McCabe and Mrs. Miller

Screening on Film
Directed by Robert Altman.
US, 1971, 35mm, color, 121 min.
Print source: HFA

A is for American Tragedy

Warren Beatty stars as McCabe, a mumbling braggart and gambler who partners with a cynical Cockney with a penchant for opium (Christie) on a venture to open a whorehouse and saloon. Altman’s foray into the Western is notable not simply as a revisionist take on the genre but as a blatant rejection of its heroic archetypes. Although the film is set in the nineteenth century, the pervasive tone of bitterness, whether in the moody Leonard Cohen soundtrack or the opportunistic nature of many of the central characters, is very much a product of Nixon-era languor.

Part of film series

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Cinema A–Z: Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive

Other film series with this film

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Five Directors: Part III

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Furious Cinema '70-'77