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Nashville (Widescreen)

Shelley Duvall , Keith Carradine , Robert Altman    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 47.97
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This 1975 film sits near the top of any list of the best films of the 1970s, perhaps in the top five and, in some people's minds, at the pinnacle itself. Robert Altman, at his most Altmanesque, spins together plot strands involving two dozen people over the course of one particularly busy weekend in Music City, USA. Though several of the story lines deal with country-western stars--played by Henry Gibson, Ronee Blakley and Karen Black--the plot also deals with the country scene's wannabes, the business people who pull the strings and the operative for a mysterious presidential candidate who is trying to get the de facto endorsement of some of the country stars by having them appear at a rally for him. (The unknown but rocketing presidential aspirant was eerily echoed the next year, when Jimmy Carter came out of nowhere to win the presidency.) Blakley is heartbreakingly fragile as a Loretta Lynn-like singer on the verge of total mental meltdown, while Lily Tomlin is outstanding as a housewife-gospel singer who has a dalliance with a randy folk-rock cad, perfectly played by Keith Carradine (who won an Oscar for his song "I'm Easy"). The cast also includes Jeff Goldblum, Scott Glenn, Keenan Wynn, Shelley Duvall, Geraldine Chaplin (hilarious as a fatuous British TV journalist), Barbara Harris, Michael Murphy, and Ned Beatty, with cameos by Elliott Gould and Julie Christie as themselves. Next to Mean Streets, perhaps the most influential film of the decade. --Marshall Fine

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5.0 out of 5 stars What we should mean by patriotism March 28 2004
Robert Altman's 1975 picture remains as enigmatic as ever. The film has a huge cast of 24 actors, most of who appear in only brief scenes with few other characters. Add to this the fact that many of the lines are delivered in a flat or even seemingly improvised fashion, with a tendency for characters to interrupt and speak over each other, and it's easy to feel that the disparate characters are not connected to each other at all. This is Altman's intention though, because this film is about the hopes and ambitions of the individual within the larger society of bicentennial America.
And the plot does come together to some extent as we build to the final song, one of the most moving endings in film history in my opinion. The lyrics, sung by an unknown, interspersed with scenes of America's young in a melting pot American city, suggest a stoicism, perseverance (as one idol falls, another rises to replace her) and vitality. Even after Vietnam, Watergate, assassinations, and deep recession, crossroads America itself maintains hope and optimism. 'Nashville' suggests we are not such a young and homogenous country after all.
Among the individual islands the film explores, standouts are Ronee Blakey as the beautiful and intense but fragile diva, Hnry Gibson as the king of country, with political aspirations, and Lily Tomlin as a loving mother and gospel singer facing a marital crisis. The incredible fact that much of the music was written and performed, with little rehearsal, by many of the actors (Keith Carradine and Karen Black's musical performances are also noteworthy) lends a kind of democratic (for lack of a better word) authenticity to the film as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars incredible film, so-so dvd March 14 2004
i'm biased. i'm an adorer of anything done by robert altman. so it is. but this dvd somehow doesn't seem to do justice to this amazing film. here are a few reasons why the dvd coulda/shoulda been better.
-the sound is kind of weird, the music sequences have high high volume and the dialogue is often too quiet at times that you have to turn up the volume on your set and then get a nasty jolt when the film cuts away to a music sequence. and if you know how many times this movie goes back and forth between music sequences you can perhaps understand my frustration. i understand that during robert altman's career and given his attention to dialogue and sound mixing a great deal of technical innovation occurred as a result of altman's efforts and contributions. i think it would have been to his benefit (and his work's benefit) if he revisited this production and did something about the sound mixing.
-the film transfer doesn't seem to be all that grand. certain scenes appear a little too washed out and bright and the colours seems distorted. this as well would have benefitted greatly from developments in film production technology these days.
-the extras are so-so. it seems as tho there would be mountains of praise for this film (actually i'm sure there is), interviews (20+ characters? come on!), commentaries, additional scenes left out (altman actually refers to these on the disc) and it would be interesting to see some outtakes considering the scale and grandeur of altman's style especially with regards to this particular film. and (again i'm being biased here) i would have loved to see some outtakes/bloopers with geraldine chaplin's character cos altman says in the commentary that a lot of her monologues (in the scrap yard, in the bus yard, elsewhere) were improvised.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Altmanian Sample of the US... Dec 28 2003
In the aftermath of the Vietnam war and the Watergate Scandal American people had a large amount of cynicism for the United States government. The newly formed Replacement Party is attempting to make a run for the United States Presidency with their presidential candidate. To boost their chances to win they try to get help from Nashville's country musicians. The Replacement Party's outspoken policy includes: rewriting the national anthem, preventing tax exemption for religious groups, and banning lawyers from congress. These prerecorded proposals are being repeatedly spat out through a white van's loud speakers while driving around. As mentioned before, this is taking place in Nashville, i.e., Music City, through the actions and consequences of a kaleidoscope of characters, which can be seen as a sample of the American people. Almost the entire story is filmed from a distance which provides a feeling of objectivity and it enhances the audience's ability to form their own hypotheses based on what is being displayed. Under Altman's dazzling direction the audience can also experience a sense of realism through the long shots and multiple activities that can be observed in almost every scene. The score goes well in hand with the theme, since country music is something that is made in United States. The cast is extraordinarily well put together and their performances are outstanding. When all of these facets of the film are put together, the audience should be prepared to face a brilliant cinematic experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Satirical Masterpiece Aug. 8 2003
By snalen
It rather surprises me how many people who love film have barely heard of this movie. I suspect that many of my fellow Brits see the title buried in the TV schedules and think, Hmm, obviously a film about country music, I don't think so. And I suspect that the film's reputation is held back in America by the satirical picture it presents of that often troubled country being more mercilessly dark than many Americans can perhaps comfortably take.
IN some ways a distaste for country music is a positive advantage in enjoying this film as it paints an outrageously dark picture of the country music industry that may disturb fans. Then again, that isn't really the point. At a deeper level the movie isn't about country music at all, but about the United States. Unless there is some jewel that has escaped me, it's quite simply the best political satire about modern America that has ever been made. In its long slow complex tapestry following 24 intersecting lives over the course of a few days it articulates a satirical vision that delivers unfailingly the paradoxical harvest of good black comedies of being at once funny and horrifying. It is also intelligent and deep. In its unflinching gaze at American life in all its desperation and banility it seeks to address that most insistent of questions: where in this oasis of almost impossible wealth, does so much violence come from? There may better attempts to answer that question, but none of them are movies.
Most centrally I think, this is a movie about the "American Dream": about how, for every one person for whom that dream delivers its promise, there are many more for whom it turns into a nightmare.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars no surprises
This hard to find film arrived before the estimated ship date and looked exactly as the seller described it. The disc is pristine and plays perfectly.
Published on Nov. 7 2011 by Des Neiges
5.0 out of 5 stars Altman's great mosaic of the USA
Brilliant, funny, sad and epic look at 1970s U.S., following 24
characters over a few key days in Nashville. Read more
Published on April 21 2011 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars The Flawed Masterpiece - Defined
A filmmaker is asking for a pretty sizeable leap of faith from his/her audience when over one hour of their 2'40" movie consists of sung performances (FULL songs, too - that would... Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2007 by FrankA
5.0 out of 5 stars You owe it to yourself to watch this movie
Forget all the reviews going on and on about Nashville's experimental film-making, "nuance," "texture," and "epic scope. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2007 by David Orr
1.0 out of 5 stars I Guess You Had To Be There
How can anyone get away with mixing meandering naturalism with phony characters? I suppose this is what Hollywood needs to prove to itself that it can create art--a reflexive... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2006 by Trinity Lourdes
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the 70's greatest films and that's saying a lot!
I am waiting for a better DVD version with more extras and 1:85 ratio 2:35 is too small for me. I do own the video and I have no idea how many times I have watched this movie. Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by Darrell of Georgia
5.0 out of 5 stars The real Nashville?
Does this movie portray the real Nashville? I don't know; I don't work in the music industry. However, something tells me that this movie really does portray the real Nashville. Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by Stuart Heasman
5.0 out of 5 stars American Life as a microcosm
An astonishing film, rich in satire and brilliantly executed. Altman manages to weave so many subplots and characters seamlessly. One of his crowning achievements. Read more
Published on April 30 2004 by Matt
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and entertianing movie
Nashville is one of Altman's best works.I like it very much.
It's soundtrack contains some of the greatest country songs ever
made. Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2003
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