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McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

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A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Edmund Naughton (novel), Robert Altman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Beatty ... John McCabe
Julie Christie ... Constance Miller
Rene Auberjonois ... Sheehan
William Devane ... The Lawyer
John Schuck ... Smalley
Corey Fischer ... Mr. Elliott
Bert Remsen ... Bart Coyle
Shelley Duvall ... Ida Coyle
Keith Carradine ... Cowboy
Michael Murphy ... Sears
Antony Holland Antony Holland ... Hollander
Hugh Millais Hugh Millais ... Butler
Manfred Schulz Manfred Schulz ... Kid
Jace Van Der Veen Jace Van Der Veen ... Breed (as Jace Vander Veen)
Jackie Crossland Jackie Crossland ... Lily
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Storyline

Set in winter in the Old West. Charismatic but dumb John McCabe arrives in a young Pacific Northwest town to set up a whorehouse/tavern. The shrewd Mrs. Miller, a professional madam, arrives soon after construction begins. She offers to use her experience to help McCabe run his business, while sharing in the profits. The whorehouse thrives and McCabe and Mrs. Miller draw closer, despite their conflicting intelligences and philosophies. Soon, however, the mining deposits in the town attract the attention of a major corporation, which wants to buy out McCabe along with the rest. He refuses, and his decision has major repercussions for him, Mrs. Miller, and the town. Written by John J. Magee <magee@helix.mgh.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a gambling man and a hustling lady. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Cantonese

Release Date:

24 June 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Presbyterian Church Wager See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ned Beatty was at one point considered for a role in the film but Robert Altman felt that he was a little too young for the role. See more »

Goofs

In the saloon, McCabe plays cards and Sheeran lights the lamp while they talk to each other about the bottle of whiskey price. At one point McCabe is shown, from behind, taking the cigar out of his mouth with his left hand and, subsequently, shown from the front, holding the cigar in his mouth with his right hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John McCabe: [muttering to himself] I told you... Think I'm stupid?... S'exactly what I said. Six, six of 'em...
See more »

Alternate Versions

New 4K digital restoration, from Criterion, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. from 2016, 2 discs, lots of new extras See more »

Connections

Featured in The 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stranger Song
Written and Performed by Leonard Cohen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Unique, perfect and thoroughly enjoyable.
19 January 2000 | by TycheSee all my reviews

I was led to this movie in 1972 via the Academy nomination of Julie Christie for her remarkable performance and the small trailer used to highlight her. This was enough to get my attention.

Since then I have recommended it to any movie lover- whether a "student of film" or not. I am constantly surprised at the numbers of people who haven't seen this masterpiece. I've lived with it's haunting scenes for a quarter of a century and, as with anything of depth, constantly find new charms in my old love.

From the evocative lyrics of the opening score to it's sudden chilling and deadly encounters, this movie lives in your mind long after the final blizzard cloaks the frame.

If one is a contrarian I would guess the only thing to do after seeing this for perhaps the fiftieth time is to begin looking for that moment where someone, anyone has put a foot wrong in this production. From gaffers to grips, actors to designers, continuity to props it is so pure as to be a documentary in it's granular clarity- there may be a wrong note in there somewhere but until then do yourself a favor and give yourself up to as rich a cinematic experience as you are ever likely to find.

There are few movies I love- I love this movie.


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