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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Brewster McCloud (Remastered Edition)'
(Bud Cort, Sally Kellerman, Michael Murphy, William Windom, Shelley Duvall, et al / DVD / NR / 2010 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Brewster McCloud (But Cort) lives deep within the cavernous underground of the Houston Astrodome, but his dreams rise much higher. He aims to fly. Not in a plane. But with strapped-on wings he's designing - encouraged by a mysterious woman (Sally Kellerman) who may be his guardian angel.

DVD Verdict: BREWSTER MCCLOUD concerns a young man (Bud Cort; he was Harold, in HAROLD AND MAUDE) who lives in a room inside the Houston Astrodome, and dreams of flight. He spends his time photographing birds and designing wings, in the hopes that he can take to the air as a bird does.

A second plot line involves a serial killer, a performer of strangulation murders, loose in Houston. The HPD have called in Shaft, a hotshot San Francisco detective, to help solve the case. Each of the victims is found with bird excrement on his face.

Of course, our naive and physically slight Brewster is the killer.

A film of bizarre plot and presumptively a satire, BREWSTER MCCLOUD does not approach the mastery of Robert Altman's other films of the period, particularly MASH and MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER. Occasionally the dialogue is very funny, but too often the director chose to impress the viewer with a skewed sensibility which leaves much to be desired. Inconsistent shots and the lack of a consistent structure probably leaves many viewers reeling.

Similarities to other Altman films abound, but most easily spotted are the terrific ensemble cast, the familiar players from other Altman films, such as Rene Auberjonois, G. Wood, Kellerman, and Duvall, and the use of voice-over throughout the movie. The police radio, in this case, takes the job of the intercom announcer in MASH, and provides a useful way of moving the plot along.

Not quite for Altman completists only, I'd recommend this to all Robert Altman fans, fans of Harold and Maude, and fans of bizarre movies. In a sense this is a black comedy. Not depressing in the least, it represents a rare, brave attempt to make a unique motion picture. While it doesn't work on a number of levels, various strange elements stand out to make BREWSTER MCCLOUD a movie worth seeing. [WKM] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Warner Archive

'Brewster McCloud' Clip