6.9/10
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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:

Alan J. Pakula

Writers:

John Nichols (novel), Alvin Sargent (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Liza Minnelli ... Pookie Adams
Wendell Burton Wendell Burton ... Jerry Payne
Tim McIntire ... Charlie Schumacher
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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 | Romance

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pookie See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$13,982,357
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Boardwalk Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Uncredited grip Martin Kashuk designed the $50,000 "minicrane," which was used during the six weeks of location shooting in New York. The crane had the capacity to raise the camera twenty feet into the air, and was attached to an Austin, which could move at speeds up to sixty miles per hour and had "self-levelling equipment" that facilitated moving shots on uneven roads without the need for track to be laid. See more »

Goofs

The film's penultimate shot, that of Pookie looking out the bus window, was shot with the camera attached to the outside of the moving bus, but no one apparently thought about the trees lining the street behind the camera. The visual is shaken for a second after tree branches inadvertently brush up against the equipment. See more »

Quotes

'Pookie' Adams: Apis mellifica - that's short for "bee", right?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Arrested Development: Queen B. (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
(uncredited)
Traditional English song
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Terrific, one of Liza's best
1 November 2001 | by Marie-62See all my reviews

Liza Minnelli...That name conjures up so many images: Her mother, Judy, elegance, beauty, humor, and sometimes pain. Well, she sheds all of them except the last 2. In this role as the odd Pookie Adams, a girl who is afraid of "weirdos" but who in a sense really is, Liza Minnelli has to pull together a wonderful (Academy Award Nominating) part that will tug at your heart and look at the world through HER eyes. Pookie meets Jerry Payne (Wendell Burton) and goes through a couple of sly tricks to make sure that he never forgets her. Jerry falls in love with this strange but lovable girl. That is until her fear of him leaving makes her over-protective and a little pushy. It begins to drive him away. But what movie on teenage lovers is really convincing? Well, these two sure are convincing. Sometimes you just want to strangle Pookie and other times you just want to jump into the screen and hold her close and say "It's gonna be all right". I rated this a 7 because there was something missing and I felt it. But otherwise, Liza Minnelli fans, this is way worth it!


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