Robert Altman—visionary director, hard-partying hedonist, eccentric family man, Hollywood legend—comes roaring to life in this rollicking oral biography. After an all-American boyhood in Kansas City, a stint flying bombers in World War II, and jobs ranging from dog tattoo entrepreneur to television director, Robert Altman burst onto the scene in 1970 with M*A*S*H . He reinvented American filmmaking, and went on to produce such masterpieces as McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville , The Player, Short Cuts, and Gosford Park . In Robert Altman , Mitchell Zuckoff has woven together Altman’s final interviews; an incredible cast of voices including Meryl Streep, Warren Beatty, Paul Newman, among scores of others; and contemporary reviews and news accounts into a riveting tale of an extraordinary life.
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|Title of eBook: Robert Altman|
|Release Date: 10-20-2009|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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Pauline Kael, review inThe New Yorker, January 24, 1970: M*A*S*H is a marvelously unstable comedy, a tough, funny, and sophisticated burlesque of military attitudes that is at the same time a tale of chivalry. It's a sick joke, but it's also generous and romantic—an erratic episodic film, full of the pleasures of the unexpected. . . . It's a modern kid's dream of glory: Holden Caulfield would, I think, approve of [the heroes played by Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould]. They're great surgeons, athletes, dashing men of the world, sexy, full of noblesse oblige, but ruthless to those with pretensions and lethal to hypocrites. . . . I think M*A*S*H is the best American war comedy since sound came in, and the sanest American movie of recent years.
* * *
From the M*A*S*H theme song, "Suicide Is Painless," lyrics by Michael Altman:
A brave man once requested me,
to answer questions that are key.
Is it to be or not to be?
And I replied, "Oh, why ask me?"
[Refrain] Suicide is painless. It brings on many changes,
and I can take or leave it if I please.
Memo titled "Synopsis of M*A*S*H " from James Denton, director of publicity, Twentieth Century Fox, July 16, 1969: Soon after Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland), Duke Forrest (Tom Skerritt) and Trapper John McIntyre (Elliott Gould) join the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH), Col. Henry Blake (Roger Bowen) ruefully realizes how placid his Korean War command had been before. The three surgeons have two things in common: They are the best in the Far East and they are hell- raising lunatics who make a shambles of army bureaucracy.
Michael Murphy: George Lit...