I'm not a big fan of Altman, but I love "MASH" and I like "The Long Goodbye." I don't think much of his other films, and I can think of a couple that I truly disliked, such as "McCabe and Mrs. Miller."But "MASH" is a classic film, in my view. I read that Eliot Gould and Donald Sutherland went to a producer to complain that the film was going to turn out to be a mess.The film was a mess until they edited in the public address system voiceover.The speaker on the PA system held the film together.
I too liked MASH a lot - did not think all that much of his version of The Long Goodbye. Have not liked his subsequent work, though. I went to see one of his films with Prof P (probably before he was "Prof" P) - I remember about 20 minutes in we exchanged a glance and with no words necessary, walked out. (Can't remember the title, it was a portmanteau piece involving fragments of uninteresting people sitting in restaurants etc).We caught up with his last (?) work, the one about the country house murder, on TV - although the first part was good in terms of period recreation, it just fell totally to pieces when that risible detective came into it, and the plot ---- well! Yep, over-rated.
PS McCabe and Mrs Miller had two good things going for it, at least - the Leonard Cohen music and Julie Christie. Not sure that the LC music actually went with the movie, though! It was one of those films that got cut to ribbons so that the plot became nonsensical (such as it was). If it had been half the length and not cut so much, it could have been good.What was that Sam Peckinpah film with the Bob Dylan music? I thought that was dreadfully over-rated, too. Boring as heck. Turned out when I had sat through it that the cinema projection was set at the wrong speed so everything had been slowed down. Boy, was that a tedious movie.
The film was "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid." Old Sam used Dylan's music and gave him a small part in the film as well.Billy the Kid was portrayed by another singer-songwriter, Kris Kristoffeson. James Coburn was good as Pat Garrett, despite the material.The film was historically inacurrate and kinda pointless in my view, unless the exercise was to find work for a handful of great, loveable old western character actors, like Jack Elam and Slim Pickens.The film's theme song was a hit for Dylan.
Funny, Maxine. A friend of mine and I walked out after about half an hour of Nashville. The one Altman I like is one few people have seen: Images.
Frank,Do you like "MASH?"I love the novel, the film and the first two years of the TV series.I soured on the series when Alan Alda turned Hawkeye into a Phil Donahue liberal...
I confess to knowing only the TV series, and Alda always got on my nerves.
Frank,The film is funny and dark and Donald Sutherland is a far better Hawkeye and a far better actor than Alda.Robert Duvall is a mean and sinister Major Burns and not a dippy idiot like the TV version of the character.Radar is a total little robot and not a cute silly goof as he appears on the TV show.Although Altman tried to make this Korean War comedy into an anti-Vietnam comedy (it was 1970), I saw and continue to see the film in the true sense that the author, Richard Hornberger (who used the name Richard Hooker) intended.The MASH doctors were not anti-war, they were anti-authority. They thought of themselves as doctors, not soldiers.Hornberger, who based Hawkeye on himself, loved Altman's film and hated Alan Alda and the TV show, although he admitted the TV series made him rich. You have to see the film. I have a VHS copy if you want to see it. (A DVD copy is on my Christmas list)I saw the film in Da Nang and all of the young military guys loved it but the senior brass were not overly fond of it.