A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  9 June 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 19,291 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 280 user | 211 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

A look at what goes on backstage during the last broadcast of America's most celebrated radio show, where singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty, a country music siren, and a host of others hold court.



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3 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lunch Lady
Chuck Akers
The Axeman
Dangerous Woman
Stage Manager
Makeup Lady
Tom Keith ...
Himself - Sound Effects Man


"A Prairie Home Companion", hosted by humorist Garrison Keillor, is a down home radio variety show recorded and performed live in front of an audience in a theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. A show from another era, "A Prairie Home Companion" has been canceled. The regulars are performing on the last show, including Dusty & Lefty, singing/guitar playing cowboys with a risqué sense of humor, and the Johnson Girls, a sister singing duo of Rhonda and Yolanda who have a penchant for talking over each other. As the show goes on, the regulars, backstage, talk about their lives in relation to the show. Other goings-on include Yolanda and others trying to convince her shy somber daughter, Lola, to sing on this last show. As all this goes on, a mysterious woman in a white trench coat who is on a mission wanders around the theater, while the show's dim security guard, Guy Noir, who usually has nothing to do security-wise, follows. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Radio like you've never seen it before. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for risque humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

9 June 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Noches mágicas de radio  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,566,293 (USA) (9 June 2006)


£75,355 (UK) (5 January 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Altman reputedly directed most of the film from a wheelchair. See more »


When the Dangerous Lady enters the diner, her top left button is covered by the lapel due to her coat being closed tight. In the next shot the coat is opened more and the button is exposed. Then in the next shot, the button is covered by the lapel again. See more »


[first lines]
Radio Announcer: Market reports today, barrows and gilts uh two hundred twenty to two hundred sixty pounds, they're lower at forty dollars uh sows are steady three hundred five hundred pounds thirty four to thirty seven dollars going over to feeder cattle, beef steers - one hundred twenty to one hundred fifty dollars and two hundred to three hundred
[fade out]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a credit for Sign Painter in the film, although it does not appear on the official site. See more »


References The Seventh Seal (1957) See more »


Coffee Jingle
Music by Kate MacKenzie & Garrison Keillor
Lyrics by Garrison Keillor
Performed by Garrison Keillor, Jearlyn Steele and The Guys All-Star Shoe Band
See more »

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User Reviews

An acquired taste, but I think I acquired it before I was born
9 November 2006 | by (Columbia, Maryland, USA) – See all my reviews

Altman has created the anti-Hollywood, which I'm sure was not by accident. A true gem.

It's a shame that this was not a more commercially successful vehicle. The ensemble cast is superb, without exception. Garrison Keillor has a face made for radio, but I understand why he has to play himself. Nice baritone, but those are weapons-grade eyebrows.

Altman pokes fun at standard 21st century American movie fare, but mid-20th century radio gets lampooned pretty well too. The eponymous radio show, the state of Minnesota, and mindless belief all takes it in the slats. Even irony itself is not safe from Altman's watchful eye. It's deliciously subtle and, by starts, wonderfully bawdy. Paying attention pays dividends. Doing subtle right takes a lot of work.

One of the sweet surprises is that people you knew could act can also sing: Merryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson (not a typo), Lindsey Lohan, and John C. Reilly croon. Where else could they strut such stuff? Underplaying their roles, never stealing a scene, letting the well-written script be the star. Kevin Kline was never better, not even in "Wanda". Al Gore's old roommate is heartlessly evil.

I'm glad I watched it alone because I felt free to laugh out loud. That would have been out of character with the movie.

It's unlikely you would only like this movie. You'll love it or run the other way. I didn't want it to end.

Don't look for a sequel.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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