A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Antony Holland ...
Hugh Millais ...
Manfred Schulz ...
Kid
Jace Van Der Veen ...
Breed (as Jace Vander Veen)
Jackie Crossland ...
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Storyline

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 <magee@helix.mgh.harvard.edu>

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Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

24 June 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Presbyterian Church Wager  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

SEK 867,412 (Sweden)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Altman was introduced to the story by David Foster, one of the film's producers. Foster had been introduced to the story by the widow of novelist Richard Wright, an agent for Edmund Naughton, who was then living in Paris and working for the International Herald Tribune. Altman was in post-production on MASH (1970) and sneaked Foster into the screening; Foster liked the film and agreed to have Altman direct McCabe; they agreed to wait until MASH (1970) became popular to take the pitch for McCabe to a studio for funding. Foster called Warren Beatty in England, about the film; Beatty flew to New York to see M.A.S.H. and then flew to Los Angeles, California to sign for McCabe. See more »

Goofs

At 1:41:38 into the film, when McCabe is hiding in the door of the hardware store, a leg and a foot of a crew-member are visible reflected in the window on the left. After the cutaway it is even clearer when the person moves. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John McCabe: [muttering to himself] I told you... Think I'm stupid?... S'exactly what I said. Six, six of 'em...
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Soundtracks

Sisters of Mercy
Written and Performed by Leonard Cohen
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A tale of the American dream; with hookers
30 September 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

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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