by Tony Dayoub
You've got to love a movie in which The Wizard of Oz's Wicked Witch, Margaret Hamilton, stops the opening credits, which then only restart on her command. Robert Altman's anarchic trifle, Brewster McCloud makes its long awaited debut on DVD Tuesday, July 13th, in an improbably nifty looking edition from the manufactured-on-demand Warner Archive label. Long one of the holy grails of many DVD collectors (I addressed its absence from DVD way back in 2008), Warner does right by the film, remastering it to just about the best I expect this forty-year-old oddity to ever look.
M*A*S*H and 1971's sublime McCabe and Mrs. Miller. This story about a young man training to fly—with actual wings—features many of Altman's repertory cast: Bud Cort playing the eponymous flier; Sally Kellerman as his mentor/guardian; Michael Murphy doing his worst Steve McQueen impression; Shelley Duvall, making her own debut; and the rest of the cast includes both veteran Altman players (Rene Auberjonois, Corey Fisher, Bert Remsen, John Schuck, and G. Wood), as well as actors making their only appearance in his films (Stacy Keach, Jennifer Salt, and William Windom), as far as I know.
Discussing this goofy gem too intensely is impossible without being incredibly reductive. So instead, here are some screen caps to display its glorious, off-kilter charm.
Brewster McCloud is available for pre-order now, exclusively at Warner Archive Online.