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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Robert Altman
USA 19


Brewster McCloud (Bud 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. But Brewster McCloud, Robert Altman's wild, anarchic cult fave, isn't about dreams as much as it is about the highs and lows of humanity. It's a serial-killer mystery. A frenetic car-chase flick. A crazy circus-finale comedy. Shelley Duvall debuts as the tour guide whose seduction of Brewster may lead to his undoing. Ah, love. The thing that at once shapes and unravels us. The thing that may or may not give us wings.


Though it bears more than a few traces of the forced outrageousness that marked Doran William Cannon's previous screenplay, for Preminger's lamentable comedy Skidoo, Altman's unexpected follow-up to MASH is pitched fairly successfully between escapist fantasy and satirical comment on the same. Cort is the Icarus figure attempting to become airborne in the Houston Astrodome, Kellerman the sort of guardian angel who appears to have wandered in from a Dennis Potter play, and Murphy the cop mulling connections between bird shit and murder.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE




Theatrical Release: December 5th, 1970

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:45:04
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate:  5.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio

Edition Details:

• Trailer (2:45)

DVD Release Date: July 13th, 2010

Keep Case
Chapters: 21



Sure there is an sneaking analogy in the narration of the birds to the human characters in the film, the Icarus mythology link - and Altman's easily identifiable style but if you look at this film as simple entertainment - it works so well. Brewster McCloud has moments of hilarious human interaction and circumstance. It's witty in the director's own signature structure.  

It's, standard, single-layered, but progressive and anamorphic 2.35:1 aspect ratio and looks very good. This is labeled under the Warner's new "Re-mastered Edition" marquee and it's hard to find fault in the image. Colors, greens and red notably, are bright and detail in close-ups is impressive. Unlike some other Warner Archive releases there is no damage visible at all. It can look at bit thick at times but I have no evidence to suggest that this isn't an authentic look - as it was with M*A*S*H.  Contrast is excellent. In short the DVD supplies a surprisingly strong presentation. I can't image it looking any better with a dual-layered rendering.

As usual, no subtitles - and, audible and clear 2.0 channel stereo sound. Extras consist solely of the film's trailer - looking rougher than the feature perhaps identifying the 're-mastering'.

This is such a quirky, fun entry that it's hard to know where to position the scope of Altman's other films. I had a ball and am thankful that Warner have brought this to DVD - I believe it may be the only digital edition available at present and we recommend!

Gary W. Tooze


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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

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