Brewster McCloud (Bud Cort) isn't your normal sort of boy. He resides in a nuclear fallout shelter in the Houston Astrodome. He labors to make on a set of wings that he hopes will allow him to fly, and is supported in his oddball mission by the maternal Louise (Sally Kellerman). But when the boy's enemies start dying off -- including a national anthem singer and Brewster's penny-pinching boss -- he becomes the object of an investigation by Police Det. Lt. Frank Shaft (Michael Murphy).