fbpx Brewster McCloud | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series : Fringe Benefits

Brewster McCloud

1970, Robert Altman, USA, 105 min.
With Bud Cort, Sally Kellerman, Shelley Duvall

Show Times

  • Fri, Aug 2nd 4:00pm
  • Fri, Aug 2nd 8:00pm
  • Thu, Aug 8th 6:00pm

Emboldened by the success of his breakthrough M*A*S*H, Robert Altman entered the New Hollywood of the 1970s ready to capitalize on the studios’ newfound willingness to finance eccentric, auteur-driven projects, following up his biggest hit with a rambling comedy that made room for policier action, supernatural fantasy, and ornithology lectures. After a single hellish day working for a creepy geriatric miser (Stacy Keach in unsettling old age makeup), young Brewster McCloud (Cort) absconds to a fallout shelter inside the Houston Astrodome to build a bizarre flying machine, aided by a mysterious woman in a trench coat (Kellerman) who arrives at only the most convenient moments. As a series of strangulation deaths connected to him catches the attention of police, an avowedly celibate Brewster tries to navigate the affections of a kooky Astrodome tour guide (Duvall) and take flight before the law catches up with him. BREWSTER McCLOUD ultimately didn’t deliver the box office M*A*S*H did, but its unique oddball energy marked it as readymade for cult appreciation and its director as a singular force in American cinema. 35mm widescreen. (Cameron Worden)

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