McCabe and Mrs. Miller

Movie Details

Year1971
DirectorRobert Altman
Key CastWarren Beatty, Julie Christie
MPAA RatingR
Film TypeColor
Genre(s)Western, Drama
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Warren Beatty and Constance Miller Star Are Business Partners in “McCabe and Mrs. Miller”

 
In Robert Altman’s distinctive Old West saga, “McCabe and Mrs Miller”, Warren Beatty plays the gambler and entrepreneur John McCabe, who arrives in a remote, ramshackle, turn-of-the-century mining town called Presbyterian Church, as it’s anchored by little more than an incomplete chapel in the Pacific Northwest, ready to do business.
 
Setting up a small brothel, McCabe makes a name for himself in town, not least because some of the locals suspect he’s a notorious gunfighter. Before long, he allies himself with an unusual business partner: a Cockney prostitute named Constance Miller (Julie Christie), who comes to town with a slew of suggestions for refining and expanding the operation. The opium-addicted Miller and opportunistic McCabe find success as business partners and begin a romance, as well.
 
The burgeoning town attracts the attention of the Harrison and Shaunessy Mining Company, emissaries of which approach McCabe with an offer to buy him out. McCabe’s determination to hold out for a better deal sets the stage for a dramatic and violent resolution.
 
Set against moody and evocative British Columbia scenery, “McCabe and Mrs Miller” showcases the talents not only of its charismatic leads but also a host of excellent supporting actors, from Shelley Duvall to Keith Carradine. An added distinction is the film’s soundtrack, which includes several enigmatic songs by famed singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.
 
“McCabe and Mrs. Miller” is one of the few western movies to be selected to the U.S. National Film Registry and was bestowed this distinctive honor in 2010.
 

 
• “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” was a disappointment at the box office when it was first released in theatres. This western is part of the movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s toward revisionist westerns (in which the traditional legends of the West are challenged and the heroes aren’t always upstanding). Nevertheless, film historians consider it an important movie of the western genre. Famed film critic Robert Ebert said “Robert Altman has made a dozen films that can be called great in one way or another, but one of them is perfect, and that one is McCabe & Mrs. Miller.”
 
• “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” is the first western to show frontal nudity in a number of scenes, which was controversial because some critics believed that it was gratuitously added and unnecessary to the storyline.
 
• “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” is based on the 1959 novel named McCabe by Edmund Naughton but bears little resemblance to the novel. This is because movie director Robert Altman thought that the original novel was too full of clichés and decided to use very little of it. Altman is quoted as saying that he wanted “to take a very standard Western story with a classic line and do it real, or what I felt was real, and destroy all the myths of heroism.”
 
• Robert Altman, the director of “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” was a successful director of TV show episodes prior to making this western movie. Some of the TV series episodes that he directed were for notable western television programs like “Bonanza” and “Maverick.”
 
 
• “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” was added to the U.S. Library of Congress National Film Registry in 2010.
 

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McCabe and Mrs. Miller
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Warren Beatty plays gambler & entrepreneur John McCabe who allies himself with an unusual business partner: a Cockney prostitute named Constance Miller (Julie Christie). The opium-addicted Miller and opportunistic McCabe find success as business partners and begin a romance, as well.

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McCabe and Mrs. Miller

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