Do you like him?


I think the Player is a masterpiece, I also really like Thieves Like Us, The Long Goodbye, 3 Women, and California Split. I thought Short Cuts was pretty good too. I can't say I'm a huge fan more like a moderate one.

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He was definitely hit and miss type of director. But his hits outweigh his misses and you can see why Paul Thomas Anderson loved him. I made a list below of what I think are his best, middling and not very good films. He's had a few films I don't really rate but he's got a lot that are underrated imo.

Classics
M.A.S.H (1970), McCabe and Mrs.Miller (1971), The Long Goodbye (1973), Nashville (1975), 3 women (1977), The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993) and Gosford Park (2001)

Second Tier Altman (still must see)
That Cold Day In The Park (1969), Brewster McCloud (1970), Images (1972), Thieves Like Us (1974), California Split (1974), A Wedding (1978), Come back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean (1982), Streamers (1983), Secret Honor (1984), Vincent & Theo (1990), Cookie's Fortune (1999) and A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

Meh
Buffalo Bill(1976), Quintet (1979), HealtH (1980), A Perfect Couple (1979), Popeye (1980), Fool For Love (1985), O.C And Stiggs (1985), Beyond Therapy(1987), Pret A Porter (1994), Kansas City (1996), The Gingerbread Man (1998), Dr T and The Women (2000), The Company (2003).

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Landed here because I'm watching A Prairie Home Companion right now. It's pretty good so far and it's interesting to get something of a behind-the-scenes look at how the radio show was produced. It does feel like the plot is quite thin though.

The only other film of Altman's I've seen is Gosford Park, which I became an instant fan of. A friend of mine used to tell me that I "liked to watch movies full of English people talking quietly" because of my appreciation for that film. It is indeed a bit quiet and moves at a deliberate pace, but I've always found it to be a very interesting movie.

Next I'll probably tackle The Player.

On topic, I was shocked to learn that he directed Popeye. That just doesn't seem right at all.

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Still love Altman. I got into his stuff heavily in late 80's when he was still in his "Wilderness" phase. My favorite American director hands down.

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What do you mean by his wilderness phase?

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Studios were undergoing restructuring and a number of huge flops (Sorceror, 1941, most notably Heaven's Gate) led to studio execs reasserting control over directors. Alan Ladd Jr, who had greenlit several Altman projects, was gone by the early 80's from Fox which meant Altman lacked one of his greatest protectors. Due to the studio shake-up , Altman's "HEALTh" was never given any official release. The types of movies Altman wanted to make were no longer in demand by studios infected with high concept moviemaking in the manner.of Spielberg. Altman went off and directed independently produced films, many of them based on plays (Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Streamers, Fool for Love, Secret Honor, Beyond Therapy). Some of the projects were better than others. Altman's HBO miniseries he collaborated on with Garry Trudeau "Tanner '88" got a lot of postive critical praise at the time. So throughout the 80s he was working on largely independent projects with modest budgets and didn't really emerge from it until The Player's success in '92.

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Hmm, very interesting stuff. Thanks for explaining that. Frankly I have not even heard of most of the projects that you mentioned.

I think it's interesting that he worked for as long as he did, essentially right up until the end of his life. The only other directors that I can think of who have had the same kind of staying power are Clint Eastwood and Sidney Lumet.

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THE LONG GOODBYE IS IN MY TOP 20 FILMS ALL TIME LIST.

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I can't stand any of his movies. When I was very young I liked M*A*S*H, but then I grew up.

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SAYING STUPID THINGS MAKES YOU STUPID.

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No need to be rude.

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STUPID PEOPLE HAVE NO NEEDS.

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He was a unique voice. Like Looper wrote, some were hits and some were misses, but he was usually pretty original and always tried to be interesting.

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