AFS Honors Robert Altman’s Texas-Made Film BREWSTER MCCLOUD

At the 20th Annual Texas Film Awards this Thursday, March 12, AFS will honor Robert Altman’s 1970 film BREWSTER MCCLOUD with the Star of Texas Award. Shelley Duvall, who starred in the film, will also be inducted to the Texas Film Hall of Fame.

Written and directed by Altman (MASH, MCCABE & MRS. MILLER, THE PLAYER, SHORT CUTS), BREWSTER MCCLOUD was shot on location in and around Houston. The story centers on a strange boy (Bud Cort) living in the Houston Astrodome who spends his days crafting a pair of wings, when his plans are derailed by a serial killer, a beautiful girl (Shelley Duvall), and a detective trying to get to the bottom of it all (Michael Murphy).

On Wednesday, March 11, AFS will host a sold out special screening of BREWSTER MCCLOUD with Duvall in attendance at the AFS Cinema.

To celebrate this honor and the 50th anniversary of the film, we’re sharing a selection of behind-the-scene photos from the film and quotes from Robert Altman.

The Astrodome in Huston, TX.
The Astrodome in Houston

“The Astrodome was new then and it was an indoor area that size that nobody had experienced. Somebody somewhere said something about it and that fascinated me. I went down to look at it and I said “Great.” It was quite an accomplishment just to be able to do it. I think how else can you show that this guy flies unless he’s trapped. He’s like in a cage so that became his freedom. He wasn’t free.” –Altman

Shelley Duvall on the set of Brewster McCloud.
Shelley Duvall on the set of Brewster McCloud

“I was making Brewster McCloud in Houston, Texas. I had a small part in the film, and I wanted very much to have not an actress but a local girl who had the accents, who was awkward…I just wanted somebody from that area. And we found Shelley down there, and she was quite remarkable—and put her in the film—she served the purpose of that film very well. And Shelley just developed to the state where she is now. I mean, she’s peerless.“ –Altman

Bud Cort on the set of Brewster McCloud.
Bud Cort on the set of Brewster McCloud

“I think that the things that were imitative in Brewster McCloud were imitative from other mediums—it might be pretentious in other ways- it was cartoon and road runners—but that’s what it was intended to be. Everyone worked in different levels of comedy and I like it.” –Altman

Cast members on the set 

“A film like Brewster McCloud can’t be related to anything…That’s what a lot of the critics said…”– Altman

Director Robert Altman in Brewster McCloud’s wings

“It’s probably the most creative, most original film that I’ve done… I was cockiest at that point and I stretched the furthest.” – Altman

You always hope you’ll be adored. Brewster was much more of a critical success than MASH was…I really like most of my films, but I think you tend to love your most unsuccessful children the most.”– Altman


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