Robert Altman

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Robert Altman

Altman at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival
Born Robert Bernard Altman
February 20, 1925(1925-02-20)
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died November 20, 2006(2006-11-20) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Movie director and screenwriter
Years active 1947–2006
Spouse LaVonne Elmer (1946–1951)
Lotus Corelli (1954–1957)
Kathryn Reed (1959–2006)

Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925 - November 20, 2006) was an American movie director. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri and died of leukemia in Los Angeles, California. In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his body of work with an Academy Honorary Award.

His movies MASH (1970), McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), and Nashville (1975) have been selected to keep in the United States National Film Registry.

Personal life[change | change source]

In the 1960s, Altman lived for nine years with his second wife in Mandeville Canyon in Brentwood, California.[1] He moved to Malibu but in 1981 sold that home and the Lion's Gate production company. "I had no choice", he told the New York Times. "Nobody was answering the phone" after the flop of Popeye. He moved his family and business headquarters to New York. Eventually he moved back to Malibu, where he lived until his death.

In November 2000, he said he would move to Paris if George W. Bush were elected. He joked that he had meant Paris, Texas when Bush became President. Altman was an outspoken marijuana user. He was a member of the NORML advisory board. He was against the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[2][3][4]

Death[change | change source]

Altman died on November 20, 2006, at age 81 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He died of complications from leukemia.

Altman is survived by his wife, Kathryn Reed Altman; six children, Christine Westphal, Michael Altman, Stephen Altman (his production designer of choice for many movies), Connie Corriere, Robert Reed Altman, and Matthew Altman; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.[5][6]

The movie director Paul Thomas Anderson dedicated his 2007 movie There Will Be Blood to Altman.[7]

Filmography[change | change source]

Shorts[change | change source]

Year Film Notes
1949 Honeymoon for Harriet Short Industrial Film: International Harvester
1951 Modern Football Short Industrial Film: Official Sports Film Service
The Dirty Look Short Industrial Film: Gulf Oil
1952 The Last Mile Short Industrial Film: Caterpillar Tractor Company
The Sound of Bells Short Industrial Film: Goodrich Corporation
King Basketball Short Industrial Film: Official Sports Film Service
1953 Modern Baseball Short Industrial Film: Official Sports Film Service
1954 The Builders Short Industrial Film: Wire Reinforcement Institute
Better Football Short Industrial Film: Official Sports Film Service
The Perfect Crime Short Industrial Film: Caterpillar Tractor Company
1955 The Magic Bond Short Industrial Film: Veterans of Foreign Wars
1965 The Katherine Reed Story Short Documentary
Pot au feu Short
1966 Girl Talk ColorSonics Short
The Party ColorSonics Short
Speak Low ColorSonics Short
Ebb Tide ColorSonics Short

Motion pictures[change | change source]

Year Film Notes
1957 The Delinquents
The James Dean Story Documentary
co-dir: George W. George
1968 Countdown
1969 That Cold Day in the Park
1970 MASH Palme d'Or
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Nominated – Academy Award for Directing
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated – Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing - Feature Film
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Director
Brewster McCloud
1971 McCabe & Mrs. Miller Nominated – Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
1972 Images Nominated – Palme d'Or
Nominated – Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
1973 The Long Goodbye
1974 Thieves Like Us Nominated – Palme d'Or
California Split
1975 Nashville Bodil Award for Best Non-European Film
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
National Board of Review Award for Best Director
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director
Nominated – Academy Award for Directing
Nominated – César Award for Best Foreign Film
Nominated – Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing - Feature Film
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Director
1976 Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson Golden Bear at Berlin[8]
1977 3 Women Nominated – Palme d'Or
1978 A Wedding Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated – César Award for Best Foreign Film
Nominated – Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
1979 Quintet
A Perfect Couple
1980 HealtH
Popeye
1982 Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
1983 Streamers DVD released in 2010 by Shout! Factory
1984 Secret Honor
O.C. & Stiggs Released in 1987
1985 Fool for Love Troia International Film Festival Golden Dolphin
Nominated – Palme d'Or
1987 Beyond Therapy
Aria Segment: Les Boréades
Nominated – Palme d'Or
1990 Vincent & Theo
1992 The Player BAFTA Award for Best Direction
Bodil Award for Best Non-European Film
Prix de la mise en scène
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award for Best Foreign Director
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Nominated – Academy Award for Directing
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Film
Nominated – Palme d'Or
Nominated – César Award for Best Foreign Film
Nominated – Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing - Feature Film
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Director
1993 Short Cuts Independent Spirit Award for Best Film
Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay
Bodil Award for Best American Film
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award for Best Foreign Director
Golden Lion
Nominated – Academy Award for Directing
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated – César Award for Best Foreign Film
1994 Prêt-à-Porter Also released as Ready to Wear
1996 Kansas City Nominated – Palme d'Or
1998 The Gingerbread Man
1999 Cookie's Fortune Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Film
2000 Dr. T & the Women Nominated – Golden Lion
2001 Gosford Park American Film Institute Director of the Year
BAFTA Award for Best British Film
Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Film
Golden Globe Award for Best Director
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award for Best Foreign Director
Director
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Robert Award for Best American Film of the Year
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated – Academy Award for Directing
Nominated – Bodil Award for Best American Film
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Film
Nominated – César Award for Best European Union Film
Nominated – Goya Award for Best European Film
2003 The Company
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Also released as The Last Show
Hochi Film Award for Best International Film
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
Nominated – Bodil Award for Best American Film

Television work[change | change source]

Television movies and miniseries[change | change source]

  • Nightmare in Chicago (1964) [previously "Once Upon a Savage Night" in Kraft Suspense Theater]
  • Precious Blood (1982) – Television film written by Frank South
  • Rattlesnake in a Cooler (1982) – Television film written by Frank South
  • Secret Honor (1984)
  • The Laundromat (1985) (60 min.)
  • Basements (1987) – two one-act plays by Harold Pinter: The Dumb Waiter and The Room (the former was released to video as its own feature by Prism Entertainment)
  • Tanner '88 (1988) – six hour mini-series for HBO
  • The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (1988) – Television film based on the play by Herman Wouk
  • Vincent & Theo (1990) – British Mini-series in 4 parts, later released in edited form worldwide as feature movie.
  • McTeague (1992) – an opera for PBS
  • The Real McTeague (1993) – making of "McTeague", also for PBS
  • Black and Blue (1993) – an Emmy nominated filmed play which aired on PBS' "Great Performances"
  • Robert Altman's Jazz '34 (1996) – PBS special about the music from Kansas City
  • Tanner on Tanner (2004) – two hour mini-series for the Sundance Channel, a follow-up to Tanner '88

Television episodes[change | change source]

  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1957–58)
    • ep. 3–9: "The Young One" (air-date December 1, 1957)
    • ep. 3–15: "Together" (a.d. January 12, 1958)
  • M Squad (1958) ep. 1–21: "Lover's Lane Killing" (a.d. February 14, 1958)
  • The Millionaire aka If You Had A Million (1958–59)
    directed by Altman
    • ep No. 148 / 5–14: "Pete Hopper: Afraid of the Dark" (a.d. December 10, 1958)
    • ep No. 162 / 5–28: "Henry Banning: The Show Off" (a.d. April 1, 1959)
    • ep No. 185 / 6–14: "Jackson Greene: The Beatnik" (a.d. December 22, 1959)
    written by Altman
    • ep No. 160 / 5–26: "Alicia Osante: Beauty and the Sailor" (a.d. March 18, 1959)
    • ep No. 174 / 6-3: "Lorraine Dagget: The Beach Story" [story] (a.d. September 29, 1959)
    • ep No. 183 / 6–12: "Andrew C. Cooley: Andy and Clara" (a.d. December 8, 1959)
  • Whirlybirds (1958–59)
    • ep. No. 71 / 2–32: "The Midnight Show" (a.d. December 8, 1958)
    • ep. No. 79 / 3-1: "Guilty of Old Age" (a.d. April 13, 1959)
    • ep. No. 80 / 3-2: "A Matter of Trust" (a.d. April 6, 1959)
    • ep. No. 81 / 3-3: "Christmas in June" (a.d. April 20, 1959)
    • ep. No. 82 / 3–4: "Til Death Do Us Part" (unknown air-date, probably April 27, 1959)
    • ep. No. 83 / 3–5: "Time Limit" (a.d. May 4, 1959)
    • ep. No. 84 / 3–6: "Experiment X-74" (a.d. May 11, 1959)
    • ep. No. 87 / 3–9: "The Challenge" (a.d. June 1, 1959)
    • ep. No. 88 / 3–10: "The Big Lie" (a.d. June 8, 1959)
    • ep. No. 91 / 3–13: "The Perfect Crime" (a.d. June 29, 1959)
    • ep. No. 92 / 3–14: "The Unknown Soldier" (a.d. July 6, 1959)
    • ep. No. 93 / 3–15: "Two of a Kind" (a.d. July 13, 1959)
    • ep. No. 94 / 3–16: "In Ways Mysterious" (a.d. July 20, 1959)
    • ep. No. 97 / 3–19: "The Black Maria" (a.d. August 10, 1959)
    • ep. No. 98 / 3–20: "The Sitting Duck" (a.d. August 17, 1959)
  • U.S. Marshal (original title: Sheriff of Cochise) (1959)
    verified
    • ep. 4–17: "The Triple Cross"
    • ep. 4–23: "Shortcut to Hell"
    • ep. 4–25: "R.I.P." (a.d. June 6, 1959)
    uncertain; some sources cite Altman on these episodes; no known source cites anybody else
    • ep. 4–18: "The Third Miracle"
    • ep. 4–31: "Kill or Be Killed"
    • ep. 4–32: "Backfire"
    • ep. "Tapes For Murder"
    • ep. "Special Delivery"
    • ep. "Paper Bullets"
    • ep. "Tarnished Star"
  • Troubleshooters (1959) (13 episodes)
  • Hawaiian Eye (1959) ep. 8: "Three Tickets to Lani" (a.d. November 25, 1959)
  • Sugarfoot (1959–60)
    • ep. No. 47 / 3–7: "Apollo With A Gun" (a.d. December 8, 1959)
    • ep. No. 50 / 3–10: "The Highbinder" (a.d. January 19, 1960)
  • Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1960)
    • ep. "The Sound of Murder" (a.d. January 1, 1960)
    • ep. "Death of a Dream"
  • The Gale Storm Show aka Oh! Susanna (1960) ep. No. 125 / 4–25: "It's Magic" (a.d. March 17, 1960)
  • Bronco (1960) ep No. 41 / 3-1: "The Mustangers" (a.d. October 17, 1960)
  • Maverick (1960) ep. #90: "Bolt From the Blue" (a.d. November 27, 1960)
  • The Roaring '20s (1960–61)
    • ep. 1–5: "The Prairie Flower" (a.d. November 12, 1960)
    • ep. 1–6: "Brother's Keeper" (a.d. November 19, 1960)
    • ep. 1–8: "White Carnation" (a.d. December 3, 1960)
    • ep. 1–12: "Dance Marathon" (a.d. January 14, 1961)
    • ep. 1–15: "Two a Day" (a.d. February 4, 1961)
    • ep. 1–28&29: "Right Off the Boat" Parts 1 & 2 (a.d. May 13/20, 1961)
    • ep. 1–31: "Royal Tour" (a.d. June 3, 1961)
    • ep. 2–4: "Standing Room Only" (a.d. October 28, 1961)
  • Bonanza (1960–61)
    • ep. 2–13: "Silent Thunder" (a.d. December 10, 1960)
    • ep. 2–19: "Bank Run" (a.d. January 28, 1961)
    • ep. 2–25: "The Duke" (a.d. March 11, 1961)
    • ep. 2–28: "The Rival" (a.d. April 15, 1961)
    • ep. 2–31: "The Secret" (a.d. May 6, 1961)
    • ep. 2–32 "The Dream Riders" (a.d. May 20, 1961)
    • ep. 2–34: "Sam Hill" (a.d. June 3, 1961)
    • ep. 3–7: "The Many Faces of Gideon Finch" (a.d. November 5, 1961)
  • Lawman (1961) ep. No. 92 / 3–16: "The Robbery" (a.d. January 1, 1961)
  • Surfside 6 (1961) ep. 1–18: "Thieves Among Honor" (a.d. Jan 30, 1961)
  • Peter Gunn (1958) ep. 3–28: "The Murder Bond" (a.d. April 24, 1961)
  • Bus Stop (1961–62)
    • ep. 4: "The Covering Darkness" (a.d. October 22, 1961)
    • ep. 5: "Portrait of a Hero" (a.d. October 29, 1961)
    • ep. 8: "Accessory By Consent" (a.d. November 19, 1961)
    • ep. 10: "A Lion Walks Among Us" (a.d. December 3, 1961)
    • ep. 12: "... And the Pursuit of Evil" (a.d. December 17, 1961)
    • ep. 15: "Summer Lightning" (a.d. January 7, 1962)
    • ep. 23: "Door Without a Key" (a.d. March 4, 1962)
    • ep. 25: "County General" [possibly failed pilot] (a.d. March 18, 1962)
  • Route 66 (1961)
    • ep. #40/2-10: "Some of the People, Some of the Time' (a.d. December 1, 61)
    • ep. 3–17: "A Gift For A Warrior" (a.d. January 18, 1963) – often incorrectly cited, Altman did not direct this
  • The Gallant Men (1962) pilot: "Battle Zone" (a.d. October 5, 1962)
  • Combat! (1962–63)
    • ep. 1-1: "Forgotten Front" (a.d. October 2, 1962)
    • ep. 1–2: "Rear Echelon Commandos" (a.d. October 9, 1962)
    • ep. 1–4: "Any Second Now" (a.d. October 23, 1962)
    • ep. 1–7: "Escape to Nowhere" (a.d. December 20, 1962)
    • ep. 1–9: "Cat and Mouse" (a.d. December 4, 1962)
    • ep. 1–10: "I Swear By Apollo" (a.d. December 11, 1962)
    • ep. 1–12: "The Prisoner" (a.d. December 25, 1962)
    • ep. 1–16: "The Volunteer" (a.d. January 22, 1963)
    • ep. 1–20: "Off Limits" (a.d. February 19, 1963)
    • ep. 1–23: "Survival" (a.d. March 12, 1963)
  • Kraft Suspense Theatre (1963)
    • ep 1–8: "The Long Lost Life of Edward Smalley" (also writer) (a.d. December 12, 1963)
    • ep 1–9: "The Hunt" (also writer) (a.d. December 19, 1963)
    • ep 1–21: "Once Upon a Savage Night"
      released as Television film Nightmare in Chicago in 1964
  • The Long Hot Summer (1965) pilot
  • Nightwatch (1968) pilot: "The Suitcase"
  • Premiere (1968) ep. "Walk in the Sky" (a.d. July 15, 1968)
  • Saturday Night Live (1977) ep. No. 39 / 2–16 "h: Sissy Spacek", seg. "Sissy's Roles" (a.d. March 12, 1977)
  • Gun (aka Robert Altman's Gun) (1997) ep. 4: "All the President's Women" (a.d. May 10, 1997)
    this episode, along with another, was released on DVD as Gun: Fatal Betrayal; subsequently, the entire six-episode series was released

Awards and nominations[change | change source]

Academy Awards:

  • 1971: Best Director (MASH, nominated)
  • 1976: Best Picture (Nashville, nominated)
  • 1976: Best Director (Nashville, nominated)
  • 1993: Best Director (The Player, nominated)
  • 1994: Best Director (Short Cuts, nominated)
  • 2002: Best Picture (Gosford Park, nominated)
  • 2002: Best Director (Gosford Park, nominated)
  • 2006: Honorary Oscar (won)

BAFTA Awards:

  • 1971: Best Direction (MASH, nominated)
  • 1979: Best Direction (A Wedding, nominated)
  • 1979: Best Screenplay (A Wedding, nominated)
  • 1993: Best Film (The Player, nominated)
  • 1993: Best Direction (The Player, won)
  • 2002: Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film (Gosford Park, won)
  • 2002: David Lean Award for Direction (Gosford Park, nominated)

Berlin International Film Festival:

  • 1976: Golden Berlin Bear (Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson, won)
  • 1985: FIPRESCI Prize – Forum of New Cinema (Secret Honor, won)
  • 1999: Golden Berlin Bear (Cookie's Fortune, nominated)[9]
  • 1999: Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas (Cookie's Fortune, won)
  • 2002: Honorary Golden Berlin Bear (won)
  • 2006: Golden Berlin Bear (A Prairie Home Companion, nominated)
  • 2006: Reader Jury of the "Berliner Morgenpost" (A Prairie Home Companion, won)

Cannes Film Festival:

  • 1970: Golden Palm (MASH, won)
  • 1972: Golden Palm (Images, nominated)
  • 1977: Golden Palm (3 Women, nominated)
  • 1986: Golden Palm (Fool for Love, nominated)
  • 1987: Golden Palm (Aria, nominated)
  • 1992: Golden Palm (The Player, nominated)
  • 1992: Best Director (The Player, won)
  • 1996: Golden Palm (Kansas City, nominated)

Directors Guild of America Awards:

  • 1971: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (MASH, nominated)
  • 1976: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Nashville, nominated)
  • 1993: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (The Player, nominated)
  • 1994: Lifetime Achievement Award (won)
  • 2005: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television (Tanner on Tanner, nominated)

Emmy Awards:

  • 1989: Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series (Tanner '88, won)
  • 1993: Outstanding Directing in a Variety or Music Program (Great Performances – Black and Blue, nominated)

Golden Globe Awards:

  • 1971: Best Director (MASH, nominated)
  • 1976: Best Director (Nashville, nominated)
  • 1993: Best Director (The Player, nominated)
  • 1994: Best Screenplay (Short Cuts, nominated)
  • 2002: Best Director (Gosford Park, won)

Independent Spirit Awards:

  • 1994: Best Director (Short Cuts, won)
  • 1994: Best Screenplay (Short Cuts, won)
  • 1995: Best Feature (Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, nominated)
  • 2000: Best Feature (Cookie's Fortune, nominated)
  • 2007: Best Director (A Prairie Home Companion, nominated)

Venice Film Festival:

  • 1993: Golden Lion (Short Cuts, won)
  • 1996: Career Golden Lion (won)
  • 2000: Golden Lion (Dr T and the Women, nominated)

References[change | change source]

  1. Peter Biskind, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, New York: Touchstone Books, 1998
  2. "20 Questions, 2 Choices", The Birmingham News, June 3, 2005
  3. "Interview: Robert Altman – Interviews – guardian.co.uk Film". London. http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,1207121,00.html.
  4. "NORML Advisory Board – NORML". Norml.org. http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5471. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  5. "Director Robert Altman dies at 81 – More news and other features – MSNBC.com". MSNBC. November 22, 2006. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15831581. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  6. . http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Movies/11/21/obit.altman.ap/index.html.[dead link]
  7. Smith, Ian Haydn, ed. (2008). International Film Guide: The Definitive Annual Review of World Cinema. London: Wallflower Press. p. 316. ISBN 978-1-905674-61-9 .
  8. "Berlinale 1976: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. http://www.berlinale.de/en/archiv/jahresarchive/1976/03_preistr_ger_1976/03_Preistraeger_1976.html. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  9. "Berlinale: 1999 Programme". berlinale.de. http://www.berlinale.de/en/archiv/jahresarchive/1999/02_programm_1999/02_Programm_1999.html. Retrieved January 29, 2012.

Other websites[change | change source]