282 user 208 critic

A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 9 June 2006 (USA)
2:17 | Trailer
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.


Robert Altman


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





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


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


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 »

Did You Know?


To broaden the film's appeal, Garrison Keillor considered changing the title to "Savage Love". Bob Berney, President of Picturehouse, was adamant that the film should remain "A Prairie Home Companion." See more »


Garrison Keillor's wedding band disappears and reappears throughout the film. See more »


[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]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Spoofs The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »


Atlanta Twilight
Music by Richard A. Dworsky (as Richard Dworsky)
Performed by The Guys All-Star Shoe Band
See more »

User Reviews

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION (Robert Altman, 2006) ***
18 December 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Before watching this movie, I had never heard of writer/performer/radio personality Garrison Keillor and the main reason I rented this was because it was Robert Altman's last film. As usual, he managed to rope in several high-profile Hollywood names into his cast - Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, Virginia Madsen, John C. Reilly, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin - but, as Altman himself admits in the rambling but not uninteresting Audio Commentary - he is basically just giving cinematic life to Keillor's preoccupations and radio show. The latter features a few Country & Western acts performing for a live audience (which is never shown) including Harrelson and Reilly as rude, lewd singing cowboys (their "Bad Jokes" song is a delightful highlight), Streep (who is clearly having a ball), Tomlin and Lohan as a singing family and even Sam Peckinpah favorite L. Q. Jones as another singing cowboy/old-timer.

The most interesting aspects of the film are non-music related, however: it starts out in a Noir-ish style with smooth-talking detective Guy Noir (Kline) acting as narrator and observer and his clumsy attempts to stop the Axeman (Tommy Lee Jones) from foreclosing the show. Along the way, he meets and falls for a white-clad Angel of Death (Madsen) who, having expired herself in a traffic accident some years back while listening to Keillor's show, has now come to claim the lives of the two Joneses and possibly Kline himself...

While perhaps a minor film in the Altman canon, it is still a respectable and fitting swan song for him. The shadow of impending death hangs so heavily on the movie that it is indeed remarkable how entertaining it actually is; I'm sure there are some more examples of a distinguished film-maker reflecting so openly on his approaching death but the three I can think of at the moment off the top of my head are the Wim Wenders/Nicholas Ray collaboration LIGHTNING OVER WATER (NICK'S MOVIE) (1979; which I've yet to watch for myself), Bob Fosse's ALL THAT JAZZ (1979; like Altman's film, also disguised as a musical) and John Huston's appropriately-titled last film, THE DEAD (1987).

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English | Norwegian

Release Date:

9 June 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Prairie Home Companion See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,566,293, 11 June 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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