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California Split (1974)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  7 August 1974 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,183 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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Title: California Split (1974)

California Split (1974) on IMDb 7.3/10

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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

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially set up at MGM with Steve McQueen attached as the lead. This soon changed when MGM started making ridiculous demands, including insisting that the script be a specified number of pages and that it should be set at the Circus Circus casino complex in Las Vegas - which MGM owned. They also wanted the film to have a Mafia subplot and to have a role for Dean Martin. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Bill Denny: Come on, Valdez! Come on, Valdez!
Charlie Waters: Who's Valdez?
Bill Denny: Valdez is the jockey!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) 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

In the details
28 December 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

As usual, the greatness in Altman comes in the unexpected nuances: the perfect Las Vegas lounge act, with Elliott Gould putting in his repartee like joining a musical theatre number onstage. George Segal "getting down to the oldies" may date the film, along with his sweaters, but this is an enjoyable and surprising movie that exposes the hollowness and joylessness of compulsion without getting all holy about it. The younger working girl's search for feeling with her endless succession of tricks is a more easily noticeable parallel to what emerges as the film's core: George Segal's character finding his capacity for change. The shenanigan with Gould, Segal and the cross dresser strays dangerously close to outtakes from MASH. The film's greatest moment, aside from the surprisingly shattering denouement coming two minutes later, is when Segal has run from $2000 to $82,000. He's rolling everything right at the craps table when this little pea brained moron comes up and puts $1 on the seven. Elliott Gould offers to throw a hundred dollar chip at her to make her go away (if you don't know, the seven ends the streak and betting on it in the middle of a streak should be punishable by water torture). Sure enough, Segal rolls a seven and the streak ends. Everyone looks at the little moron and she says, "I don't care, it's my birthday and I won!" and picks up her $2. That is classic. Looking at Segal's performance you can see shades of what Ben Gazzarra would do decades later in Todd Solondz's "Happiness" as another man who doesn't feel anything.


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