A look at what goes on backstage during the last broadcast of America's most celebrated radio show, where singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty, a country music siren, and a host of others hold court.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Garrison Keillor (screenplay), Garrison Keillor (story) | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marylouise Burke ... Lunch Lady
Woody Harrelson ... Dusty
L.Q. Jones ... Chuck Akers
Tommy Lee Jones ... The Axeman
Garrison Keillor ... GK
Kevin Kline ... Guy Noir
Lindsay Lohan ... Lola Johnson
Virginia Madsen ... Dangerous Woman
John C. Reilly ... Lefty
Maya Rudolph ... Molly
Tim Russell ... Stage Manager
Sue Scott ... Makeup Lady
Meryl Streep ... Yolanda Johnson
Lily Tomlin ... Rhonda Johnson
Tom Keith Tom Keith ... Self - Sound Effects Man
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Storyline

A final live variety show broadcast via radio becomes a metaphor for the natural order of life. A concept and script by Garrison Keilor uses every natural and technical element of working with a tight and close ensemble producing a weekly show to sooth us and guide us through the natural but difficult transitions of aging, becoming less relevant and then dying as new, young life develops and strengthens during our final "performances." This is a rare film for it's remarkable cast and crew and one wonders how the great Robert Altman was able to gather them all at the same place and time to shoot this film. Written by Dave Seaman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Radio like you've never seen it before. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for risque humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Clooney was offered the role of detective Guy Noir, but was forced to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts. See more »

Goofs

When Yolanda is in her dressing room, she's wearing a beige dress with a reddish jacket. On stage, she wears a red dress with the same reddish jacket. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Radio Announcer: Market reports today, barrows and gilts uh two hundred twenty to two hundred sixty pounds, they're lower at forty dollars uh sows are steady three hundred five hundred pounds thirty four to thirty seven dollars going over to feeder cattle, beef steers - one hundred twenty to one hundred fifty dollars and two hundred to three hundred
[fade out]
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Crazy Credits

There is a credit for Sign Painter in the film, although it does not appear on the official site. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Cry Wilderness (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Grandfather's Clock
Music & Lyrics by Henry Clay Work
Performed by The Guys All-Star Shoe Band
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User Reviews

 
Funny, feel-good movie that will be a hit with radio-show fans.
18 March 2006 | by exp0112See all my reviews

The movie opens with a view of rural Minnesota, accompanied by 1950's radio...music, farm report, commodity prices, etc. It quickly moves to Mickey's Diner, an establishment located just a few blocks from the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. There we see Guy Noir, whose job is managing security for the "A Prairie Home Companion" radio program. Soon we are in the theater, preparing for the live performance of the radio program. Virtually all the remainder of the movie happens in the Fitzgerald.

Note: I have attended two APHC performances in the Fitzgerald, and have eaten in Mickey's Diner. The exteriors in the movie are all real, and the stage, the sets and auditorium shots of the Fitzgerald are likewise genuine. Even a brief shot of a church near the theater, toward the end of the movie, is genuine. You can see some photos at PHCFan.com. The stage action in the movie is just like it happens in real life. Whether the dressing-room scenes and GK's disregard for deadlines are similar to real-life, I don't know.

During much of the movie we are puzzled by a mysterious woman in white who has certainly caught Guy Noir's eye...her garments are so tight he can "read the embroidery on her panties." She walks calmly around the stage and through the set during the show itself. We learn her identity in the second half of the movie.

The real-life Sue Scott plays a hairdresser in the movie, a speaking role. Even if you don't recognize her face you will recognize her voice. All the other regulars seem to play themselves.

The movie audience really enjoyed the movie. We laughed heartily at the jokes, and applauded at the end. It is a feel-good movie, a must-see for fans of the weekly radio program.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Norwegian

Release Date:

9 June 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Prairie Home Companion See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,566,293, 11 June 2006

Gross USA:

$20,342,852

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,986,497
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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