53 user 42 critic

Brewster McCloud (1970)

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.



Watch Now

From $9.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing, their special talent and claim to fame. The youngest of the three falls in ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall, John Schuck
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but then gets into debt when Gould takes an unscheduled trip to Tijuana. As a final act of ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: George Segal, Elliott Gould, Ann Prentiss
Images (1972)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Schizophrenic housewife, engulfed by terrorizing apparitions, kills off each, unknowing if these demons are merely figments of her hallucinatory imagination or part of reality.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Susannah York, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a boy from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Sandy Dennis, Michael Burns, Susanne Benton
A Wedding (1978)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The daughter of a Louisville truck driver marries the scion of a very wealthy family, but reception at the family estate is boycotted by the invited guests.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Carol Burnett, Desi Arnaz Jr., Paul Dooley
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A cynical Buffalo Bill hires Sitting Bull to exploit him and add his credibility to the distorted view of history presented in his Wild West Show.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Paul Newman, Joel Grey, Kevin McCarthy
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A repressed, middle-aged divorced U.S. Greek meets a young singer through a dating service and becomes smitten.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Paul Dooley, Marta Heflin, Titos Vandis
Countdown (1967)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Desperate to reach the moon first, NASA sends a man and shelter separately, one-way. He must find it to survive; he can't return until Apollo is ready.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: James Caan, Robert Duvall, Joanna Moore
Secret Honor (1984)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A fictionalized former President Richard M. Nixon offers a solitary, stream-of-consciousness reflection on his life and political career - and the "true" reasons for the Watergate scandal and his resignation.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Philip Baker Hall
Quintet (1979)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

During a future ice age, dying humanity occupies its remaining time by playing a board game called "Quintet." For one small group, this obsession is not enough; they play the game with living pieces ... and only the winner survives.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Paul Newman, Vittorio Gassman, Fernando Rey
3 Women (1977)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's room-mate. Millie is ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Janice Rule
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois


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 <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Comedy | Fantasy


R | See all certifications »




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?


At the time this film was shot, there was no recognized film industry in Texas. After its release, the Texas Film Commission was created in 1971 as a division of the Texas Department of Commerce. The commission became part of the Office of the Texas Governor in 1991 when Gov.Ann Richards took office. See more »


When the Road Runner makes a left turn on Old Spanish Trail heading west, Johnson's police cruiser switches from a 1970 Plymouth Fury to a 1968 Fury III. See more »


Det. Lt. Frank Shaft: There are times, Bernard, when a man works best alone. This is one of those times.
Bernard: What did he mean by that?
Officer Johnson: I don't know, but it's something
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 »


Spoofs The Birds (1963) See more »


Promise Not To Tell
Written and Performed by John Phillips
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Strange, unique and wholly original; Altman at his best
30 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

Brewster Mccloud is one of Altman's lesser known films unfortunately. It was released the same year as Mash, with many cast members from that film. It stars Bud Cort as Brewster Mccloud. A quiet, withdrawn boy who lives below the Houston Astrodome in a fallout shelter . Brewster is constructing wings because he perceives himself to be a bird and wants to escape the mundanity and futility of human existence. His only link with society is a mysterious woman named Louise (played by Sally Kellerman)clad in a raincoat with an unusual bird perched on her shoulder. A murder subplot involves a series of bizarre deaths, with the victims found covered in bird excrement. Michael Murphy stars as Frank Shaft, an iconoclastic cop from San Francisco who is called in to investigate. Wearing blue contact lenses ( in an obvious parody of Steve Mcqueen's Bulitt). As the story progresses Brewster gets into many misadventures and falls for the tour guide at the Astrodome ( a young Shelly Duvall in her film debut). which is his eventual undoing. Brewster Mccloud is a very dark comedy and not for all tastes. Altman perfectly satirizes the emptiness of middle class values and the absurdity of human priorities and our futile attempt to break away in this clever parable. The cast is uniformly excellent as we would expect from any Altman film. Stacy Keach is hilarious in a scene stealing role at the begining. Also Altman's typical unconventional narrative style with Rene Auberjonois ( as the "Lecturer")who is juxtaposed in many scenes discussing the various aspects of birds and serving as the narrator. Not to be missed.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
an important question. please answer. pamelopez
dvd? hootiehart
I want a DVD of this movie! laomei05
Deaths Warranted? rlingenf
Altman tribute on TCM this 12/9 tracy_m_garza
papa john etphonehomeyo
Discuss Brewster McCloud (1970) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: