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McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Warren Beatty , Julie Christie , Robert Altman    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 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... Feb. 26 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
McCabe and Mrs. Miller illuminates (and debunks) what life was like on the frontier in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Interwoven with songs by Leonard Cohen's (which seem like they were written for the movie), this film shows Warren Beatty at his best in addition to another outstanding performance by Julie Christie. It's Robert Altman's (director) at his best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
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 surreal and dreamlike, and yet somehow also hyper-real, as though we were eavesdropping through history. The first half has an intentionally meandering feel, that tightens ever more to a terrifically tense climax. This is a film much more about tone, mood, and feeling than story or even character. Sadly the DVD transfer of this amazing looking film is mediocre at best. If ever a film begged for the Criterion treatment or Blu-ray, or both, this is it.

What's even worse is that the DVD isn't even available at Amazon.ca! However it is on the US Amazon. As much as it's an imperfect transfer, that's still wildly preferable to an aging VHS tape!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable portrayal Aug. 4 2008
Format:VHS Tape
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 same feelings I get while looking at great photographs. I was stunned by the dark mood the movie creates and by some of my feelings, especially my shock at the central murder scene on the bridge.

I thought Keith Carradine's role as the cowboy is the best acting in this film, and if you watch him play Bill Hickok in Deadwood, you'll hardly believe you're seeing the same actor, so great are his talents.

This movie has remained on my all-time favourites list since 1971. But you will not find "excitement" or "action" here. It's simply an exceptional portrait of a special time and place.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars A+++ Nov. 21 2011
Fast service. Very quick delivery. Item in perfect condition. Highly recommand this seller to potential buyers. Will buy again. A+++
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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 John C. March 17 2002
McCabe and Mrs. Miller, in the opinion of this observer, is among the 10 best films made in the United States in the second half of the 20th century. There is a subtlety to this film that is unlike any other made during this most fertile period of American cinema. The cinematography (by the great Vilmos Zsigmond), sound editing, and - most important ly- acting are nonpareil, especially the performances of Julie Christie and John Schuck. The film established Robert Altman as a director and writer to be reckoned with. The experience of watching this film - even on tape and DVD - is blissful, and reminds one of the potential that American cinema presented between 1967-1975, before "Jaws' and "Star Wars" altered the economic landscape.
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