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A Prairie Home Companion (2006) Poster

Trivia

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For insurance purposes, and in the event that 80-year-old director Robert Altman was unable to finish shooting the film, Paul Thomas Anderson was employed as a standby director.
When Kevin Kline's character pops the cork off a bottle of champagne, the cork shoots off-camera and hits director Robert Altman in the forehead. A small cry of "OW!" can be heard and Kline says, "Sorry!" without breaking character.
Maya Rudolph, who plays the pregnant character Molly, was actually pregnant during the filming of the movie. The father of Rudolph's unborn child is Paul Thomas Anderson, who served as a standby director for Robert Altman during production of the film.
Meryl Streep accepted her role "in a heartbeat" as it had always been her lifetime's ambition to make a film with Robert Altman.
All the music was recorded live.
Robert Altman's last movie.
Shot in high-definition video and then transferred to 35mm film.
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Shot largely on-site at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, the home of the actual A Prairie Home Companion radio show.
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Reportedly Robert Altman didn't care for the character played by Virginia Madsen and had reduced the role considerably. When Madsen came on board, she persuaded him to make it a more central character.
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This was the first occasion that Robert Altman worked with Meryl Streep. He remarked that she was "25% above anyone else".
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Garrison Keillor's first few drafts of the screenplay were - by his own admission - rather patchy. Altman's only notes on them were "you're getting closer". By the time filming began, Keillor was rewriting scenes constantly.
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Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin repeated their onscreen partnership at the 2005 Academy Awards when they presented an Honorary Oscar to Robert Altman.
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"The Penguin Joke" was first featured on the Joke Show several years ago. Garrison Keillor mangled the delivery of the joke badly and ever since then the joke has regularly resurfaced on the show.
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Instead of pre-recording their parts in studio sessions, cast members performed live in the theater, singing and playing their own instruments in front of a real audience of whom Robert Altman asked to choose their favorite takes.
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George Clooney was offered the role of detective Guy Noir, but was forced to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.
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Garrison Keillor got the name Lola for Lindsay Lohan's character from the song "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets" from the musical "Damn Yankees" after Lohan successfully lobbied for a place in the film, even though there was no part written for her in the original script. Her character's name was also Lola in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004).
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Kevin Kline's character Guy Noir is the main character in one of the serialized stories written by Garrison Keillor for the real Prairie Home Companion radio show.
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44 different musical compositions are featured throughout the film.
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Because the Fitzgerald was such a small building, other stage theaters in the Minneapolis-St Paul region were drafted in as stand-ins. The bulk of filming took place at the Fitzgerald however with the crew using the basement, and constructing fake dressing rooms.
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The name for the character, Chuck Akers, comes from the name Garrison Keillor's friend Chet Atkins uses when he checks into hotel rooms
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When the cast reunites in Mickey's Diner at the end of the movie, Garrison Keillor, wearing a University of Minnesota shirt, comments on his new job at a parking ramp. In real life, that was how Keillor worked his way through the University of Minnesota in the early 1960s..
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Prior to being cast Virginia Madsen was a longtime fan of the radio show, unbeknownst to her agent who mentioned the role to her in passing believing she would not be interested.
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Garrison Keillor has been broadcasting the real Prairie Home Companion for 30 years.
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Robert Altman's wife was an avid fan of the Prairie Home radio show and was always badgering her husband about tackling it as a subject for one of his films.
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Altman reputedly directed most of the film from a wheelchair.
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The song "Goodbye To My Mama" had to be very difficult for Lily Tomlin to sing. Her mother passed away at the beginning of production.
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Michelle Pfeiffer was originally slated to play the Dangerous Woman, but then backed out of the project.
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Tom Waits and Lyle Lovett were originally slated to play singing cowboys Lefty and Dusty.
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A bidding war broke out after an initial screening in New York City with Picturehouse ultimately securing the distribution rights for $3.75 million.
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To broaden the film's appeal, Garrison Keillor considered retitling the film "Savage Love". Bob Berney, President of Picturehouse, was adamant that the film should retain its original title of "A Prairie Home Companion".
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Meryl Streep's mother-in-law helped her practice the Midwestern accent necessary for this role.
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Was originally going to be titled 'The Last Broadcast'.
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The "4-5-94" written on Lola's right jean leg is a reference to the date of Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain's suicide.
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The movie cast includes three oscar winners: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kevin Kline, and four oscar nominees: Lily Tomlin, John C. Reilly, Virginia Madsen, and Woody Harrelson.
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

During the movie, after the character of Chuck Akers dies mid-broadcast, the Keillor character refuses to stage an on-air tribute to him or even to announce the death on the air on general principle. The real Keillor does not share any such compunction against paying tribute to departed friends and colleagues on his actual radio show, as he spent a portion of the November 25, 2006, broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" memorializing director Robert Altman.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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