7.3/10
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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
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Segal ... Bill Denny
Elliott Gould ... Charlie Waters
Ann Prentiss 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 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 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 »
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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original ending actually spilled outside the casino. Bill leaves Charlie and hails a cab when Charlie suddenly comes out and decides to go with him so as to prove that he can walk away from gambling. However, a couple of people climb out of the waiting cab and ask Charlie how the action is, and he is drawn right back in and thus Bill leaves alone. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Charlie Waters: El busto! Tapioca time.
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 The Cincinnati Kid (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

You're an Old Smoothie
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva
See more »

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User Reviews

Peak Altman
23 June 1999 | by matt-201See all my reviews

Altman at the absolute top of his form--which is to say among the freest, loosest and sensorily densest great movies ever made in America. Visually and sonically thick as a brick, it also represents some of the highest-flying improvisatory acting you've ever seen. Put the Godard of the early sixties in a polyester shirt, lay him down among the rummies and compulsive cases of the American gambling subculture, and fill him with equal parts beer and caffeine, and you have some idea of this thoroughly amazing, free-and-easy comedy, which has a scary undertow: the scene where George Segal tries to persuade co-addict Elliott Gould of the hollowness of the big win might be the most scarily desolate in any Altman picture.


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