The Sterile Cuckoo
|The Sterile Cuckoo|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alan J. Pakula|
|Produced by||David Lange
Alan J. Pakula
|Music by||Fred Karlin|
|Cinematography||Milton R. Krasner|
|Edited by||Sam O'Steen|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||107 min.|
The Sterile Cuckoo (1969), released in the UK as Pookie, is a theatrical release feature film released by Paramount Pictures that tells the story of an eccentric young couple whose relationship deepens despite their differences and inadequacies, and stars Liza Minnelli, Wendell Burton, and Tim McIntire.
Mary Ann "Pookie" Adams (Minnelli) is an oddball, quirky teenager who meets the quiet, reserved Jerry Payne (Burton) while waiting for a bus heading to their colleges, which are near each other, where they have enrolled as freshmen. Jerry immediately sees that Pookie is different, even strange. She lies to a nun on the bus so the nun will switch seats with her.
Jerry is beginning to settle into college life with his roommate (McIntire) when the aggressive Pookie shows up one Saturday morning out of the blue. They spend much time together over the weekend, and before long are seeing each other regularly.
Jerry falls in love with Pookie, but soon their different personality types pull them apart. After having sex, Pookie tells Jerry she might be pregnant. After the pregnancy scare is over, Jerry wants to spend spring break alone to catch up on his studies. Pookie pleads to stay with him, and he relents.
A week alone with the needy and at times unstable Pookie makes Jerry realize more that they need time apart. Discovering later that she has left college, Jerry finds her in the same boarding house where she had stayed on the first day she came to visit. He puts her on a bus for home, and the young lovers part ways for good.
- Liza Minnelli as Mary Ann 'Pookie' Adams
- Wendell Burton as Jerry Payne
- Tim McIntire as Charlie Schumacher
The film was well received by critics and holds an 88% "Fresh" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. It grossed $13,982,357 at the North American box office, making it the 13th highest grossing film of 1969.
- "Box Office Information for The Sterile Cuckoo". The Numbers. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
- Canby, Vincent (October 23, 1969). "The Sterile Cuckoo (1969) Screen: 'The Sterile Cuckoo,' Old-Style TV Drama". The New York Times.
- The Sterile Cuckoo, Movie Reviews. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 29, 2014.