7.0/10
3,844
58 user 48 critic

Brewster McCloud (1970)

R | | Comedy, Fantasy | June 1971 (UK)
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
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bud Cort ... Brewster
Sally Kellerman ... Louise
Michael Murphy ... Shaft
William Windom ... Weeks
Shelley Duvall ... Suzanne
Rene Auberjonois ... The Lecturer
Stacy Keach ... Abraham Wright
John Schuck ... Johnson
Margaret Hamilton ... Daphne Heap
Jennifer Salt ... Hope
Corey Fischer ... Hines
G. Wood ... Crandall
Bert Remsen ... 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:

A different kind of film 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

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

A billboard next to a railroad crossing (location unknown) during the hot pursuit scene has an advertisement for the former MacRobert Chevrolet dealership - there were 2 Houston locations (4905 North Shepherd in the Garden Oaks area and 10306 South Post Oak at West Bellfort - the South Post Oak location was renamed A.J. Foyt Chevrolet in 1973). Foyt sold the latter dealership in the late 1980s where it was renamed Texstar Chevrolet until the early 1990s when the site was razed - the former car dealer compound is now the location of a Kroger Signature grocery store (Meyer Park location) since 1995. The North Shepherd location was razed and redeveloped. See more »

Goofs

In Detective Shaft's final scene, it is obvious that one of actor Michael Murphy's blue contact lenses has fallen out, revealing one brown eye. See more »

Quotes

The Lecturer: The blue-footed booby will compete for the attentions of her intended by goose-stepping in front of him, raising her bright, blue feet as high as she can and thrusting out her chest.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introducing Shelley Duvall See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Ring (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

White Feather Wings
Written by John Phillips
Performed by Merry Clayton
See more »

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User Reviews

Classic Cult Classic: For the Birds
15 September 2003 | by PorridgeBirdSee 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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