCloud: Mister, one of us is crazy.
Officer Douglas Breen: Oh, yeah?
[Pulls out his badge and holds it out]
Officer Douglas Breen: "Breen." "...
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 Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005) See more »


White Feather Wings
Written by John Phillips
Performed by Merry Clayton
See more »

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User Reviews

Classic Cult Classic: For the Birds
15 September 2003 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

This movie is a million things at once. Some may find that as a bit of a turn-off, but then that's what a cult classic film is really about, isn't it?

Brewster McCloud is a reclusive boy who lives in the basement of the Houston Astrodome. He has a short job as chauffeur for a miserly old man. He is looked down upon for his meek appearance and his quiet manner. He dreams of building himself a set of wings and using those to fly away from all this suffering.

That's how the film starts, anyway. There are three basic stories in the movie: (1) Brewster McCloud's coming-of-age story, (2) the parallel metaphor of Brewster McCloud's dream of flying away from worldly sorrow, and (3) the murders of people who mistreat Brewster and who all die with raven droppings on their faces.

The real irony of this film is how the character of the Lecturer keeps pointing out similarities between the characters and certain birds, and yet the ending comes around, and we learn how unlike birds we are. There is so much information about birds, you wonder if this was an adult remake of an after-school special.

Overall, I'll have to use the word most of the other reviewers have used: quirky. There are things which are very different. There is the Pythonesque beginning where, as a woman sings the National Anthem and the credits roll, she stops, tells the band to try again in the right key, and the credits restart as well as the singing. There are small bits such as when a police officer holds up a lighter when his partner says there's only one way to know for sure if there's marijuana in a cigarette. And there is my favorite character, the Lecturer, who lectures the audience about the behavior of birds while he himself starts making strange noises and begins pecking at seeds...

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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