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Set in winter in the Old West. Charismatic but dumb John McCabe arrives in a young Pacific Northwest town to set up a whorehouse/tavern. The shrewd Mrs. Miller, a professional madam, arrives soon after construction begins. She offers to use her experience to help McCabe run his business, while sharing in the profits. The whorehouse thrives and McCabe and Mrs. Miller draw closer, despite their conflicting intelligences and philosophies. Soon, however, the mining deposits in the town attract the attention of a major corporation, which wants to buy out McCabe along with the rest. He refuses, and his decision has major repercussions for him, Mrs. Miller, and the town. Written by
John J. Magee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The principal actors interweave their roles with more than 50 extras assigned by director Altman to wander around the huge backwoods set near Vancouver for a few days, and then told them to decide the kind of person they would like to be to fit into the town - a barber, a lumberman, a bartender, a housewife, etc. - and go pick out the kind of wardrobe they think their character would wear, and to be that character for the next three months of filming. See more »
In the saloon, McCabe plays cards and Sheeran lights the lamp while they talk to each other about the bottle of whiskey price. At one point McCabe is shown, from behind, taking the cigar out of his mouth with his left hand and, subsequently, shown from the front, holding the cigar in his mouth with his right hand. See more »
[muttering to himself]
I told you... Think I'm stupid?... S'exactly what I said. Six, six of 'em...
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Behind every great man is a great woman. McCabe is the man, Mrs. Miller is the woman, and together they form a pretty successful team. Both are in search of the American dream: freedom, fortune, security. Mrs. Miller, a prostitute, and the real brains behind the operation helps make this possible for the couple. She doesn't want to be nothing but a whore for the rest of her life. They partner up and establish the best lil' whorehouse in town. This is quite the unconventional western, and it is executed so perfectly as only the great Robert Altman could do.
I loved the whole process of the film. I liked the characters and wanted to see them succeed. When things go bad, as they often do, some very tense sequences ensue. Men are hired to kill McCabe for not negotiating with the right people. There is one part where he first meets the man hired to kill him that is so nerve-wrecking, but so amusing at the same time. I mean, it's pretty clear early on that McCabe is a bit of a buffoon, but I think this is the crucial point in the film when we know we really care about his fate.
Wonderfully acted by Warren Beatty and Julie Christie in the lead roles(as well as the supporting cast), being in the hands of Robert Altman, and with some great music by Leonard Cohen, McCabe & Mrs. Miller proves itself as a great, great movie. It's a comedy, a tragedy, a classic, a true masterpiece.
My rating: 10/10
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