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Nashville (1975) Poster

(1975)

Trivia

The role of runaway wife "Albuquerque" eventually played by Barbara Harris was first offered to Bette Midler and then Bernadette Peters.
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Jump to: Cameo (1) | Spoilers (2)
Each actor was required to write and perform their own songs for the movie.
The film was very much improvised by the actors, who used the screenplay only as a guide. They spent a great amount of their time in character, and the movie was shot almost entirely in sequence.
During the filming of the car crash scene, drivers who were passing by stopped their cars and rushed to the scene of the "accident", carrying first aid kits and blankets.
All songs were recorded live rather than being prerecorded in a studio.
Original footage was so long, it was almost released as two parallel movies: "Nashville Red" and "Nashville Blue."
After seeing the first footage of her work in the traffic jam scene, Barbara Harris reportedly ran out of the projection room, went home, and asked Robert Altman to meet with her immediately. Unhappy with her performance, Harris offered to put up her own money to have the scene re-shot. Altman told her no.
All the band musicians used in the film were real musicians working in Nashville at the time.
The breaking off of the airport parking lot gate by an exiting vehicle was not intentional.
The role of Linnea Reese was created for and by Louise Fletcher, who herself was the daughter of two deaf parents and knew sign language. The role was eventually played by Lily Tomlin. Tomlin concluded that things worked out in the end because she was offered the role of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and turned it down, which enabled Fletcher to eventually get it, so in a sense they simply traded roles.
Robert Altman originally wanted Susan Anspach to play Barbara Jean, but she refused because she wanted more money. Ready to film in Nashville with no one cast in the role, Altman at the last minute offered it to Ronee Blakley, who was working as a back-up singer in Nashville at the time and had contributed some songs to the film. Blakley ended up receiving an Academy Award nomination for her performance.
Gary Busey was originally going to play "Tom" and wrote the song "Since You've Gone" used in the film.
The film was created due to an offer Robert Altman turned down. Originally, he was offered the chance to direct another script that took place in Nashville. He turned the project down but became interested in the setting. He sent his script supervisor, Joan Tewkesbury, to Nashville to observe the place and take notes. She wrote a diary and that diary became the basis of her screenplay. From there, several scenes were rewritten or improvised by the performers, a standard practice on Altman projects.
In the opening sequence, the character played by Henry Gibson demanded that his piano player be replaced by the "Pig". At that time in Nashville, one of the most in-demand session players was a blind pianist named Hargus "Pig" Robbins. The man playing the piano in that scene is Richard Baskin, the actual music supervisor on the film.
Robert Altman had Gwen Welles take singing lessons to sound better. The end result of those extended lessons is what you hear in the film.
Robert Altman did not want the audience to hear Barbara Harris sing until the very last scene in the movie.
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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.
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The actor Merle Kilgore plays Trout, a reference to Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s seminal character Kilgore Trout.
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During the DVD commentary of the film, Robert Altman pays a tribute to Tommy Thompson, who was the assistant director on almost all of Altman's films, and who had dropped dead on the set of Dr. T & the Women (2000) a week before Altman did the commentary.
Robert Duvall was originally offered the role of Haven Hamilton but had a scheduling conflict and was unable to do so. As a result, he was replaced by Henry Gibson. In commenting on the movie, Robert Altman has said that the movie would certainly have been different with Duvall in the role, but he was happy with Gibson playing the part. Duvall later went on to perform his own compositions in Tender Mercies (1983) as part of his Oscar-winning turn as country music singer Mac Sledge.
The house that is Haven Hamilton's (Henry Gibson) home was actually the house that Robert Altman and his family stayed in during the filming of Nashville.
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The character of Barbara Jean is loosely based on Loretta Lynn and the Haven Hamilton role is based on Red Foley.
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Karen Black was only in Nashville, TN for one week to film her scenes.
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George Segal had a cameo as himself, but it was cut.
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Nashville was not popular in Nashville, TN when it was released.
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In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #59 Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this film on the list.
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Robert Altman said that musicians in Nashville, TN did not like the music in the film. The musicians felt that real songs should have been used in the film, meaning their own songs.
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Polly Platt was originally hired as the production designer for Nashville. She quit working on the film because she objected to Robert Altman's idea of having an assassination at the end of the film.
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Robert Altman said Nashville was the first film he directed that he had total control over.
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Nashville was the first theatrically released movie Jerry Weintraub produced.
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Award winning fiddler and actor Johnny Gimble makes a cameo appearance during the last big stage scene when he does a 'walk on' with his fiddle and joins fiddler Vassar Clements and the rest of the band as they perform.
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Robert Altman and Allen Garfield did not get along with each other during the filming of the movie.
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This film reunites Geraldine Chaplin and Julie Christie ten years after Doctor Zhivago (1965) being Chaplin the player of a fictional character. Another conjunction happens with Karen Black and Elliott Gould being Black the player of a fictional character. Black and Gould meet again in Capricorn One (1977), E/R (1984) and Judgement (1992).
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The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Keith Carradine and Julie Christie; and seven Oscar nominees: Lily Tomlin, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Jeff Goldblum, Elliott Gould, Barbara Harris and Ned Beatty.
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The lyrics to Henry Gibson's song "Keep A-Goin'" are from a poem that Gibson recited as a guest star on the Dick Van Dyke Show in 1966.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Jeff Goldblum and Scott Glenn also appeared in The Right Stuff (1983).
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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In the scene of Julie Christie's cameo, one can see Ned Beatty ask Michael Murphy if he had worked with her before, to which he responds yes. This might have been meant as an inside joke because Michael Murphy and Julie Christie both appeared in Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller.
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Cameo 

Joan Tewkesbury: the film's writer. She is on the phone as Kenny's mother, and as Tom's lover.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Faced with an impending rainstorm which threatened to ruin filming of Barbara Jean's assassination (with no recourse, as the production's budget had run dry), Robert Altman reportedly screamed at the sky, ordering the rain to stop. The rain did indeed stop, and filming of the scene was completed.
According to screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury, in the final scene Robert Altman originally had the idea of not revealing who Barbara Jean's assassin was. Which she felt was much more interesting.

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