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California Split (1974)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  7 August 1974 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,068 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 43 critic

A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but then gets into debt when Gould takes an unscheduled trip to Tijuana. As a final act of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ann Prentiss ...
Barbara Miller
Gwen Welles ...
Susan Peters
Edward Walsh ...
Lew
Joseph Walsh ...
Sparkie
...
Helen Brown
Barbara London ...
Lady on the Bus
Barbara Ruick ...
Reno Barmaid
Jay Fletcher ...
Robber
...
Lloyd Harris
Barbara Colby ...
Receptionist
Vincent Palmieri ...
First Bartender (as Vince Palmieri)
Alyce Passman ...
Go-Go Girl
Joanne Strauss ...
Mother
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Storyline

A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but then gets into debt when Gould takes an unscheduled trip to Tijuana. As a final act of desperation, he pawns most of his possessions and goes to Reno for the poker game of a lifetime. A film set mainly in casinos and races, as the two win and lose (but mainly win), get robbed, and get blind drunk. Written by David B-2

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

California Split ... being the story of two bet-on-anything guys who happily discover something called a "winning streak."

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

7 August 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elliott Gould threw himself into the role of a compulsive gambler, so much so that it unnerved his co-star George Segal who felt he couldn't keep up with Gould's frenetic performance. See more »

Goofs

Some of the balls hanging from Charlie's sombrero keep changing position throughout the scene. See more »

Quotes

Bill Denny: Goddamnit, lady, you don't throw oranges on an escalator!
See more »

Connections

References Dumbo (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

You're an Old Smoothie
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The compulsive gambler seen through Altman's dark glass
1 October 2001 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Why California Split remains among the most obscure of Robert Altman's extraordinary 1970s oeuvre is a mystery. Its stars -- Elliot Gould and George Segal -- were at the top of their form, free and comfortable working in Altman's off-the-cuff, low-key style. Its supporting cast -- Ann Prentiss, Gwen Welles and especially Bert Remsen, as the cross-dressing old jane "Helen Brown," -- is memorable. And its full gallery of extras (many drawn from the therapeutic community Synanon) populate a surreal gambling netherworld in California and Nevada. Altman is working in highest gear with the layered, semi-improvised and alluringly murky style he pioneered. As in Altman's best work, the story just sort of happens, without much distinction between foreground and backdrop, principal characters and walk-ons. Lacking the rigid and didactic "dramaturgy" of its competitors, California Split endures as one of the most probing examinations of the soul and psyche of the abnormal gambler ever filmed.


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