7.0/10
3,158
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.

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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

THIS MAY BE OVER YOUR HEAD. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 August 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Brewster McCloud's (Sexy) Flying Machine  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's recurrent theme of birdshit was mirrored 24 years later in Altman's Ready to Wear (1994) which had a similar fixation with dog poo. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Det. Capt. Crandall: I know birdshit when I see it! Now I suggest we drop this birdshit shit and settle down to some old-fashioned policework!
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Brazil (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-Bay-Baby
Performed by Sally Kellerman
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...


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