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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
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>
I was led to this movie in 1972 via the Academy nomination of Julie Christie for her remarkable performance and the small trailer used to highlight her. This was enough to get my attention.
Since then I have recommended it to any movie lover- whether a "student of film" or not. I am constantly surprised at the numbers of people who haven't seen this masterpiece. I've lived with it's haunting scenes for a quarter of a century and, as with anything of depth, constantly find new charms in my old love.
From the evocative lyrics of the opening score to it's sudden chilling and deadly encounters, this movie lives in your mind long after the final blizzard cloaks the frame.
If one is a contrarian I would guess the only thing to do after seeing this for perhaps the fiftieth time is to begin looking for that moment where someone, anyone has put a foot wrong in this production. From gaffers to grips, actors to designers, continuity to props it is so pure as to be a documentary in it's granular clarity- there may be a wrong note in there somewhere but until then do yourself a favor and give yourself up to as rich a cinematic experience as you are ever likely to find.
There are few movies I love- I love this movie.
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