IMDb > California Split (1974)
California Split
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California Split (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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California Split -- A young magazine writer and a professional gambler embark on a series of betting adventures. GeorgeSegal and Elliott Gould are both excellent as compulsive gamblers and several real gamesmen play themselves. Ann Prentiss plays Barbara Miller.


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7.3/10   3,453 votes »
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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Joseph Walsh (written by)
View company contact information for California Split on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 August 1974 (USA) See more »
California Split ... being the story of two bet-on-anything guys who happily discover something called a "winning streak."
A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Altman makes the camera disappear in a movie about gambling that still feels fresh 35 years later See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

George Segal ... Bill Denny

Elliott Gould ... Charlie Waters
Ann Prentiss ... Barbara Miller
Gwen Welles ... Susan Peters
Edward Walsh ... Lew
Joseph Walsh ... Sparkie

Bert Remsen ... Helen Brown
Barbara London ... Lady on the Bus
Barbara Ruick ... Reno Barmaid
Jay Fletcher ... Robber

Jeff Goldblum ... Lloyd Harris

Barbara Colby ... Receptionist
Vincent Palmieri ... First Bartender (as Vince Palmieri)
Alyce Passman ... Go-Go Girl
Joanne Strauss ... Mother

Jack Riley ... Second Bartender
Sierra Bandit ... Woman at Bar

John Considine ... Man at Bar
Eugene Troobnick ... Harvey
Richard Kennedy ... Used Car Salesman
John Winston ... Tenor
Bill Duffy ... Kenny
Michael Greene ... Reno Dealer (as Mike Greene)
Tom Signorelli ... Nugie
Sharon Compton ... Nugie's Wife
Arnold Herzstein ... California Club Poker Player
Alvin Weissman ... California Club Poker Player
Marc Cavell ... California Club Poker Player
Mickey Fox ... California Club Poker Player
Carolyn Lohmann ... California Club Poker Player
'Amarillo Slim' Preston ... Reno Poker Player
Harry Drackett ... Reno Poker Player
Ted Say ... Reno Poker Player
Winston Lee ... Reno Poker Player
Thomas Hal Phillips ... Reno Poker Player
A.J. Hood ... Reno Poker Player
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Kane Hodder ... Reno Poker Player
James Dan Calvert ... Nugie's Son (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Altman 
Writing credits
Joseph Walsh (written by)

Produced by
Robert Altman .... producer
Robert Eggenweiler .... associate producer
Leonard Goldberg .... executive producer
Aaron Spelling .... executive producer
Joseph Walsh .... producer
Cinematography by
Paul Lohmann (director of photography)
Film Editing by
O. Nicholas Brown 
Lou Lombardo 
Casting by
Scott Bushnell 
Art Direction by
Leon Ericksen 
Set Decoration by
Sam J. Jones  (as Sam Jones)
Makeup Department
Joe DiBella .... makeup artist (as Joe Di Bella)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alan Rudolph .... second assistant director
Tommy Thompson .... assistant director
Art Department
Jerry Graham .... property master
Paolo Rocco Innamorato .... first assistant art director (uncredited)
Bob McLing .... property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Randy Kelley .... assistant sound editor
Chris McLaughlin .... sound crew
Richard Portman .... dubbing mixer
Kay Rose .... sound editor
James E. Webb .... sound mixer (as Jim Webb)
George Wycoff .... sound crew
Jacob Hochman .... cable person (uncredited)
Bill Marky .... sound technician (uncredited)
John Vincent .... sound (uncredited)
Larry Holt .... stunts (uncredited)
Gene LeBell .... stunts (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Dick Colean .... assistant camera (as Richard Colean)
Tom Doherty .... grip
Ron Frantzvog .... assistant camera
Randy Glass .... electrical gaffer
Edmond L. Koons .... camera operator (as Edward Koons)
Eddie Lara .... grip
Harry Rez .... grip
Sidney Ray Baldwin .... unit photographer (uncredited)
Fred Chaparro .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Al Goelz .... generator operator (uncredited)
J. Michael Marlett .... best boy (uncredited)
John Stadler .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Hugh McFarland .... costumer
Editorial Department
Stephen Altman .... editorial assistant (as Stephen W. Altman)
Dennis M. Hill .... assistant editor (as Dennis Hill)
Tony Lombardo .... assistant editor
Marion Segal .... editorial assistant
Music Department
Phyllis Shotwell .... music player
Phyllis Shotwell .... singer
Transportation Department
Fritz Braden .... driver (uncredited)
Gene Clinesmith .... driver (uncredited)
James Davis .... driver (uncredited)
Jim Jimenez .... driver (uncredited)
James Marett .... driver (uncredited)
Craig Pinkard .... transportation co-captain (uncredited)
James Thornsberry .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Other crew
Jac Cashin .... assistant to producers (as Jac Cachin)
Carole Gister .... script supervisor
Regina Gruss .... unit publicist
Kelly Marshall .... production coordinator
Dan Perri .... title designer
Sue Barton .... company secretary (uncredited)
Noreen Beasley .... assistant: Dan Perri (uncredited)
Elaine Di Bello Bradish .... production secretary (uncredited)
Mark Eggenweiler .... production assistant (uncredited)
Don Everman .... first aid (uncredited)
Christina Gladwin .... company secretary (uncredited)
Mark Martin .... location auditor (uncredited)
Vince Martinez .... location auditor (uncredited)
Wanda Walsh .... caterer (uncredited)
Linn Zuckerman .... craft service (uncredited)
Barbara Ruick .... dedicatee (as Barbara)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
108 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

'Joseph Walsh' took his script to Universal after MGM's demands got out of hand as he had an understanding with producers 'Daryl F. Zanuck' and David Brown. At this stage, Walsh's co-writer Steven Spielberg had moved on.See more »
Continuity: Some of the balls hanging from Charlie's sombrero keep changing position throughout the scene.See more »
Bill Denny:Come on, Valdez! Come on, Valdez!
Charlie Waters:Who's Valdez?
Bill Denny:Valdez is the jockey!
See more »
Movie Connections:
References State Fair (1945)See more »
You're an Old SmoothieSee more »


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Altman makes the camera disappear in a movie about gambling that still feels fresh 35 years later, 4 September 2008
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

It's surprising how little known California Split is but even in a career filled with great movies such as Robert Altman's it deserves more recognition. It is Altman the auteur in top form, his quirks and distinctive traits that separate him from all directors of his time emblazoned over every minute of this delightful mixture of comedy and drama.

It's the handling of the subject matter that makes the difference. Sure this is not the first movie to be made about the compulsiveness of gambling and people trying to find meaning and pleasure in empty addictions but it is such a fresh and enjoyable movie one has to sit down and take notice. What makes it work so well? I'll say the success rests on a combination of three things: the infectious chemistry between the two leads Elliot Gould (in a hilarious role) and George Seagal; the fully realized world Altman creates for his characters; and that overall the movie is capable of both belly-laughs and profound sadness but it is always subtle, never says anything more than it has to, leaving just enough for the viewer to participate. Even the bitter aftertaste of the ending is never expanded more than two or three lines and a look on Seagal and Gould's faces and it's then counterpointed with a spin of the wheel and a sweet jazz song as the end credits begin to roll.

This combination of those three things ultimately achieves the most important and difficult thing for any director to master: to make the camera disappear. This is not the first time Altman succeeds in doing so but California Split is still a very good indication of the craftsman at the top of his talent.

The gambling world here is not the glitzy and glossy Las Vegas of Ocean's 11 or Four of a Kind - not it is for gambling movies what The Long Goodbye was for neo-noir. A look inside a crummy, cheap world without prospects and the rent's running. It makes perfect sense then that the last act takes place in Reno and not Vegas and that the bleachy look of Paul Lohmann's cinematography (no Vilmos Zsigmond this time) reflects that there's no glamour to be had here.

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Screen writer's comments on the ending antong77
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WHY do people compare it 'MASH'? gnomekid
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Great Interview with writer Joey Walsh atmanone
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