7.7/10
37,578
137 user 52 critic

Short Cuts (1993)

The day-to-day lives of several suburban Los Angeles residents.

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(writings), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4,495 ( 1,136)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Zane Cassidy ...
Casey Finnigan
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Joseph C. Hopkins ...
Joe Kaiser
Josette Maccario ...
Josette Kaiser
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Storyline

While helicopters overhead spray against a Medfly infestation a group of Los Angeles lives intersect, some casually, some to more lasting effect. Whilst they go out to concerts and jazz clubs and even have their pools cleaned, they also lie, drink, and cheat. Death itself seems never to be far away, even on a fishing trip. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From two American masters comes a movie like no other See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic sexual language, and for nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1993 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Vidas cruzadas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$106,553, 3 October 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,110,979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Jack Lemmon, Tim Robbins, Frances McDormand, and Julianne Moore; and eight Oscar nominees: Buck Henry, Bruce Davison, Lily Tomlin, Tom Waits, Anne Archer, Robert Downey, Jr., Jennifer Jason Leigh and Huey Lewis. See more »

Goofs

Gene Shepard throws a rock through his mistress's living room window while she's away on vacation. Yet when she comes back, the window is unbroken. See more »

Quotes

Honey Bush: Look at these fish, though. Aren't those cool?
Lois Kaiser: Yeah, you know I don't really give a fuck about fish. They just kinda swim, eat and shit.
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Connections

References Batman (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Schelomo
Composed by Ernest Bloch
Performed by Lori Singer
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User Reviews

 
Altman's greatest?
18 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

When Altman is good he's among the greatest, and SHORT CUTS is among his best (M*A*S*H, BREWSTER McCLOUD, NASHVILLE). Adapted from Raymond Carver's collection of stories, SHORT CUTS offers a roving, restless glimpse into the lives of several Los Angelinos. The characters aren't completely real - in an 'I-can-relate-to-these-people' sense (I never expected this from this movie anyway), but are presented in a slightly hyperreal sense with Altman highlighting the everyday lives of characters who try valiantly to maintain their public personas (cutting across class boundaries in the process), even when things are spinning out of control beneath the surface (literally symbolized by the ending, though at least he didn't stoop to throwing in a rain of frogs...).

Los Angeles is famously mocked as a place that's all surface and no depth (see ANNIE HALL), and the slight exaggerations seen here characters plays with this, even as the isolation and instability of certain characters humanizes them. Through it all there's plenty of humor - though, as is usual with Altman, even the humor packs a wallop. Annie Ross' deadpan complaint gets to the heart of it all: "I hate L.A. - all they do is snort coke and talk." The irony in such nastiness becomes a bit more apparent when you consider where that assessment is coming from, within Altman's tragi-comic variant upon the notion that California's trends become America's truisms a decade or two down the road.

There are so many great moments here - Chris Penn's growing befuddlement (and seething, simmering murderous anger) with his wife's phone sex operator job; Tom Waits and Lily Tomlin as a boozy working class couple; Peter Gallagher and Frances MacDormand's marriage, collapsed into tantrums and furniture vandalism; the Tim Robbins/Huey Lewis confrontation; Jack Lemmon, Julianne Moore and Matthew Modine all deliver strikingly memorable performances. Every time I watch this, I get something new out of it - though it requires a bit of patience, SHORT CUTS is really worth checking out.


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