The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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View All Brewster McCloud News
All Critics (18)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (15)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (2)
A sardonic fairy tale for the times, extremely well cast and directed.
Altman's unexpected follow-up to MASH is pitched fairly successfully between escapist fantasy and satirical comment on the same.
It's imitation hip.
We get the sense of a live intelligence, rushing things ahead on the screen, not worrying whether we'll understand.
One of Robert Altman's most charming exercises in cabaret humor and off-the-cuff modernism.
A wacko funny pic.
I can't say that I regret watching Brewster McCloud, but I also can't say that I'd sit through it again.
There is something delightful in the absurdity and chaos of the movie that kept my interest even as I struggled to pinpoint exactly what it was that I was watching.
The film is so odd and freewheeling that it probably should have become a cult classic, if not for the fact that it has been so hard to find on video.
Anyone who cherishes Robert Altman's work definitely needs to see this defiantly kooky comedy.
Altman's best movie. No s---.
30 years on, the swipes at materialism seem mild, and the narrative -- if it can be called that -- introduces ideas and actions which go unexplained.
Altman's most experimental work.
1970's Altman drama about a boy building a pair of wings in a fallout shelter.
A grown-up fairy tale with a surreal murder story and a wild cast including the lead from HAROLD AND MAUDE and a very odd bird lecturer. Mermerizing and utterly fantastic in every sense of the word..
Footnote : The film was released after MASH, which might account for its poor box-office as its a very different animal, promoted by a zany action trailer that was definitely made by a blind man with a very large pair of scissors.
i don't get how the studio ever released this. no way could that happen today. and how much of this was improv? was there a script beyond the basic idea of a strange boy who wants to fly in the houston astrodome? anyway it's a chaotic mess that i'm not sure even makes sense but somehow works, a sort of altman trademark. the device of the lecturer helps tie it all together. many hilarious bits and sally kellerman and shelley duvall are adorable here. god bless the 70's and copious amounts of weed.
"Brewster McCloud" is usually dismissed as a fairly disastrous follow-up to Altman's breakthrough success, "M*A*S*H", but it's actually a charming little movie, well worth a look. Bud Cort plays a latter-day Icarus, building a sophisticated winged apparatus which will enable him to fly under his own power. As well as being guided by a mysterious guardian angel (Sally Kellerman), whose scarred back evidences the surgical removal of her own set of wings(!), Brewster is also protected by a serial strangler, who promptly dispatches any obstructive meddlers in his path. In other hands, this could have been a nauseating slice of hippie whimsicality, but Altman's approach is refreshingly unsentimental and his comedy is often startlingly cruel. The loudspeaker announcements of "M*A*S*H" have been replaced with radio news bulletins, charting the progress of the police's strangler investigation, and a college professor's lecture on birds is cleverly intercut with the action, to illustrate the bird-like foibles of the human race. The standout performances are G. Wood's cynical police captain, Michael Murphy's narcissistic West-Coast super-cop, Stacy Keach's old shylock and Rene Auberjonois' lecturer. Fans of "The Wizard of Oz" will enjoy a reference featuring Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West.
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