IMDb > The Player (1992)
The Player
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The Player (1992) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Up 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Michael Tolkin (screenplay)
Michael Tolkin (novel)
View company contact information for The Player on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 May 1992 (USA) See more »
Now more than ever! See more »
A Hollywood studio executive is being sent death threats by a writer whose script he rejected - but which one? Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 34 wins & 13 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Truth About The Hollywood Dream Machine See more (148 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tim Robbins ... Griffin Mill

Greta Scacchi ... June Gudmundsdottir

Fred Ward ... Walter Stuckel

Whoopi Goldberg ... Detective Avery

Peter Gallagher ... Larry Levy

Brion James ... Joel Levison

Cynthia Stevenson ... Bonnie Sherow

Vincent D'Onofrio ... David Kahane

Dean Stockwell ... Andy Civella

Richard E. Grant ... Tom Oakley

Sydney Pollack ... Dick Mellon

Lyle Lovett ... Detective DeLongpre

Dina Merrill ... Celia
Angela Hall ... Jan
Leah Ayres ... Sandy

Paul Hewitt ... Jimmy Chase

Randall Batinkoff ... Reg Goldman

Jeremy Piven ... Steve Reeves

Gina Gershon ... Whitney Gersh
Frank Barhydt ... Frank Murphy
Mike Kaplan ... Marty Grossman (as Mike E. Kaplan)
Kevin Scannell ... Gar Girard
Margery Bond ... Witness
Susan Emshwiller ... Detective Broom
Brian Brophy ... Phil
Michael Tolkin ... Eric Schecter
Stephen Tolkin ... Carl Schecter
Natalie Strong ... Natalie

Peter Koch ... Walter (as Pete Koch)

Pamela Bowen ... Trixie

Jeff Celentano ... Rocco (as Jeff Weston)

Steve Allen ... Himself

Richard Anderson ... Himself

Rene Auberjonois ... Himself

Harry Belafonte ... Himself

Shari Belafonte ... Herself

Karen Black ... Herself

Michael Bowen ... Himself

Gary Busey ... Himself

Robert Carradine ... Himself

Charles Champlin ... Himself

Cher ... Herself

James Coburn ... Himself

Cathy Lee Crosby ... Herself

John Cusack ... Himself

Brad Davis ... Brad Davis

Paul Dooley ... Himself
Thereza Ellis ... Herself

Peter Falk ... Himself

Felicia Farr ... Herself

Katarzyna Figura ... Herself (as Kasia Figura)

Louise Fletcher ... Herself

Dennis Franz ... Himself

Teri Garr ... Herself

Leeza Gibbons ... Herself

Scott Glenn ... Himself

Jeff Goldblum ... Himself

Elliott Gould ... Himself

Joel Grey ... Himself

David Alan Grier ... Himself

Buck Henry ... Himself

Anjelica Huston ... Herself

Kathy Ireland ... Herself

Steve James ... Himself
Maxine John-James ... Herself

Sally Kellerman ... Herself

Sally Kirkland ... Herself

Jack Lemmon ... Himself

Marlee Matlin ... Herself

Andie MacDowell ... Herself

Malcolm McDowell ... Himself

Jayne Meadows ... Herself

Martin Mull ... Himself

Jennifer Nash ... Herself

Nick Nolte ... Himself

Alexandra Powers ... Herself

Bert Remsen ... Himself
Guy Remsen ... Himself
Patricia Resnick ... Herself

Burt Reynolds ... Himself

Jack Riley ... Himself

Julia Roberts ... Herself

Mimi Rogers ... Herself

Annie Ross ... Herself

Alan Rudolph ... Himself

Jill St. John ... Herself

Susan Sarandon ... Herself
Adam Simon ... Himself

Rod Steiger ... Himself
Joan Tewkesbury ... Herself

Brian Tochi ... Himself

Lily Tomlin ... Herself

Robert Wagner ... Himself

Ray Walston ... Himself

Bruce Willis ... Himself

Marvin Young ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Althea Gibson ... Althea Gibson (uncredited)
Ted Hartley ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Jack Jason ... Jack (uncredited)
James McLindon ... Jim the Writer (uncredited)

Derek Raser ... Studio Mail Driver (uncredited)

Scott Shaw ... Scott (uncredited)

Patrick Swayze ... Himself (uncredited)

Dan Twyman ... Funeral Guest (uncredited)

Marina Zenovich ... Studio Executive (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Altman 
Writing credits
Michael Tolkin (screenplay)

Michael Tolkin (novel "The Player")

Produced by
Cary Brokaw .... executive producer
David Brown .... producer
Scott Bushnell .... co-producer
William S. Gilmore .... co-executive producer
David Levy .... associate producer
Michael Tolkin .... producer
Nick Wechsler .... producer
Original Music by
Thomas Newman 
Cinematography by
Jean Lépine (director of photography) (as Jean Lepine)
Film Editing by
Maysie Hoy 
Geraldine Peroni 
Production Design by
Stephen Altman 
Art Direction by
Jerry Fleming 
Set Decoration by
Susan Emshwiller 
Costume Design by
Alexander Julian (wardrobe designer)
Makeup Department
Deborah K. Larsen .... makeup artist (as Deborah Larsen)
Scott Williams .... hairdresser
Production Management
Jim Chesney .... production supervisor
Tom Udell .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
C.C. Barnes .... second assistant director (as CC Barnes)
Allan F. Nicholls .... first assistant director (as Allan Nicholls)
Art Department
Matthew R. Altman .... set dresser (as Matthew Altman)
John Beauvais .... scenic painter
Peter Borck .... leadman
Charles Bragg .... title painting
John Bucklin .... set dresser
Thomas Calloway .... carpenter
Sydney Cooper .... artwork
Loren Corney .... construction coordinator
John Evans .... carpenter
Kenny Funk .... carpenter (as Kenneth Funk)
Michelle Guastello .... art department coordinator (as Michele Guastello)
Julie Heuer .... assistant property master
Justin Kritzer .... carpenter
Darryl Lee .... carpenter
Chris Marneus .... carpenter
Patrick Maurer .... construction foreman (as Pat Maurer)
James Monroe .... property master
Mario Pérez .... swing gang (as Mario Perez)
Ricky Riggs .... painter
David Ronan .... set dresser
Daniel C. Rothenberg .... swing gang (as Daniel Rothenberg)
Jim Samson .... set dresser
W.C. Nearhood Jr. .... carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Kenneth R. Burton .... sound effects editor (as Ken Burton)
Robert Deschaine .... foley mixer (as Bob Deschaine)
Rich Gooch .... recordist
Joseph Holsen .... dialogue editor
Paul Holzborn .... foley artist (as Paul Holtzborn)
Matthew Iadarola .... re-recording mixer
David Jobe .... foley recordist
Stanley Kastner .... sound re-recording mixer
Edmund J. Lachmann .... dialogue editor (as Ed Lachmann)
John Post .... foley artist
John Pritchett .... production sound mixer
Michael P. Redbourn .... supervising sound editor (as Michael Redbourn)
Joel Shryack .... boom operator
Emily Smith-Baker .... cable puller
Bill Ward .... assistant sound editor
John Rotondi .... sound engineer: Y4 (uncredited)
John Soukup .... sound transfer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
John C. Hartigan .... special effects (as John Hartigan)
Greg Walker .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Reed Altman .... first assistant camera
Robert Bruce .... electrician
Andy Day .... best boy electric (as Andrew Day)
Val DeSalvo .... electrician (as Val De Salvo)
Kevin Fahey .... grip
Michael James Fahey .... best boy grip (as Michael J. Fahey)
Craig Finetti .... third assistant camera
Scott Hollander .... grip (as Scott 'El Gato' Hollander)
Anthony T. Marra II .... key grip
Daniel Cary McCrystal .... second assistant camera (as Cary McKrystal)
Tom McGrath .... electrician
Don Muchow .... gaffer
Tim Nash .... grip
Chris Reddish .... electrician
Lorey Sebastian .... still photographer
Wayne Stroud .... dolly grip
Scott Hamilton .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Vikki Barrett .... wardrobe assistant (as Vicki Brinkkord)
Angela Billows .... wardrobe assistant
Lydia Tanji .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Alisa Hale .... second assistant editor
Bob Hart .... negative cutter
A. Michelle Page .... assistant editor
Mike Stanwick .... color timer (as Michael Stanwick)
Dylan Tichenor .... apprentice editor
John Dowdell .... hd colorist (uncredited)
Location Management
Paul D. Boydston .... assistant location manager (as Paul Boydston)
Jack Kney .... location manager
Music Department
Bill Bernstein .... music editor
Thomas Pasatieri .... orchestrator
John Vigran .... music scoring mixer
Transportation Department
Chris Armstrong .... driver (as Christopher Armstrong)
Ron Chesney .... driver
Steve Earle .... driver
Don Feeney .... driver
D.J. Gardiner .... driver
Derek Raser .... transportation coordinator
J.T. Thayer .... transportation captain (as 'J.T.' Thayer)
Gregg Willis .... driver (as Greg Willis)
Other crew
Alison Balian .... assistant: Nick Wechsler
Andrea Berty .... craft service
Angie Bonner .... production assistant
Jim Brockett .... animal trainer
John O. Brown III .... production assistant (as John Brown III)
Betsy Chasse .... assistant coordinator
Stacy Cohen .... production secretary
Celia Converse .... representative: Sandcastle 5
Signe Corriere .... production assistant
Steve Day .... production assistant
Kimberly Edwards .... production accountant (as Kimberly Edwards Shapiro)
Judy Geletko .... additional accounting services
Robin Hage .... assistant: Cary Brokaw
Sheri Halfon .... financial representative: Avenue
Pamela Hedley .... production executive
Cynthia E. Hill .... production coordinator (as Cynthia Hill)
Kelly Householder .... production assistant
Lawrence Karman .... karaoke videos (as Larry 'Doc' Karman)
Danielle Knight .... assistant: Cary Brokaw
Cheryl Kurk .... assistant accountant
Claudia Lewis .... production executive
Stuart McCauley .... craft service
James McLindon .... assistant: Robert Altman (as Jim McLindon)
Tom Moore .... set medic
Dan Perri .... title designer
Carole Starkes .... script supervisor
Andrew Varela .... promotions arranger
Catherine Webb .... post-production accountant
Michael Hubert .... assistant coordinator (uncredited)
Julie Kuehndorf .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Chris Paine .... assistant to writer and producer (uncredited)
Janis Dinwiddie .... special thanks
Mark Eisen .... special thanks
Morgan Entrekin .... special thanks
Luis Estevez .... special thanks
Bob Flick .... special thanks: Entertainment Tonight
Suzanne Goldman .... special thanks
Gerald Greenbach .... special thanks: Two Bunch Palms
Ron Haver .... special thanks
Randy Honaker .... special thanks
Julie Johnston .... special thanks
Patrick Murray .... special thanks
Toyoko Nezu .... special thanks
Mimi Rabinowitz .... special thanks
Steve Trombatore .... special thanks: All Payments
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language, and for some sensuality
124 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Writer Michael Tolkin actually had a film company ring him up and try to option Habeus Corpus, the blatantly ludicrous film that is pitched within the movie.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: Leg and sneaker visible reflecting in the grille of Griffin's Rolls Royce.See more »
[first lines]
Man 1:[voiceover] Quiet on the set.
Woman:[voiceover] OK, everybody, quiet on the set.
Man 2:[voiceover] Scene 1, take 10. Marker.
Man 1:[voiceover] And - action!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Let's Begin AgainSee more »


What actors make cameo apperences as themselves ?
See more »
92 out of 111 people found the following review useful.
The Truth About The Hollywood Dream Machine, 28 April 1999
Author: Sean Rutledge ( from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Come next year, when I am trying to devise a list of the best films of the 90's, Robert Altman's "The Player" will be near the top of my list. This film skillfully creates a central plot around Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) (who hears about 125 movie pitches per day), a studio executive who is being threatened by a writer whose script or idea he likely brushed off. But what is even more brilliant about "The Player" is everything going on peripherally to the main plot; all the references to studio techniques of film-making, foreign film movements, homages and Old Hollywood vs. New Hollywood. The film is multi-layered, yet everything that we view falls neatly into the formula which Hollywood film-making survives by. What we see in the duration of "The Player" would potentially make a perfect pitch for a movie. This may sound confusing, but watch the entire film, and you will immediately know what I mean.

The film begins with a stunning homage to Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope", an approximately eight minute long take where the camera moves freely around a studio encountering many people in the midst of their everyday routines. For example, we come across a couple discussing how Hollywood film is now much like MTV "cut, cut, cut". One of the characters even uses the example of "Rope" to illustrate his point. "Rope" is approximately a ninety minute film that appears to have been shot all in one take. Of course, it wasn't done in one take, as reels of film at that time were only ten minutes long. If one watches the film very closely, it can be determined where the cuts are made.

In the duration of the same take, we encounter Griffin Mill conducting business in his office. People walk into his office pitching movie ideas. It is here that we begin to learn about populist Hollywood film-making. Ideas, not stories or scripts are pitched to executives "in 25 words or less". Almost always, the ideas thrown out are based on previous films (e.g. "someone always gets killed at the end of a political thriller") and even combinations of previous films (e.g. "It's Pretty Woman meets Out of Africa"). When we see the usual films that are released into theaters each week, it is not difficult to believe that this is the way in which they are conceived. The usual Hollywood formula entails sex, violence, familiarity and most important of all "happy endings, a movie always has to have a happy ending".

"The Player" is filled with loads of Hollywood stars, most of them playing themselves. Jeff Goldblum, Malcolm McDowell, John Cusack, Angelica Huston, and Burt Reynolds to name a few. Many of them are encountered at restaurants during lunch and at night time Hollywood gatherings, where the topic of conversation is always movies. Near the beginning of the film, Griffin suggests that he and his lunch guests talk about something else. "We're all educated adults". Of course no one says anything. Their lives are so indoctrinated by Hollywood, they do not know what else to talk about.

Right from the beginning Griffin receives numerous postcards threatening his life. He begins to suspect a certain writer and goes to his house one night to confront him. The man turns out not to be home, but there is an incredible scene where Griffin talks with the man's girlfriend on the phone while voyeuristically watching her through the window. This is an extraordinary symbolization of the voyeuristic essence that goes along with watching a film, or the notion of scopophilia to be precise. The idea behind the concept of scopophilia is that the cinema constructs the spectator as a subject; the beholder of the gaze, who has an intense desire to look. The cinema places viewers in a voyeuristic position in that the viewer watches the film unseen in a dark room. While Griffin is watching the girl as he speaks with her, it is night time and he remains unseen to her. This scenario metaphorically represents the theater and the film.

In the duration of Griffin's conversation on the phone, he finds out that the man he is looking for is watching "The Bicycle Thief" in an art-house theater in Pasadena. This film in itself represents the first contrast to Hollywood that we see in "The Player". Vittorio DeSica's "The Bicycle Thief" was part of a movement that lasted from 1942 to 1952 called ‘Italian Neo-Realism", whose other main exponents were Rossellini and Visconti. Rossellini called neo-realism both a moral and an aesthetic cinema. Neo-realism, to a great extent owes much of its existence to film-makers' displeasure at the restrictions placed on freedom of expression. This film movement is quite different from the modern Hollywood formula of film-making. When Griffin first meets the man he suspects is sending the postcards, he suggests that perhaps they could do a remake of "The Bicycle Thief". The man responds with "yeah sure, you'd probably want to give it a happy ending".

Also interesting in "The Player" is one of the studio executives suggestions to newspapers as a source for script ideas. This serves to contrast Old Hollywood versus New Hollywood. In the older days of studio film, Warner Brothers (one of the studio's of middle-class America) would produce films with ideas seemingly drawn from real life or from the headlines of major newspapers. This gives us the sense that often Hollywood is stuck for original ideas, so ideas from the past re-circulate themselves.

I have touched on only a few of the many interesting references that run peripherally to the main plot of "The Player". The great thing is that even if you do not catch all the film references that I have been discussing, it is still enjoyable. When I first saw the film, I was really young and did not know much about movies, but yet I enjoyed it thoroughly. Now, it is one of my favorites. I definitely recommend it to anyone who has a keen interest in film.

**** out of ****

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