Five days in the Nashville country and gospel music scene, filled with stars, wannabe stars, and other hangers-on - individual stories of this small group intertwined - provides a commentary on American society. The stars include: good ol' boy Haven Hamilton, whose patriotic songs leading up to the American bicentennial belie his controlling and ruthless nature; Barbara Jean, the country music darling who is just returning to Nashville and performing following recovery from a fire-related injury which may have taken more of an emotional toll than a physical one; and good looking and charismatic Tom Frank, one-third of the successful group Bill, Mary, and Tom, he who is trying to go solo, which masks his need to not be solo in his personal life as he emotionally abuses woman after woman in love with him, including Mary who is married to Bill. The wannabe stars include: Albuquerque, whose real name is Winifred, who is trying to run away from her husband Star in he not approving of her ...Written by
During the DVD commentary of the film, Robert Altman pays a tribute to Tommy Thompson, who was the Assistant Director on almost all of Altman's films, and who had dropped dead on the set of Dr. T & the Women (2000) a week before Altman did the commentary. See more »
In the scene at the Grand Ol' Opry, Haven Hamilton gives the zip code for Vanderbilt Hospital as "27322". The hospital's zip code is actually "37232". See more »
Now wait a minute. Don't laugh. I - let me - I have a theory about political assassination. You see, I believe that people like Madame Pearl and all these people here, in this country, who carry guns, are the real assassins. Because, you see, they stimulate other people who, are perhaps innocent, and who eventually are the ones who pull the trigger.
See more »
The opening credits are modeled after a 1970s era TV commercial for a "greatest hits" record album compilation, with the actors in the film announced by a DJ as if they were artists whose songs were featured on the album. See more »
Altman's Masterpiece: "The Damnedest Thing You Ever Saw"
Robert Altman is an extremely divisive director in the sense that you either "get it" or you don't--and those who don't despise his work and take considerable pleasure in sneering at NASHVILLE in particular. But there is no way around the fact that it is an important film, a highly influential film, to most Altman fans his finest films, and to most series critics quite possibly the single finest film made during the whole of the 1970s.
According to the movie trailer available on the DVD release, NASHVILLE is "the damnedest thing you ever saw"--and a truer thing was never said, for it is one of those rare film that completely defies description. On one level, the film follows the lives of some twenty characters over the course of several days leading up to a political rally, lives that collide or don't collide, that have moments of success and failure, and which in the process explore the hypocrisy that we try to sweep away under the rug of American culture. If it were merely that, the film would be so much soap-opera, but it goes quite a bit further: it juxtaposes its observations with images of American patriotism and politics at their most vulgar, and in the process it makes an incredibly funny, incredibly sad, and remarkably savage statement on the superficial values that plague our society.
What most viewers find difficult about NASHVILLE--and about many Altman films--is his refusal to direct our attention within any single scene. Conversations and plot directions overlap with each other, and so much goes on in every scene that you are constantly forced to decide what you will pay attention to and what you will ignore. The result is a film that goes in a hundred different directions with a thousand different meanings, and it would be safe to say that every person who sees it will see a different film.
In the end, however, all these roads lead to Rome, or in this case to the Roman coliseum of American politics, where fame is gained or lost in the wake of violence, where the strong consume the weak without any real personal malice, and where the current political star is only as good as press agent's presentation. For those willing and able to dive into the complex web of life it presents, Altman's masterpiece will be an endlessly fascinating mirror in which we see the energy of life itself scattered, gathered, and reflected back to us. A masterpiece that bears repeated viewings much in the same way that a great novel bears repeated readings. A personal favorite and highly, highly recommended.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
83 of 105 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this