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McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

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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.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Name Your Poison. See more »


Drama | Western


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 June 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Presbyterian Church Wager  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first time McCabe goes to Bearpaw, Mrs. Miller is briefly seen from the street through a door, exasperatedly slamming it closed against the cold. 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 »


[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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Referenced in Once Upon a Time in America (1984) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Harsh realities...
12 August 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

McCABE & MRS. MILLER deals with several of the harsher realities of life in The Old West, and does so unflinchingly, without undue sentimentality (despite the haunting music of Leonard Cohen). Down and dirty filmmaking. Had there been documentary filmmakers roaming The Old West, they might well have shot something not unlike what Altman has wrought here. Unconventional in the extreme, McCABE & MRS. MILLER is the kind of down-to-earth western we need more of. The glamour of hard times washes right off and all that's left is a brutal, harsh reality. Superior filmmaking.

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