7.0/10
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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.

Director:

Robert Altman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bud Cort ... Brewster McCloud
Sally Kellerman ... Louise
Michael Murphy ... Det. Lt. Frank Shaft
William Windom ... Haskell Weeks
Shelley Duvall ... Suzanne Davis
Rene Auberjonois ... The Lecturer
Stacy Keach ... Abraham Wright
John Schuck ... Officer Johnson
Margaret Hamilton ... Daphne Heap
Jennifer Salt ... Hope
Corey Fischer ... Officer Hines
G. Wood ... Det. Capt. Crandall
Bert Remsen ... Officer Douglas Breen
Angelin Johnson Angelin Johnson ... Mrs. Breen
Dean Goss 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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Brewster McCloud's (Sexy) Flying Machine See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lion's Gate Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

License plates of the cars are bird references: Abraham Wright-OWL 180, Suzanne Davis-DUV 222, Lousie- BRD SHT, and Det. Lt. Frank Shaft- DOD O86. Furthermore, Suzanne's car is a Plymouth Road Runner. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the car chase, when Duvall drives out of the Astrodome parking garage nearly hitting the cop on a motorcycle, there is a shot of her wearing the black driving gloves. Later in the chase when she is stopped at a light and notices the police car behind her, she puts on the black gloves, supposedly for the first time. See more »

Quotes

Jimmy Stewart, voice: [First line] I forgot the opening line.
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 O.C. and Stiggs (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-Bye Baby
(uncredited)
Traditional lullaby
Performed by Sally Kellerman
[Louise sings the lullaby to Brewster as she is bathing him]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bud Cort takes flight in "Brewster McCloud"
21 May 2005 | by tiwannaeSee all my reviews

This is one of the most interesting films I have ever seen! I own a copy on VHS and had the pleasure of seeing it 4 times at the Film Forum in New York City a couple of years ago.

After having seen Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H," his next film about the story of a young man who is building a winged contraption in the basement of the Houston Astrodome intrigued me. I had to see how the cast came together in their varied segments in this film and I wasn't too disappointed.

Robert Altman saw something in Bud Cort after seeing him in a NYC comedy revue, and then gave him a role in "M*A*S*H*, and was so impressed with him in the scenes he had in that film that he gave him is first leading film role. Altman couldn't have found a better actor to portray the lead in this film! I am a huge fan of Bud Cort's, and he kept me interested throughout in what was happening to the quiet and introverted Brewster, who dreams of flying away in a marvelously-made, flying machine. He lives a sheltered, and somewhat lonely life, other than the company of his lovesick friend Hope, who brings him food, and Louise, a strange woman who is like a mother-figure to him. Brewster doesn't say much in the film, but after a certain door is opened in his life, he becomes very talkative, and that talkativeness leads to a situation that jeopardizes his flight plans.

I thought the opening with Margaret Hamilton was funny, as well as the scenes Bud Cort had with Stacy Keach, made up as old man Abraham Wright, Brewster's former racist and mean-spirited employer.

I loved Sally Kellerman as Brewster's enigmatic and protective mother-figure, Louise, and Michael Murphy as the 'Bullit-esque' Frank Shaft, in Houston, via San Francisco, to help the police solve some suspicious bird-related murders.

The rest of the cast is fine, with the Altman touch of fine ensemble acting from the likes of John Schuck, G. Wood, and Corey Fischer. However, I found Shelly Duvall, who I've liked in other films, very annoying in this one, her film debut. She plays Suzanne, a girl who works at the Astrodome and becomes Brewster's love interest. I had rather seen Brewster become involved with Hope (Jennifer Salt), than the shallow and chirpy Suzanne. I find that most of her scenes, except for the one where she seduces Brewster, slow down the film.

Look for a delightfully strange comic turn by Rene Auberjonois, as the "Narrator" of the film.


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