6.8/10
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36 user 11 critic

The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)

Two students from neighboring colleges in upstate New York are swept up in a tragic romantic interlude calling for a maturity of vision beyond their experience of capabilities. Pookie Adams... See full summary »

Director:

Alan J. Pakula

Writers:

John Nichols (novel), Alvin Sargent (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Liza Minnelli ... Pookie Adams
Wendell Burton Wendell Burton ... Jerry Payne
Tim McIntire ... Charlie Schumacher
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Storyline

Two students from neighboring colleges in upstate New York are swept up in a tragic romantic interlude calling for a maturity of vision beyond their experience of capabilities. Pookie Adams - a kooky, lonely misfit with no family and no place to go, insists on calling all those who won't participate in her world, "weirdos," clings to a quiet studious Jerry, who has the ability to make a choice of living in Pookie's private little world or be accepted by the society that Pookie rejects. Unwittingly, it is through their awkward relationship that Pookie actually prepares Jerry for the world of "weirdos" that she doesn't fit into or wish to be apart of. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

First love is beautiful hurt....if it happens to you once, you're lucky.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pookie See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$13,982,357
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Boardwalk Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original novel, the story takes place over three years. This was shortened to a single school year for the movie. See more »

Goofs

Takes place in Upstate New York over the course of an entire school year, yet the location is never snowy, even in December, when all the deciduous trees still have their leaves. See more »

Quotes

'Pookie' Adams: Some people guzzle God like He was a keg of beer.
See more »

Connections

Featured in And the Oscar Goes To... (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
(uncredited)
Traditional English song
See more »

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User Reviews

One of my favorite films of all time.
27 December 2000 | by Natalie-31See all my reviews

I saw The Sterile Cuckoo by accident in 1970. I went to the movie theater to see True Grit because John Wayne had been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. The double feature that day included The Sterile Cuckoo and it changed the way I would view movies from that day on. I loved every second of this achingly beautiful story about first love for a gangly, awkward, pushy, scared girl and a shy young man. Liza Minnelli is so incredible in this role as she conveys the desperation of a woman who has probably never been loved and can't understand that it scares people away if you hold too tight and reveal too much. She has no game to play and it costs her. She is the whole movie as all the emotions of the part are captured in her beautiful, expressive eyes. Her monologue in the phone booth near the end of the film should be required viewing for anyone interested in persuing an acting career. Few before her or since have pulled off such a challenging feat with such seamless realism. She was fantastic in Cabaret because it showcased the full range of her talents but this is her best work as an actress.


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