Brewster McCloud (1971)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A boy yearns to fly in Robert Altman's whimsical youthquake parable. With the aid of seraphic Louise (Sally Kellerman), owlish Brewster (Bud Cort) constructs a pair of human-size wings in his Houston Astrodome nest to realize his dream. Meanwhile, conservative creeps, including a witchy "Star-Spangled Banner"-belting crone (Margaret Hamilton) and Brewster's skinflint boss (Stacy Keach), keep turning up dead covered with bird droppings; the Houston Establishment calls in blue-eyed, turtleneck-wearing "San Francisco super cop" Frank Shaft (Michael Murphy) to investigate. Brewster cooks his own goose, however, when he defies Louise's edict against sex and hooks up with Astrodome usher Suzanne (Shelley Duvall) after she impresses him (and saves him) by out-driving Shaft in her Road Runner. Despite her apparent sweetness, Suzanne ultimately will not compromise her comfortable home for flight with Brewster.
Comedy , Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Bud Cort
as Brewster McCloud
Michael Murphy
as Det. Lt. Frank Shaft
Shelley Duvall
as Suzanne
Rene Auberjonois
as Lecturer
Stacy Keach
as Abraham Wright
John Schuck
as Policeman Johnson
Margaret Hamilton
as Daphne Heap
Corey John Fischer
as Policeman Hines
G. Wood
as Police Capt. Crandall
Bert Remsen
as Policeman Breen
Angeline Johnson
as Breen's Wife
Bill Baldwin
as Weeks's Aide
David Welch
as Green Jr.
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Critic Reviews for Brewster McCloud

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5)

A sardonic fairy tale for the times, extremely well cast and directed.

Full Review… | June 8, 2008
Top Critic

Altman's unexpected follow-up to MASH is pitched fairly successfully between escapist fantasy and satirical comment on the same.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's imitation hip.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

We get the sense of a live intelligence, rushing things ahead on the screen, not worrying whether we'll understand.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

One of Robert Altman's most charming exercises in cabaret humor and off-the-cuff modernism.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A wacko funny pic.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Brewster McCloud

Altman's most experimental work.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

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.

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

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.

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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