6.8/10
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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)
Reviews
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:

PG | 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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Alan J. Pakula recalled that Liza Minnelli became very attached to him as a father-figure on the set, always asking Pakula to tell her the story's plot in child-like terms before a big scene was to be shot. He also said that Liza carried around the book by John Nichols "like a Bible" until she knew the character of Pookie Adams inside and out. See more »

Goofs

When they are walking by the cows he's telling her about all the stuff he read in her letters and she's wearing a short skirt with a pink blouse. Then they show them from the back in a far away shot as they walking away from the cows and their clothing has changed to the ones they were wearing when they were flying the kite. See more »

Quotes

'Pookie' Adams: [a little brassily, during her first tryst with Jerry] So, would you like to peel a tomato?
Jerry Payne: [confused] What?
'Pookie' Adams: [quieter, more seductively] Do you want to strip me?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The House of The Rising Sun
(uncredited)
Traditional American folk 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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