137 user 52 critic

Short Cuts (1993)

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



(writings), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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


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


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 October 1993 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Vidas cruzadas  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$106,553, 3 October 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo)| (70 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Stuart Kane: Ah, Christ! That's my half supply.
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Featured in The 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) See more »


Cello Concerto No. 2, Opus 30 (Second Movement)
Composed by Victor Herbert
Performed by Lori Singer
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User Reviews

overdone, underthought
3 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

In my opinion, "Short Cuts" is one of the most unwatchable films I have ever

seen. Altman took a series of Raymond Carver's most masterful stories (and one poem, I believe), made them into short films with some terrific actors, chopped each film into 30 second clips and threw them in a blender so they were

completely out of sequence. Watching "Short Cuts" is very much like watching

TV with someone who will not stop channel surfing; the moment cohesion

begins to fuse the various scattered moments together, the film breaks them

apart. The stories/chapters themselves would probably have been fine if they

had been left as individual segments (to attempt a little cohesion between

stories, some of Carver's separate characters were fused into one--Lily Tomlin who plays the wife in "They're Not You're Husband" is also the woman who hits the little boy with her car in "A Small Good Thing"--why Altman then chose to destroy narrative cohesion WITHIN the stories is beyond me), but with so much going on simultaneously, it's impossible to follow. Carver's writing motto was "No tricks"; in other words, he eschewed gimmicks and clever little devices and instead just wrote honest, sometimes brutally frank depictions of life as it is, warts and all. Altman's movie is one big gimmick, one long pointless trick. It's amazing to me that a movie combining several of my favorite things in the world- -Raymond Carver, Tom Waits, Lily Tomlin and a clown--could be so bad!

Another IMDB user commented that the movie seemed more like a big party for

the actors then something the viewer can appreciate and this seems to me to be a very apt point.

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