7.2/10
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44 user 49 critic

California Split (1974)

R | | Comedy, Drama | August 1974 (USA)
When a casual gambler befriends a professional one, he begins to mirror his life, sending both deeper into the sleazy gambling world where the stakes keep getting bigger.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writer:

Joseph Walsh
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Segal ... Bill Denny
Elliott Gould ... Charlie Waters
Ann Prentiss ... Barbara Miller
Gwen Welles ... Susan Peters
Edward Walsh Edward Walsh ... Lew
Joseph Walsh ... Sparkie
Bert Remsen ... Helen Brown
Barbara London Barbara London ... Lady on the Bus
Barbara Ruick ... Reno Barmaid
Jay Fletcher ... Robber
Jeff Goldblum ... Lloyd Harris
Barbara Colby ... Receptionist
Vincent Palmieri Vincent Palmieri ... First Bartender (as Vince Palmieri)
Alyce Passman Alyce Passman ... Go-Go Girl
Joanne Strauss ... Mother
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Storyline

A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but then gets into debt when Gould takes an unscheduled trip to Tijuana. As a final act of desperation, he pawns most of his possessions and goes to Reno for the poker game of a lifetime. A film set mainly in casinos and races, as the two win and lose (but mainly win), get robbed, and get blind drunk. Written by David B-2

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

California Split ... being the story of two bet-on-anything guys who happily discover something called a "winning streak." See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First non-Cinerama movie to use eight-channel recording of dialog on the set. See more »

Goofs

Some of the balls hanging from Charlie's sombrero keep changing position throughout the scene. See more »

Quotes

Bill Denny: Everybody's named Barbara.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD cuts approximately three minutes worth of incidental scenes and bits, because the distributor was either unable or unwilling to reach an arrangement for music licensing. See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Bill Paxton (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Me and My Shadow
(uncredited)
Written by Dave Dreyer, Al Jolson and Billy Rose
See more »

User Reviews

 
The compulsive gambler seen through Altman's dark glass
1 October 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Why California Split remains among the most obscure of Robert Altman's extraordinary 1970s oeuvre is a mystery. Its stars -- Elliot Gould and George Segal -- were at the top of their form, free and comfortable working in Altman's off-the-cuff, low-key style. Its supporting cast -- Ann Prentiss, Gwen Welles and especially Bert Remsen, as the cross-dressing old jane "Helen Brown," -- is memorable. And its full gallery of extras (many drawn from the therapeutic community Synanon) populate a surreal gambling netherworld in California and Nevada. Altman is working in highest gear with the layered, semi-improvised and alluringly murky style he pioneered. As in Altman's best work, the story just sort of happens, without much distinction between foreground and backdrop, principal characters and walk-ons. Lacking the rigid and didactic "dramaturgy" of its competitors, California Split endures as one of the most probing examinations of the soul and psyche of the abnormal gambler ever filmed.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Slide See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Lion's Gate 8 Track Sound Systems)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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