ROBERT BERNARD ALTMAN (/ˈɔːltmən/ ; February 20, 1925 –
November 20, 2006) was an American film director , screenwriter , and
film producer . A five-time nominee of the
His style of filmmaking was unique among directors, in that his subjects covered most genres, but with a "subversive " twist that typically relies on satire and humor to express his personal vision. Altman developed a reputation for being "anti-Hollywood" and non-conformist in both his themes and directing style. However, actors especially enjoyed working under his direction because he encouraged them to improvise, thereby inspiring their own creativity.
He preferred large ensemble casts for his films, and developed a multitrack recording technique which produced overlapping dialogue from multiple actors. This produced a more natural, more dynamic, and more complex experience for the viewer. He also used highly mobile camera work and zoom lenses to enhance the activity taking place on the screen. Critic Pauline Kael , writing about his directing style, said that Altman could "make film fireworks out of next to nothing."
In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized Altman's body of work with an Academy Honorary Award . He never won a competitive Oscar despite seven nominations. His films MASH (1970), McCabe his paternal grandfather, Frank Altman, Sr., anglicized the spelling of the family name from "Altmann" to "Altman". Altman had a Catholic upbringing, but he did not continue to follow or practice the religion as an adult, although he has been referred to as "a sort of Catholic" and a Catholic director. He was educated at Jesuit schools, including Rockhurst High School , in Kansas City. He graduated from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri in 1943.
In 1943 Altman joined the
United States Army Air Forces
Upon his discharge in 1946, Altman moved to California. He worked in publicity for a company that had invented a tattooing machine to identify dogs. He entered filmmaking on a whim, selling a script to RKO for the 1948 picture Bodyguard , which he co-wrote with George W. George. Altman's immediate success encouraged him to move to New York City, where he attempted to forge a career as a writer. Having enjoyed little success, in 1949 he returned to Kansas City, where he accepted a job as a director and writer of industrial films for the Calvin Company . In February 2012, an early Calvin film directed by Altman, Modern Football (1951), was found by filmmaker Gary Huggins.
Altman directed some 65 industrial films and documentaries before
being hired by a local businessman in 1956 to write and direct a
feature film in Kansas City on juvenile delinquency . The film, titled
The Delinquents , made for $60,000, was purchased by United Artists
for $150,000, and released in 1957. While primitive, this teen
exploitation film contained the foundations of Altman's later work in
its use of casual, naturalistic dialogue. With its success, Altman
moved from Kansas City to
Altman's first forays into TV directing were on the DuMont drama
Pulse of the City (1953–1954), and an episode of the 1956
The Sheriff of Cochise . After
Through this early work on industrial films and TV series, Altman experimented with narrative technique and developed his characteristic use of overlapping dialogue. He also learned to work quickly and efficiently on a limited budget. During his TV period, though frequently fired for refusing to conform to network mandates, as well as insisting on expressing political subtexts and antiwar sentiments during the Vietnam years, Altman always was able to gain assignments. In 1964, the producers decided to expand "Once Upon a Savage Night", one of his episodes of Kraft Suspense Theatre , for theatrical release under the name, Nightmare in Chicago.
Two years later, Altman was hired to direct the low-budget space travel feature Countdown , but was fired within days of the project's conclusion because he had refused to edit the film to a manageable length. He did not direct another film until That Cold Day in the Park (1969), which was a critical and box-office disaster.
Theatrical release poster for MASH (1970)
In 1969, Altman was offered the script for MASH , an adaptation of a
Now recognized as a major talent, Altman notched critical successes
with McCabe The Long Goodbye (1973), a controversial adaptation of the
Raymond Chandler novel (scripted by
Leigh Brackett ) now ranked as a
seminal influence on the neo-noir subgenre; Thieves Like Us (1974), an
adaptation of the Edward Anderson novel previously filmed by Nicholas
They Live by Night
Audiences took some time to appreciate his films, and he did not want
to have to satisfy studio officials. In 1970, following the release of
MASH, he founded Lion's Gate Films to have independent production
freedom. Altman's company is not to be confused with the current
Lionsgate , a Canada/U.S. entertainment company. The films he made
through his company included
Brewster McCloud ,
LATER CAREER AND RENAISSANCE
In 1980, he directed the musical film
Popeye . Produced by Robert
Evans and written by
In 1981, the director sold Lion's Gate to producer Jonathan Taplin
after his political satire Health shot in 1979 was still shelved in
1980 by longtime distributor
20th Century Fox
In 1990 Altman directed Vincent Altman had reclaimed his darling status with critics, at least. Altman at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival
He then revitalized his career with The Player (1992), a satire of
Hollywood. Co-produced by the influential David Brown (
The Sting ,
Jaws , Cocoon ), the film was nominated for three Academy Awards,
including Best Director . While he did not win the Oscar, he was
awarded Best Director by the
Cannes Film Festival
Altman then directed Short Cuts (1993), an ambitious adaptation of
several short stories by
Raymond Carver , which portrayed the lives of
various citizens of Los Angeles over the course of several days. The
film's large cast and intertwining of many different storylines were
similar to his large-cast films of the 1970s; he won the Golden Lion
at the 1993
Venice International Film Festival
Altman directed Gosford Park (2001), and his portrayal of a large-cast, British country house mystery was included on many critics' lists of the ten best films of that year. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay ( Julian Fellowes ) plus six more nominations, including two for Altman, as Best Director and Best Picture.
Working with independent studios such as the now-shuttered Fine Line, Artisan (which was absorbed into today's Lionsgate ), and USA Films (now Focus Features ), gave Altman the edge in making the kinds of films he always wanted to make without studio interference. A film version of Garrison Keillor 's public radio series A Prairie Home Companion was released in June 2006. Altman was still developing new projects up until his death, including a film based on Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary (1997).
In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Altman an Academy Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement. During his acceptance speech, he revealed that he had received a heart transplant approximately ten or eleven years earlier. The director then quipped that perhaps the Academy had acted prematurely in recognizing the body of his work, as he felt like he might have four more decades of life ahead of him.
In the 1960s, Altman lived for years in
Mandeville Canyon in
In November 2000, he claimed that he would move to Paris if George W.
Bush were elected, but joked that he had meant
Paris, Texas when it
came to pass. He noted that "the state would be better off if he
(Bush) is out of it." Altman was an outspoken marijuana user, and
served as a member of the
NORML advisory board. He was also an atheist
and an anti-war activist. He was one of numerous notable public
figures, including the linguist
Noam Chomsky and the actress Susan
Sarandon , who signed the "
Not in Our Name " declaration opposing the
2003 invasion of
Altman died on November 20, 2006, at age 81 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood. According to his production company in New York, Sandcastle 5 Productions, he died of complications from leukemia .
Altman was survived by his wife, Kathryn Reed Altman; six children or step-children: Christine Westphal, Michael Altman , Stephen Altman (his production designer of choice for many films), Konni Reed Corriere, Robert Reed Altman , and Matthew Altman; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. The Altmans had married in 1959. Kathryn Altman, who died in 2016, co-authored a book about Altman that was published in 2014. She had served as a consultant and narrator for the 2014 documentary Altman , and had spoken at many retrospective screenings of her husband's films.
The film director Paul Thomas Anderson dedicated his 2007 film There Will Be Blood to Altman. Anderson had worked as a standby director on A Prairie Home Companion for insurance purposes, in the event the ailing 80-year-old Altman was unable to finish shooting.
During a celebration tribute to Altman a few months after his death,
he was described as a "passionate filmmaker" and auteur who rejected
convention, creating what director
Alan Rudolph called an
"Altmanesque" style of films. He preferred large casts of actors,
natural overlapping conversations, and encouraged his actors to
improvise and express their innate creativity, but without fear of
Many of his films are described as "acid satires and counterculture character studies that redefined and reinvigorated modern cinema." Although his films spanned most film genres, such as Westerns, musicals, war films, or comedies, he was considered "anti-genre," and his films were "candidly subversive." He was known to hate the "phoniness" he saw in most mainstream films, and "he wanted to explode them" through satire.
Actor Tim Robbins , who starred in a number of Altman's films, describes some of the unique aspects of his directing method:
He created a unique and wonderful world on his sets, . . . where the mischievous dad unleashed the "children actors" to play. Where your imagination was encouraged, nurtured, laughed at, embraced and Altman-ized. A sweet anarchy that many of us hadn't felt since the schoolyard, unleashed by Bob's wild heart.
Altman's personal archives are located at the University of Michigan , which include about 900 boxes of personal papers, scripts, legal, business and financial records, photographs, props and related material. Altman had filmed Secret Honor at the university, as well as directed several operas there.
Since 2009, the
In 2014, a feature-length documentary film, Altman , was released, which looks at his life and work with film clips and interviews.
DIRECTING STYLE AND TECHNIQUE
MAVERICK AND AUTEUR
Following his successful career in television, Altman began his new career in the movie industry when he was in middle-age. He understood the creative limits imposed by the television genre, and now set out to direct and write films which would express his personal visions about American society and Hollywood. His films would later be described as "auteuristic attacks" and "idiosyncratic variations" of traditional films, typically using subtle comedy or satire as a way of expressing his observations.
His films were typically related to political, ideological, and personal subjects, and Altman was known for "refusing to compromise his own artistic vision." He has been described as "anti-Hollywood," often ignoring the social pressures that affected others in the industry, which made it more difficult for him to get many of his films seen. However, he still felt that his independence as a filmmaker did him little harm overall:
I don't think there's a filmmaker alive, or who ever lived, who's had a better shake than I've had. I've never been without a project and it's always been a project of my own choosing. So I don't know how much better it could be. I have not become a mogul, I don't build castles and I don't have a vast personal fortune, but I have been able to do what I've wanted to do and I've done it a lot.
"Altman was a genuine movie maverick," states author Ian Freer , because he went against the commercial conformity of the movie industry: "He was the scourge of the film establishment, and his work generally cast an astute, scathing eye over the breadth of American culture, often exploding genres and character archetypes; Altman was fascinated by people with imperfections, people as they really are, not as the movies would have you believe." Director Alan Rudolph , during a special tribute to Altman, refers to his moviemaking style as "Altmanesque."
With his independent style of directing, he developed a bad reputation among screenwriters and those on the business side of films. He admits, "I have a bad reputation with writers, developed over the years: 'Oh, he doesn't do what you write, blah blah blah.' . . . . Ring Lardner was very pissed off with me," for not following his script. :18 Nor did Altman get along well with studio heads, once punching an executive in the nose and knocking him into a swimming pool because he insisted he cut six minutes from a film he was working on. :9
His reputation among actors is quite different, however. With them,
his independence sometimes extended to his choice of actors, often
going against consensus.
You know, all this talk about Bob being this kind of irascible, difficult kind of person? Well, he was never that way with an actor or with a creative person that I saw. Never, never, never. He saved all that for the money people. :431
However, director Robert Dornhelm states, Altman "looked at film as a pure, artistic venue." With Short Cuts (1993), for instance, the distributor "begged him" to cut a few minutes from the length, to keep it commercially viable: "Bob just thought the Antichrist was trying to destroy his art. They were well-meaning people who wanted him to get what he deserved, which was a big commercial hit. But when it came down to the art or the money, he was with the art." :438
Sally Kellerman , noting Altman's willful attitude, still looks back with regret at giving up a chance to act in one of his films:
I had just finished filming Last of the Red Hot Lovers when Bob called me one day at home. "Sally, do you want to be in my picture after next?" he asked. "Only if it's a good part," I said. He hung up on me.
Bob was as stubborn and arrogant as I was at the time, but the sad thing is that I cheated myself out of working with someone I loved so much, someone who made acting both fun and easy and who trusted his actors. Bob loved actors. Stars would line up to work for nothing for Bob Altman.
THEMES AND SUBJECTS
Unlike directors whose work fits within various film genres , such as
Westerns, musicals, war films, or comedies, Altman's work has been
defined as more "anti-genre" by various critics. This is partly due
to the satirical and comedy nature of many of his films. Geraldine
Chaplin , daughter of
They're funny in the right way. Funny in a critical way—of what the world is and the world we live in. They were both geniuses in their way. They alter your experience of reality. They have their world and they have their humor. That humor is so rare. :287
Altman made it clear that he did not like "storytelling" in his films, contrary to the way most television and mainstream movies are made. According to Altman biographer Mitchell Zuckoff , "he disliked the word 'story,' believing that a plot should be secondary to an exploration of pure (or, even better, impure) human behavior." :xiii Zuckoff describes the purposes underlying many of Altman's films: "He loved the chaotic nature of real life, with conflicting perspectives, surprising twists, unexplained actions, and ambiguous endings. He especially loved many voices, sometimes arguing, sometimes agreeing, ideally overlapping, a cocktail party or a street scene captured as he experienced it. :xiii Julianne Moore , after seeing some of his movies, credits Altman's style of directing for her decision to become a film actress, rather than a stage actress:
I felt it really strongly. And I thought, "I don't know who this guy is, but that's what I want to do. I want to do that kind of work." From then on I'd see his films whenever I could, and he was always my absolute favorite director, for what he said thematically and emotionally and how he felt about people. :324
Film author Charles Derry writes that Altman's films "characteristically contain perceptive observations, telling exchanges, and moments of crystal clear revelation of human folly." Because Altman was an astute observer of society and "especially interested in people," notes Derry, many of his film characters had "that sloppy imperfection associated with human beings as they are, with life as it is lived." As a result, his films are often an indirect critique of American society.
For many of Altman's films, the satirical content is evident: MASH
(1970), for example, is a satirical black comedy set during the Korean
War; McCabe author Matthew Kennedy states that Nashville (1975) is a
"brilliant satire of America immediately prior to the Bicentennial";
When the picture opened, it was a big, big flop. . . I went to David Picker and said, "You can't do this. No wonder the fucking picture is failing. It's giving the wrong impression. You make it look like a thriller and it's not, it's a satire.
Similarly, Altman also blames the failure of O.C. ">:282 Geraldine Chaplin , who acted in Nashville, recalls one of her first rehearsal sessions:
He said, "Have you brought your scripts?" We said yes. He said, "Well, throw them away. You don't need them. You need to know who you are and where you are and who you're with." . . . It was like being onstage with a full house every second. All the circus acts you had inside your body you'd do just for him. :282
Altman regularly let his actors develop a character through improvisation during rehearsal or sometimes during the actual filming. Such improvisation was uncommon in film due to the high cost of movie production which requires careful planning, precise scripts, and rehearsal, before costly film was exposed. Nevertheless, Altman preferred to use improvisation as a tool for helping his actors develop their character. Altman said that "once we start shooting it's a very set thing. Improvisation is misunderstood. We don't just turn people loose." Although he tried to avoid dictating an actor's every move, preferring to let them be in control:
When I cast a film, most of my creative work is done. I have to be there to turn the switch on and give them encouragement as a father figure, but they do all the work. . . . All I'm trying to do is make it easy on the actor, because once you start to shoot, the actor is the artist. . . . I have to give them confidence and see that they have a certain amount of protection so they can be creative. . . . I let them do what they became actors for in the first place: to create.
Carol Burnett remembers Altman admitting that many of the ideas in his films came from the actors. "You never hear a director say that. That was truly an astonishing thing," she said. :328 Others, such as Jennifer Jason Leigh , became creatively driven:
He would inspire you out of sheer necessity to come up with stuff that you didn't know you were capable of, that you didn't know you had in you. He was so genuinely mischievous and so damn funny. :435
He liked working with many of the same performers for other films,
Elliott Gould ,
Sally Kellerman ,
We thought that's the way movies were. That they were that joyous an experience. If you had any kind of career, you quickly saw that most directors don't really trust actors, don't really want to see actors acting. That was the difference with Bob Altman. He loved actors and wanted to see acting. :175
Unlike television and traditional films, Altman also avoided "conventional storytelling," and would opt for showing the "busy confusion of real life," observes Albert Lindauer. Among the various techniques to achieve this effect, his films often include "a profusion of sounds and images, by huge casts or crazy characters, multiple plots or no plots at all, . . . and a reliance on improvisation." A few months before he died, Altman tried to summarize the motives behind his filmmaking style:
I equate this work more with painting than with theater or literature. Stories don't interest me. Basically, I'm more interested in behavior. I don't direct, I watch. I have to be thrilled if I expect the audience to be thrilled. Because what I really want to see from an actor is something I've never seen before, so I can't tell them what it is. I try to encourage actors not to take turns. To deal with conversation as conversation. I mean, that's what the job is, I think. It's to make a comfort area so that an actor can go beyond what he thought he could do. :8
REALISTIC SOUND AND LARGE ENSEMBLE CASTS
Altman was one of the few filmmakers who "paid full attention to the possibilities of sound" when filming. He tried to replicate natural conversational sounds, even with large casts, by wiring hidden microphones to actors, then recording them talking over each other with multiple soundtracks. During the filming, he wore a headset to ensure that important dialogue could be heard, without emphasizing it. This produced a "dense audio experience" for viewers, allowing them to hear multiple scraps of dialogue, as if they were listening in on various private conversations. Altman recognized that although large casts hurt a film commercially, "I like to see a lot of stuff going on."
Altman first used overlapping soundtracks in MASH (1970), a sound technique which movie author Michael Barson describes as "a breathtaking innovation at the time." He developed it, Altman said, to force viewers to pay attention and become engaged in the film as if they were an active participant. According to some critics, one of the more extreme uses of the technique is in McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), also considered among his finest films.
However, overlapping dialogue among large groups of actors adds complexity to Altman's films, and they were often criticized as appearing haphazard or disconnected on first viewing. Some of his critics, however, changed their mind after seeing them again. British film critic, David Thomson , gave Nashville (1975) a bad review after watching it the first time, but later wrote, "But going back to Nashville and some of the earlier films, . . . made me reflect: It remains enigmatic how organized or purposeful Nashville is. . . . The mosaic, or mix, permits a freedom and a human idiosyncrasy that Renoir might have admired." During the making of the film, the actors were inspired, and co-star Ronee Blakley was convinced of the film's ultimate success:
Yes, I did think it was going to be great, all the work was so good, every actor was inspired, and Altman's team was intensely competent, and he was that rare kind of genius who knows what works and what doesn't at the moment it is happening.
Thomson later recognized those aspects as being part of Altman's style, beginning with MASH (1970): "MASH began to develop the crucial Altman style of overlapping, blurred sound and images so slippery with zoom that there was no sense of composition. That is what makes Nashville so absorbing." Altman explained that to him such overlapping dialogue in his films was closer to reality, especially with large groups: "If you've got fourteen people at a dinner table, it seems to me it's pretty unlikely that only two of them are going to be talking." Pauline Kael writes that Altman, "the master of large ensembles, loose action, and overlapping voices, demonstrates that . . . he can make film fireworks out of next to nothing."
NOTABLE ACTORS WHO WORKED WITH ALTMAN
The many actors with whom Altman worked include:
Richard E. Grant
Altman's distinctive style of directing carried over into his
preferences for camerawork. Among them was his use of widescreen
compositions, intended to capture the many people or activities taking
place on screen at the same time. For some films, such as McCabe and
Mrs. Miller, he created a powerful visual atmosphere with
Vilmos Zsigmond , such as scenes using fluid
camerawork, zoom lenses, and a smoky effect using special fog filters.
In Nashville, Altman used sets with noticeable colors of reds, whites
and blues. For The Long Goodbye, he insisted that Zsigmond keep the
camera mobile by mounting it to moving objects. Zsigmond states that
Altman "wanted to do something different" in this film, and told him
he "wanted the camera to move—all the time. Up. down. In and out.
Side to side." Cinematographer
Roger Deakins , discussing his use of
zoom lenses, commented, "I would find it quite exciting to shoot a
film with a zoom lens if it was that observational, roving kind of
Zsigmond also recalls that working with Altman was fun:
We rather enjoyed doing things "improv." Altman is a great improviser. During the first few days of the shoot, he would "create" different approaches on a moment's notice. He would show me how he wanted the camera to move—always move. Which was fun. The actors loved it, and I was always challenged to find ways to shoot what Altman came up with.
Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography in
McCabe and Mrs. Miller received a
nomination by the
British Academy Film Awards
When using music in his films, Altman was known to be highly selective, often choosing music that he personally liked. Director Paul Thomas Anderson , who worked with him, notes that "Altman's use of music is always important, adding, "Bob loved his music, didn't he? My God, he loved his music". Since he was a "great fan" of Leonard Cohen 's music, for example, saying he would "just get stoned and play that stuff" all the time he used three of his songs in McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), and another for the final scene in A Wedding (1978).
For Nashville (1975), Altman had numerous new country music songs written by his cast to create a realistic atmosphere. He incorporated a "hauntingly repeated melody" in The Long Goodbye (1973), and employed Harry Nilsson and Van Dyke Parks to score Popeye (1980).
A number of music experts have written about Altman's use of music, including Richard R. Ness, who wrote about the scores for many of Altman's films in an article, considered to be a valuable resource for understanding Altman's filmmaking technique. Similarly, cinema studies professor Krin Gabbard wrote an analysis of Altman's use of Jazz music in Short Cuts (1993), noting that few critics have considered the "importance of the music" in the film.
Jazz was also significant in Kansas City (1996). In that film, the music is considered to be the basis of the story. Altman states that "the whole idea was not to be too specific about the story," but to have the film itself be "rather a sort of jazz." Altman's technique of making the theme of a film a form of music, was considered "an experiment nobody has tried before," with Altman admitting it was risky. "I didn't know if it would work. . . . If people 'get it,' then they really tend to like it."
YEAR FILM TYPES NOTES
Honeymoon for Harriet
Short Industrial Film:
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
1956 The Model's Handbook Short Industrial Film:
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
YEAR FILM CREDITED AS NOTES
DIRECTOR WRITER PRODUCER
1947 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Appears as Man Drinking
1957 The Delinquents Yes Yes Yes
Yes Documentary co-dir: George W. George
1968 Countdown Yes
1969 That Cold Day in the Park Yes
1970 MASH Yes
Palme d\'Or Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director Nominated— Academy Award for Best Director 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 Yes
Appears as Bob
1971 McCabe & Mrs. Miller Yes Yes
Nominated—Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
1972 Images Yes Yes
Nominated—Palme d\'Or Nominated—Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
1973 The Long Goodbye Yes
1974 Thieves Like Us Yes Yes Yes Nominated—Palme d\'Or
1975 Nashville Yes
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
1976 Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull\'s History Lesson Yes Yes
1977 3 Women Yes Yes Yes Nominated—Palme d\'Or
1979 Quintet Yes Yes Yes
A Perfect Couple Yes Yes Yes
1980 Health Yes Yes Yes
1981 Endless Love
Appears as Hotel Manager
1982 Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean Yes
1983 Streamers Yes
Yes DVD released in 2010 by Shout! Factory
1984 Secret Honor Yes
1985 Fool for Love Yes
Troia International Film Festival Golden Dolphin Nominated—Palme d\'Or
O.C. & Stiggs Yes
Yes Released in 1987
1987 Beyond Therapy Yes Yes
Aria Yes Yes
Segment: Les Boréades Nominated—Palme d\'Or
1990 Vincent & Theo Yes
1992 The Player Yes
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 Director of the Year New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Director Nominated— Academy Award for Best Director 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 Yes Yes
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
1994 Prêt-à-Porter Yes Yes Yes Also released as Ready to Wear
1996 Kansas City Yes Yes Yes Nominated—Palme d\'Or
1998 The Gingerbread Man Yes
1999 Cookie\'s Fortune Yes
Nominated— Independent Spirit Award for Best Film
2000 Dr. T & the Women Yes
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
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Robert Award for Best American Film
2003 The Company Yes
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Yes
Television Films And Miniseries
* Nightmare in Chicago (1964)
* Precious Blood (1982) – Television film written by Frank South
* Rattlesnake in a Cooler (1982) – Television film written by
* The Laundromat (1985) (60 min.)
* Basements (1987) – two one-act plays by
* ep. 4–18: "The Third Miracle"
* ep. 4–31: "Kill or Be Killed"
* ep. 4–32: "Backfire"
* ep. "Tapes For Murder"
* ep. "
* Troubleshooters (1959) (13 episodes)
* ep. 01 Liquid Death * ep. 02 The Law and the Profits / Disaster * ep. 03 Trouble at Elbow Bend * ep. 04 The Lower Depths * ep. 05 Tiger Culhane * ep. 06 Moment of Terror * ep. 07 Gino * ep. 14 Swing Shift / Trouble at the Orphanage * ep. 17 Harry Maur * ep. 20 The Town That Wouldn't Die * ep. 22 Senorita * ep. 24 No Stone Unturned * ep. 25 Fire in the Hole * ep. 26 The Carnival / The Cat-skinner
* 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 subsequently, the entire six-episode series was released. * Killer App (1999) Unscreened pilot
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
ACADEMY AWARDS :
* 1971: Best Director (MASH, nominated) * 1976: Best Director, Best Picture (Nashville, nominated) * 1993: Best Director (The Player, nominated) * 1994: Best Director (Short Cuts, nominated) * 2002: Best Director, Best Picture (Gosford Park, nominated) * 2006: Honorary Oscar (WON)
BRITISH ACADEMY FILM 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) * 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)
PRIMETIME 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 :
* ^ A B C D E F John Wakeman, ed. World Film Directors – Vol. 2,
H.W. Wilson Co., N.Y. (1988) pp. 29–39
* ^ Lemons, Stephen. "Robert Altman". Salon.com. p. 2. Retrieved
November 22, 2006.
* ^ A B The Daily Telegraph (November 22, 2006). "Robert Altman,
81, Mercurial Director of Masterworks and Flops". The New York Sun.
Retrieved November 22, 2006.
* ^ A B "The Religious Affiliation of Robert Altman".
Adherents.com. July 28, 2005. Retrieved November 22, 2006.
* ^ "Interview: Robert Altman", The Guardian
* ^ "Spotlight: Catholics at the Movies". Catholichistory.net.
* ^ Butler, Robert W. (March 5, 2006). "Finally, An Attitude
Adjustment: Hollywood's Establishment Now Embraces Rebel Director
The Kansas City Star
* ^ Weber, Bruce (March 18, 2016). "Kathryn Reed Altman, Film Director’s Widow and Archivist, Dies at 91". The New York Times. * ^ 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 . * ^ A B Carr, David. "A Very Altmanesque Tribute to Altman", New York Times, February 21, 2007 * ^ A B "Remembering Robert Altman", Entertainment Weekly, November 24, 2006 * ^ "Robert Altman, Iconoclastic Director, Dies at 81", New York Times, November 21, 2006 * ^ "An Altmanesque Celebration For A Maverick American Director: Robert Altman, 1925 – 2006", Indiewire, Feb. 21, 2007 * ^ KC native Altman\'s papers heading for Michigan, not KC – Kansascity.com – April 21, 2009 Archived June 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ Atlman, IMDB * ^ A B C D E F G Hillstrom, Laurie Collier. ed. International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers – vol. 2, St. James Press (1997) pp. 12–17 * ^ A B C D E Stevens, George Jr. Conversations at the American Film Institute with the Great Moviemakers, Random House (2012) pp. 3–16 * ^ A B C Freer, Ian. Moviemakers, Quercus, London, (2009) pp. 106–109. No online access. * ^ A B C D Thompson, David. Altman on Altman, Faber * ^ Canby, Vincent. "The Player" movie review, New York Times, April 10, 1992 * ^ Sterritt, David. Screening the Beats: Media Culture and the Beat Sensibility, Southern Illinois University Press (2004) p. 70 * ^ Barson, Michael. The Illustrated Who's Who of Hollywood Directors, Noonday Press (1995) pp.12–15 * ^ A B Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y. (2002) pp. 13–14 * ^ " Ronee Blakley Reflects About Robert Altman\'s epic film \'Nashville\'", Indiewire, Nov. 3, 2013 * ^ A B Frost, Jacqueline B. Cinematography for Directors: A Guide for Creative Collaboration, Michael Wiese Productions (2009) pp. 46, 221 * ^ A B C Rogers, Pauline S. More Contemporary Cinematographers on Their Art, Focal Press (2000) pp. 178–179 * ^ Simmons, Sylvie. I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, Random House (2012) Ch. 13 * ^ McGilligan, Patrick. Robert Altman: Jumping Off the Cliff, Macmillan (1989) p. 347 * ^ Ness, Richard R. "Doing Some Replacin", in Robert Altman: Critical Essays, ed. Rick Armstrong, McFarland, (2011) pp. 38–59 * ^ "Krin Gabbard: Stony Brook University". Stonybrook.edu. Retrieved 2014-08-24. * ^ Self, Robert T. Robert Altman's Subliminal Reality, Univ. of Minnesota Press (2002) p. 9 * ^ Altman, Robert. Robert Altman: Interviews, Univ. Press of Mississippi (2000) p. 212 * ^ "Berlinale 1976: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved July 16, 2010. * ^ http://antennafree.tv/2013/05/31/pilot-error-killer-app/ * ^ "Berlinale: 1999 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
* Caso, Frank (2015).
* t * e
Films directed by
* The Delinquents (1957)
The James Dean Story (1957)
* Countdown (1968)
That Cold Day in the Park (1969)
* M*A*S*H (1970)
Brewster McCloud (1970)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
* Images (1972)
* The Long Goodbye (1973)
* Thieves Like Us (1974)
* v * t * e
Warner Bros. /
Margaret Booth (1977)
Walter Lantz /
Sidney Poitier /
* v * t * e
BAFTA Award for Best Direction
* v * t * e
Cannes Film Festival
René Clément (1946)
René Clément (1949)
* v * t * e
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Jack Smight for "Eddie" (1959)
Robert Mulligan for The Moon and Sixpence (1960)
* George Schaefer for Macbeth (1961)
Franklin J. Schaffner (1962)
Stuart Rosenberg for "The Madman" (1963)
Tom Gries for "Who Do You Kill?" (1964)
Paul Bogart for "The 700 Year Old Gang" (1965)
* t * e
* Henry King (1943)
Leo McCarey (1944)
* v * t * e
* Joel Coen /
* v * t * e
Horton Foote (1985)
Kenneth Lonergan (2000)
Christopher Nolan (2001)
* Mike White (2002)
* v * t * e
London Film Critics\' Circle Award for Director of the Year
* v * t * e
Film Society of Lincoln Center
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 76394475 * LCCN : n81003475 * ISNI : 0000 0001 0917 4187 * GND : 11850231X * SELIBR : 279437 * SUDOC : 03265555X * BNF : cb12364350j (data) * ULAN : 500250499 * MusicBrainz