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
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.
29 of 36 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this