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Nashville (1975)

 -  Drama | Music  -  21 September 1975 (UK)
7.8
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Reviews: 146 user | 92 critic

Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.

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Title: Nashville (1975)

Nashville (1975) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Norman
Barbara Baxley ...
Lady Pearl
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Delbert Reese
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Timothy Brown ...
Tommy Brown
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Wade (as Robert Doqui)
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Tricycle Man
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Storyline

This movie tells the intersecting stories of various people connected to the music business in Nashville. Barbara Jean is the reigning queen of Nashville but is near collapse. Linnea and Delbert Reese have a shaky marriage and 2 deaf children. Opal is a British journalist touring the area. These and other stories come together in a dramatic climax. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Home of Country Music See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 September 1975 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Nashville, i polis ton ekplixeon  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(magnetic prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In response to those who believed the film was almost totally improvised and had little or no script, screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury insisted that there was a solid script written by Robert Altman and herself that dictated all the actions of all the characters, and that the improvisational elements added by the actors were solely in aspects of the dialogue. See more »

Goofs

In the conversation between Linnea and Opal in the car, Linnea is eating a popsicle while she tells Opal about her children. A moment later, the popsicle is nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

Barbara Jean: [she finishes singing a song at her concert] Thank you. I wanna tell you all a little secret which you might not know, and that is that last night I thanked my lucky stars that I could be here at all to sing for ya. I heard on the radio this little boy, nine years old. Sometimes a deejay'll play a tune and ask everybody to phone in and say how they like it. I was listenin', and this little nine-year-old called in. The song had voices in the background, like the way they use backup voices these ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The song "It Don't Worry Me" continues to play long after the end credits have stopped rolling. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

200 Years
Written by Richard Baskin and Henry Gibson
Performed by Henry Gibson
Lions Gate Music Co. (ASCAP) / Landscape Music Co. (BMI) / Silvery Moon Music (ASCAP) / Plumbago Publishing Co. (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Does Christmas smell like oranges to you?
7 December 2003 | by (Greenwich, CT United States) – See all my reviews

The opening shot of "Nashville" shows a van with a loudspeaker offering platitudes from Hal Phillip Walker, Replacement Party candidate for President and the perfect middleman for the movie "Nashville," which like the never-seen candidate offers a series of apparently disconnected vignettes that touch on deeper truths but remain enigmatic and yet, somehow, substantial and truthful.

"Nashville" is the kind of film scholars champion and no one else watches, which is a shame because it has a lot to offer, and not just to pointyheads. I avoided it for years because of Pauline Kael's iconographic reviews in the New Yorker. If she liked it so much, it couldn't be that good. It was a film where Eastern intellectuals took their shots at country yokels like so many fish in a barrel. Boy, was I wrong.

"Nashville" is an empathic, genuine-feeling soap opera set to country & western music, the kind they used to play before Faith Hill and the Dixie Chicks revamped Nashville into Hollywood East. The movie takes a while to get started, and viewers are required to stick with a seemingly random group of characters with the most tangential series of relationships to one another. Over time, however, the vignettes gel into a mosaic of related setpieces that seem to move in tandem, until by the end, they gain a sort of terminal velocity that feels almost like destiny.

There are nearly 30 characters at the center of "Nashville." Some are stars, like Ronee Blakley's fragile Barbara Jean and Henry Gibson's Haven Hamilton. Some are wanna-bes, like Gwen Welles' desperate and pathetic Sueleen Gay and Barbara Harris's red-dot-fixated Albuquerque. Some are good-hearted, like Barbara Baxley's Kennedy-loving Lady Pearl and Lily Tomlin's sign-literate Linnea Reese. Then there's folks like Michael Murphy's sleezy politico John Triplette, Geraldine Chaplin's sophistic reporter Opal, and Shelley Duvall's shallow and slutty L.A. Joan, whom one wishes weren't more representative of the human race.

The nice thing about "Nashville," actually the great thing about it, is how we see these people in such depth and richness. Haven Hamilton opens the film as a petty dictator of sorts, running his recording studio like a rhinestone Hitler as his eyes flash and roll for signs of petty trespass, but we grow to like his hokey showmanship and his genuine impulse to entertain and, at the end, see to it Nashville does not disintegrate into another Dallas. He's not a bad guy, he just has bad moments, and virtually the same can be said of nearly everyone in this film.

Is "Nashville" a political film? There's Hal Phillip Walker, and a final act of political assassination, but it seems more cultural. Certainly it's not topical, though a Washington outsider did win the Presidency in 1976. We aren't really encouraged to take Walker too seriously, not with those wild-eyed Walker girls waving placards with their frosted Manson-girl gazes. Is it a satire of Nashville, or Middle America? It's far more brutal when it takes on the smarmy Triplette, or the transatlantic twit Opal, who seem the most contemptuous of Southern values. Talk about not having a clue.

By the second half of the film, we are locked into all the personal dramas and moments of revelation, to the point we feel them more than the characters themselves. Like Linnea's moment of truth at a dive when Keith Carradine's Tom sings "I'm Easy" as a desperate come-on to her, while three other women think wrongly it is being sung to them and react in varying degrees of smugness. Tomlin can't sing gospel, and she's not as funny as she was in "Laugh In," but her reaction to his performance in that scene fully merited her Oscar nomination. Her eyes are Garbo-inert, and her head seems stapled to the wall as she wishes with all her heart this cup will pass her by.

I wouldn't say that's my favorite scene. It keeps changing with every viewing. I really reacted strongly to Barbara Harris's culminating performance of "It Don't Worry Me" after watching the film for the first time just after 9/11, though it does seem a trifle more apathetic than defiant upon reflection. Still, it has incredible power, because it's sarcastic, hopeful, and revelatory all at once. It's also a perfect note with which to end a rare film that manages to skewer and honor its subject simultaneously, yet ultimately manages to find the redeeming goodness in the blackest night.


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