Brewster McCloud


Comedy / Fantasy

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 83%
IMDb Rating 7 10 3,707


Downloaded 8,484 times
April 2, 2019



Bud Cort as Brother Jacques
Margaret Hamilton as Teacher
Shelley Duvall as Jenny Wilcox
Stacy Keach as Warden Carl Golan
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
883.04 MB
23.976 fps
105 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.67 GB
23.976 fps
105 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tiwannae 10 / 10 / 10

Bud Cort takes flight in "Brewster McCloud"

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.

Reviewed by Freak-30 9 / 10 / 10

Quite unlike anything you'll ever see!!!

This oddball Altman film came out in the same year as M*A*S*H, but the two movies are stylistically very different. BC employs a conventional plot structure, whereas M*A*S*H featured an episodic style. Also, the latter film is best defined by its irreverent humor and hedonistic characters. Brewster McCloud, on the other hand, is more of a zany fantasy inhabited by bizarre characters who are not as sympathetic as the M*A*S*H characters. Differences aside, the two films do have some traits in common. Many of the same players are in both films (Bud Cort, Sally Kellerman, G. Wood, Michael Murphy, John Schuck, Rene Auberjonois, and Corey Fischer). Also of note, BC is the debut of Shelley Duvall and marks the first of her many projects with Robert Altman. Moreover, both films have a detached narrator-type device which creates a middle ground in between the viewer and the main characters. In M*A*S*H, it was the camp PA system; in BC, it's the eccentric ornithologist/lecturer character. Lastly, both films make subtle statements about certain flaws in modern America. In M*A*S*H, this can be seen in the incessant ridiculing of the US military and US foreign policy. In BC, use of civil rights era gospel music and pithy references to Spiro Agnew and Nixon poke fun at American hypocrisy and ignorant conservatism. The Houston Astrodome is without question a major character in BC. The protagonist (played by Cort) has one ambition in life: to take flight with a pair of wings he himself constructs. He lives in the bowels of the dome and spends his time there designing and building the instrument of his dream. He's always in danger whenever he leaves his "home" and the protection of his guardian (Kellerman). Whether he goes to the zoo or to a dome tourguide's apartment, he is in danger of being harmed by bigoted, violent people. In a sense, Brewster is not a member of the human race, but rather a bird trapped in human form. He finds haven in the Astrodome, but this is temporary and confining. He ultimately wants the freedom that "real" flight will provide him. The themes of freedom and temptation are important in this film. Brewster longs for freedom, but is hindered in his realization of his dream by various characters and personal mistakes. Brewster can potentially "fly away", but there is one important condition. He can never have sex with a woman. If he does, he won't be able to achieve flight because his female guardian (Kellerman) will no longer protect him. But in typical human fashion, he falls for a girl. This character (Duvall) is his eventual downfall - literally! In the end, the film conveys the message that humans are never truly free. We are always controlled or confined by something, be it other people or our own desires or even the roof of the Astrodome. The dream of achieving flight is a metaphor in this film for man's incessant but futile wish to be free. If you have no interest in these plot or thematic elements, Brewster McCloud is still worth watching just because of its bizarre humor, recurring jokes, and odd characters. Listen carefully, for there are many subtle jokes and satirical remarks. The trademark Altman audio style is used consistently throughout and if you listen carefully, you're bound to hear something funny or witty. When watching this one on video, be sure to crank the volume up high so that you clearly hear all the layers of Altman's "thick" sound mix. The ending - the final ten minutes of the film - is very memorable and provides a great finish to all the previous events. Unlike so many films, this movie's ending is neither anticlimactic nor corny, but rather profound and dramatic. You won't forget it! Robert Altman created an absorbing, humorous, zany, and profound film in BC. To succeed in all these areas is no small feat. This film is a breath of fresh air when compared to the tripe Hollywood churns out on a weekly basis in 1999. I praise the work of Robert Altman. He's one of the few American directors in the past thirty years who's made interesting, unconventional, challenging, and highly entertaining films on a consistent basis and with his own unique style. It's a shame that only a few of his films (invariably M*A*S*H, Nashville, The Player, and Short Cuts; very rarely McCabe and Mrs. Miller) can be found in video stores. The obscure gems like Brewster McCloud (Thieves Like Us and Three Women also fall into this category) are nearly impossible to see, unless you buy the videos off the internet. Considering all the garbage produced by Hollywood nowadays, I advocate a revival of all the Robert Altman films made between 1969 and 1977 ("A Wedding" (1978) marks the beginning of the decline of his work, some might say). Oh, well. It never hurts to dream. Every once in awhile, a great Altman flick is shown on premium cable. I guess that is as good as it will get.

Reviewed by success-9 9 / 10 / 10

The best surrealist film about Houston Texas ever made

The key to understanding this film is to realize it is unmistakably surrealist in the formal sense - directly comparable to the works of European Surrealists like for example Luis Buñuel. His film "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" came out in '72, that is after Brewster McCloud, and if you've seen both films, it is not a stretch at all to surmise that it may well have been Buñuel who was influenced by Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud (which after all came out two years before Buñuel's film.) And as in Buñuel's film, the surrealism in Brewster McCloud certainly has a humorous aspect, but is at its heart a vehicle for subversive but oblique social commentary: oblique because this movie in its ultra-hip cool sensibility would feel obliged to start mocking itself if it actually started preaching to anyone. But of course this film does actually mock itself, along with everything else in the known universe. That is what surrealism is: When you start literally mocking *everything* it ceases to be funny, and rather something much more fundamentally disturbing. And yet this film is easily one of the most accessible of the truly surrealist masterpieces. It is good-natured about everyone and everything it mocks. One of the pleasant surprises I had upon discovering this film was how realistically it portrays Texans and Houstonians. There is no hackneyed accents or cowboy hats - it really does depict Texans (and specifically Houstonians) as they are - at least as they were in 1970. I'll give one example: The undercover cop is at the zoo with his wife and kid, and his wife says, "Johnny wants to go see the monkeys", and the dad responds, "Well, let him go to N*gger Town then." Now, as a matter of fact, I have scores of relatives from Houston, and I remember as a child how people from Houston talked around 1970, and I know that that was a common but offensive colloquialism for the black part of town in Houston back then. So the period detail is just spot on. And there's no judgment when the character says this. It could be he dies mysteriously later in the film with bird poop on him, but so do a dozen other characters - not all of them bad. And also, they must have had real Houston cops playing some of the cops in the film, or they might as well have. But beyond the negative attributes of the period, this film is in many ways a heartfelt homage to the city of Houston - there are plenty of just plain normal folks who must have been local extras plunked down into this phantasmagoria of a film. When I say "surrealist" one big aspect of that is the disjointed, disengaged banal "conversations" between various characters, where they seem to be saying stuff at random, and not even paying attention to each other. And yet its still simply fascinating for some odd reason to listen to them - you are literally hanging on every meaningless word. Sally Kellerman is some sort of angel, but for no apparent reason decides to shop-lift a huge amount of film while at the camera store. When the employee who was previously lusting after her chases her down to confront her about the theft, she start pulling bottles of shampoo out of her purse and giving some convoluted explanation why she has so much shampoo, which has nothing to do with any action that has transpired previously in the film. But even banal bits of conversation that are superficially "normal" come off as highly ironic. Shelly Duvall throws up over the railing at the Astrodome, her boyfriend walks up right then and they passionately kiss right after she throws up. Then they notice his dad who is cop is dead nearby, And Shelly says, "What should we do". And her boyfriend says, "Call the cops." And he reaches down and starts pulling something out of the dead guy's shirt pocket, and Shelly Duvall says, "What are you doing?" And he responds, "Getting the phone number." Oh well, its interesting in the film for some reason. And then there are an unending series of clever and surprising visual gags throughout the film that seem to have occurred by accident somehow. At other times there is visual lyricism and poetry. But this film never ever stops surprising you - by the end it is wowing us with technological wizardry because the depiction of the main character's flying machine is truly amazing. And as I indicated it is somehow, above all of this, a film about an actual real place -Houston Texas - and it has plenty of elements that would undeniably appeal to a lot of real good old boys from Texas - things like great sounding cars like Camaro Z28's and Roadrunners and car chases. It is without question in the top five of Robert Altman's films and I never heard about it till last night. BIll Hader from Saturday Night Live was a guest on Turner Classic Movies and Brewster McCloud was one of four films he had selected as personal favorites of his that were shown. (The others were Rashomon, This is Spinal Tap, and something else. I had never seen all of Rashomon before either - its overrated.) But that old guy who is the standard host on TCM seemed mystified or something by Hader's choice of Brewster McCloud, but regardless, its a really, really memorable film.

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