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McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Warren Beatty , Julie Christie , Robert Altman    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.00
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Product Description


Iconoclastic director Robert Altman (Nashville, M.A.S.H.), deconstructs and demythologizes Hollywood's typically romantic vision of the Old West in this haunting, breathtaking masterpiece. A stranger, McCabe (Warren Beatty's best performance), the film's nonheroic protagonist, rides into a dead northwest mountain town (to the mournful sounds of Leonard Cohen), possessing ambitious entrepreneurial dreams of expansion. As the town grows, Mrs. Miller (Julie Christie's finest role, as well), a tough madam, arrives and convinces McCabe to join her in a partnership. Neither are typical Western archetypes: McCabe's an insecure braggart, bumbling lover, and horrible businessman, while Mrs. Miller, hardly a whore with a heart of gold, favors her opium pipe to her partner's romantic advances. Altman, meanwhile, buries these central characters within the town's complex, richly detailed tapestry of characters, preferring to eavesdrop on their overlapping conversations and study the bleak, harsh conditions of their lifestyles. At its core, the film addresses the sacrifices of individualism needed in order to build a community, an American concept that the independent Altman views with skeptical irony. The inevitable final shoot-out underscores the theme. Because McCabe refuses to sell the town he built to a corporation, hired bounty hunters are sent. Instead of a showdown at high noon, the finale--one of Altman's most beautiful set pieces--takes place in the snow, guerilla warfare style. As McCabe runs and hides for his life, the town he created preoccupies itself with saving a burning church instead of their creator, while Mrs. Miller, stoned and grinning, detaches herself from either concern. Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond captures the town's brutal textures in luminous Cinemascope, which, sadly, is transformed into ugly murk on the nonletterboxed video version. Widescreen laser discs are available, however. --Dave McCoy

Product Description

John McCabe (McCabe & Mrs. Miller) est un film américain réalisé par Robert Altman, sorti en 1971...En 1902, John McCabe arrive à Presbyterian Church, ville minière de l'ouest américain. Il décide d'y ouvrir un bordel, ce qui fonctionne assez bien du fait de la présence de Constance Miller, une des prostituées, qui fait profiter de son expérience et s'associe à lui. Mais les jalousies vont surgir aussi vite que le succès de l'établissement... Des tueurs sont engagés.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST BY ONE OF THE BEST June 14 2007
By Bernie Koenig TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I will keep this short since so much has already been said, but I was recently making my own lists and realized that this film is in my all time top 5. This is the film where style MEETS substance, or perhaps where style DETERMINES substance.

Altman is arguably the most important American director after Welles. His use of panorama and flow---every tv show today uses Altman's flow through technique---make you want to watch this film over and over. Once for the story, once just to appreciate his fluid camera motion, once to appreciate how he maintains large groups and then focuses on one person in the group, and once again to watch how it all works.

Even Altman's failures, and he had his share of those, are still interesting to watch. I would rather watch a bad Altman film than films by most other directors, and that especially means directors like Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, who i think are highly over rated.

But this is one of Altman's best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best kind of movie--as good as it gets July 29 2002
Put together Robert Altman, Warren Beatty, and Julie Christie 30 years ago and you have an excellent piece of work. This is a classic tragedy, and colors, lighting, scenery, behavior of chatacters, all mingle to act out a story whose end is predicted in the opening scenes by the singer in the background. The conclusion comes inexorably, always foreshadowed by the ballad in the background. In between we have vices, beauty, nearly everything from the human condition. Don't miss this beautiful, tragic story of greed, love, and hopelessness.
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"Red River" and "Unforgiven" top my list of the greatest Westerns ever made. Right behind those classics is this film. Director Robert Altman gives us the West as it probably really was if you can peel back the stuff of myth and legend. Warren Beatty and Julie Christie play the hardly heroic leads who are trying to reinvent themselves in the West out of lack of other choices. Beatty is a very flawed, somewhat cowardly entrepreneur while Christie is a madam for the local prostitutes, potentially a much better entrepreneur, albeit a bit of a hop head. They have an affair of sorts that is about the best this twosome can ever hope to have and that's not saying much. After you experience living in this hard scrabble, barely standing town, you will be so glad you were not a hearty pioneer! I know I am. There is nothing glamorous or romantic about this existence in the least and Altman does not flinch from the task of laying before us the unvarnished West. Beatty and Christie also do not flinch from playing these disreputable founders of the Old West.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Money and pain....pain, pain, pain....... April 13 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is first class film-making all the way.
The West of Robert Altman (Pacific Northwest more precisely) is not the the usual West of Hollywood. Peopled by poor working stiffs & idiots at the mercy of hustlers, gamblers, killers and whores, and inevitably, by politicians & big business in the form of the quietly rapacious Railroad, it is wet, nasty, dirty, and harsh.
A small-time gambler McCabe (Beatty) becomes an entrepenuer (saloon & brothel) in the soggy and filthy mining town of Presbyterian with the aid of a sharp and clever English madam (Christie) only to have his newfound prosperity & "status" threatened by a ruthless larger enterprise. This is a true American story. Not the only American story, but just as valid as any others.
Filmed in real rain and real snow on location, this film just has lots and lots of good stuff. The plight of the cowboy on the bridge (Keith Carradine) facing a psychotic baby-faced gunslinger, McCabe's desperate battle in the snow, the overlapping dialogue with very funny throw-away lines, the appropriate use of Leonard Cohen's songs, and the beautiful cinematography. It is a rich film that only improves on multiple viewings.
This movie says more about the underlying dark side of the conquest of the American West than Cimino's Heaven's Gate did in half the time and probably 1/10th of the budget. Of course, that is the difference between a would-be "artiste" and a guy who makes movies that turn out to be art.
The quality of the VHS is only fair. This film cries out for DVD. But, if this is the only way to see it....see it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sad Spellbinder, A Beautiful Film! July 10 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The deglamorization of the western has never been made so beautifully. One of the sadest films ever made. Altman has basically no compassion for his characters, that is the reason we care so much about them. Warren Beatty gives probably his best performance as the gambler McCabe who transforms a small mining town into a busy boomtown. Julie Christie is also excellent as the business wise hooker that brings 'high class girls' to the town. What make this one unique are the beautiful landscapes that are expertly captured by the masterful cinematography, the haunting and unforgettable Leonard Cohen songs, and powerhouse direction by Altman who brings us richly textured characters that provide a breathtaking and unforgettable cinematic experience. The film also features one of the saddest deaths in Western history, young cocky Keith Carradine is tricked by a ruthless gunslinger and meats his death on that fatal bridge. The last scenes in the snow storm where the antihero McCabe is put into a heroic position is unbearably poignant and unbelievably beautiful. A fascinating film that has a lot to offer. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film a 9!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars J'aime
Published 13 months ago by michel connolly
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best...
McCabe and Mrs. Miller illuminates (and debunks) what life was like on the frontier in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Don Myers
5.0 out of 5 stars A+++
Fast service. Very quick delivery. Item in perfect condition. Highly recommand this seller to potential buyers. Will buy again. A+++
Published on Nov. 21 2011 by JC
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, unique 'Western' that turns a genre upside down. But no DVD...
A beautiful tone poem of a film. The story is a bit thin, but the cinematography, the Leonard Cohen songs, the style of the acting creates a western unlike any other, at once... Read more
Published on April 21 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable portrayal
I saw this movie in the theatre many years ago, my first exposure to Robert Altman's fluid style. The movie is a portrait - the cinematography is beautiful, it left me with the... Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2008 by Kenneth Cohen
2.0 out of 5 stars Somebody wake me when this thing is over.
Dull, boring, uninteresting moodfest/snore-a-thon. Does for Westerns what "2001" did for Sci-fi. If you like movies for their artistic "vision" then by all means. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2002 by Ghenghis
1.0 out of 5 stars Another mess by Robert Altman
Robert Altman fans are like "Velvet Underground" fans: There are only about 500 of them around, they fanatically defend the object of their adulation, they insist that... Read more
Published on July 23 2002 by Ingalls
1.0 out of 5 stars Altman's typical style over substance. Sissy stuff.
It's a travesty that this film should be so highly regarded while Heaven's Gate's gets constantly trashed. Read more
Published on June 14 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY, the DVD is here......
Warner Brothers should be commended for giving "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" the deluxe DVD treatment, complete with Robert Altman commentary (he is also joined by the producer of the... Read more
Published on June 5 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Destruction of the American Western
Robert Altman once again demonstrates his inability to comprehend the essence of his film's subject. Read more
Published on May 31 2002 by hille2000
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