7.2/10
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44 user 48 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

Actor Edward Walsh was the brother of the film's writer Joseph Walsh. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Charlie Waters: If it takes a watermelon five minutes to water. How long does it take a sweetpea to pee? As long as it takes a pair of dice to crap.
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

References State Fair (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Mean To Me
(uncredited)
Written by Fred E. Ahlert and Roy Turk
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User Reviews

In the details
28 December 2002 | by mockturtleSee all my reviews

As usual, the greatness in Altman comes in the unexpected nuances: the perfect Las Vegas lounge act, with Elliott Gould putting in his repartee like joining a musical theatre number onstage. George Segal "getting down to the oldies" may date the film, along with his sweaters, but this is an enjoyable and surprising movie that exposes the hollowness and joylessness of compulsion without getting all holy about it. The younger working girl's search for feeling with her endless succession of tricks is a more easily noticeable parallel to what emerges as the film's core: George Segal's character finding his capacity for change. The shenanigan with Gould, Segal and the cross dresser strays dangerously close to outtakes from MASH. The film's greatest moment, aside from the surprisingly shattering denouement coming two minutes later, is when Segal has run from $2000 to $82,000. He's rolling everything right at the craps table when this little pea brained moron comes up and puts $1 on the seven. Elliott Gould offers to throw a hundred dollar chip at her to make her go away (if you don't know, the seven ends the streak and betting on it in the middle of a streak should be punishable by water torture). Sure enough, Segal rolls a seven and the streak ends. Everyone looks at the little moron and she says, "I don't care, it's my birthday and I won!" and picks up her $2. That is classic. Looking at Segal's performance you can see shades of what Ben Gazzarra would do decades later in Todd Solondz's "Happiness" as another man who doesn't feel anything.


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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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